I agree with the statement that beauty contests are degrading.
They degrade women to mere objects. The sponsors exploit women by
requiring them to parade in swimsuits or even lingerie. They are judged
mainly on their physical appearance rather than on any other qualities
they may possess.
When the women parade themselves on stage, the judges will
look at a number of things, but the most important criteria will probably
be poise. To achieve proper poise, a woman's body should be well
proportioned - having a neck proportionate to her height,
lanky legs and
so on. This process of evaluating poise can be compared to dog shows
where golden retrievers of the wrong bodily proportions are kicked out of
the competition. I feel judging women primarily on their looks degrade
Moreover, beauty contests project an unrealistically thin image of the
ideal woman in the eyes of the public. As it is, we are already bombarded
with such silly standards by the mass media. Do we really need a beauty
pageant to further aggravate the situation? A John Hopkins study has
shown that more than half of the Miss America pageant winners are
underweight, with a Body Mass Index of about 18.5, well below the normal
BMI of 20 -- 25. Insecure women who watch the pageants are bound to
develop a false body image and may even become anorexic or even
bulimic just to look like beauty queens.
Being a Muslim, I feel beauty contests violate some religious or cultural
practices. I consider western style beauty contests as immoral, because
the female participants are typically not dressed modestly. This really
degrades women in the eyes of a conservative society.
Lastly, when the winner wears a crown and reigns for a year, she is
actually being exploited to do cheap promotions for the sponsors who
make use of her to promote their products until they see it fit to replace
her with some other beauties. This is cold and mercenary.
For all the reasons given, I find beauty contests degrading to women.
Every woman is beautiful in her own right. They do not have to take part in
beauty contests to make others appreciate them and tell them that they
are beautiful by other people's standards.