Are Beauty Contests Harmful?
Beauty contests are a great source of entertainment, and one must admit that there is a certain pleasure in watching a well-proportioned body walk the ramp.
The catch lies in the fact that beauty competitions conform to a certain idea of physical beauty which is proved simply by the fact that all pageants have a minimum height and weight criteria, suggesting that beauty is height and weight based. If beauty contests were viewed objectively, one would find them no more harmful than any of the soap operas we subject ourselves to. However, objectivity is difficult to hang on to when your senses are bombarded with a parade of hour glass figures, flawless skin, picture perfect smiles, and the perfect poise.
The pageant is not just about flawless women; it is about a million-dollar cosmetic industry that survives on it. When commercials are strategically broadcast during a pageant they hit the target audience of gullible youngsters who believe that the products could make them picture perfect like the contestants. These pageants contribute to the body image issues suffered by millions of women worldwide. Eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and low self-esteem issues are just a few of the issues that pageants leave in their wake.
There is nothing essentially wrong with beauty pageants except perhaps that they make us all aspire to be fashion fit. The harm lies in the message that they send out – Perfection is beauty. The commercials aired add fuel to the fire by suggesting that in order to have the perfect hair one must use a particular product or to have perfect skin one must use another. Beauty pageants do not affect the discerning mind, they affect the youth and that is probably their biggest drawback.