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elbanditoroso's avatar

Is the Miss USA contest meaningful or useful in any way? Is it harmless or harmful?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28831points) July 13th, 2015

Yesterday Miss Oklahoma won the 2015 Miss USA pageant.


Forgetting about the Trump connection, are beauty pageants good or bad for society?

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17 Answers

Pachy's avatar

I think it’s a relic from the past that should be lowered and put in a museum like the Confederate flag. I see no real benefit in its continuation.

marinelife's avatar

Well, tell me, would you want to parade around and be judged based on your male pulchritude? With brief talent and a speaking piece thrown in? In a speedo? Evening clothes?

Pandora's avatar

I would rather see Miss USA and Miss Universe turn into a contest only based on intelligence and ground breaking inventions or discoveries. Make it like Jeopardy, only they still wear the gowns (because I do love the gown parts) but they only progress by answering the set questions correctly. Not their beauty or body shape. In this way the cash winning can be used for them to advance in their field of study and encourage young girls to develop their minds.
Call it Ms. (yes married or single) Beautiful Mind USA / Universe.

bossob's avatar

Wasn’t it 20+ years ago that there was growing sentiment by the public that pageants were just meat markets that objectified women, and pageants began losing money due to decreasing TV ratings?

To counter the trend, some pageants began dropping the swimsuit portion of the contest, and began to re-brand themselves by advertising some of the benefits of being a contestant: networking, new culture exposure, travel, cash and educational benefits that might not otherwise be available to a contestant. Their marketing efforts seem to have reversed the downward trend somewhat.

I don’t watch them because I don’t find them interesting. But pageants at the highest level, those that we see on TV, will be around for as long as there are parents who play ‘dolls’ with their little girls by entering them in pageants before they even start school.

ragingloli's avatar

It is nothing more than a meat market, where the “value” of the contestant is determined purely by superficialities.
Do you think a superintelligent woman with a PhD in Theoretical Physics, but who happens to be obese, old and ‘ugly’ would have any chance at winning that contest?

Pandora's avatar

Well they can make the contest with limitations. Must not be over 30 % body fat so that it doesn’t look like anyone is encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle and as for ugly. Well make up can make anyone look decent. Does not have to be a beauty. As it is a lot of the girls in pageants today are not really totally beyond beautiful. Some are plain Jane’s with make-up. Their make up won. The more symmetrical the features the prettier a person is. I’ve seen plenty with lips too big or eyes too small or too large, or one eye slightly lower than the other, or bad skin. They just cover it all up by enhancing other features.
But in my scenario there are no judges after they have been selected to go up for the championship. I remember my son participating in a competition called the Brain Bowl in Japan. I wasn’t able to attend but from what I was told everyone cheered for the winners whole heartily. My son was so amazed to be surrounded by so many intelligent people. There were girls and boys. He said he never saw so many people appreciate his knowledge. He came in 3rd place. That’s the type of contest we should have. A beautiful mind is sexy.

stanleybmanly's avatar

To my mind, it’s the product of a bygone age, when young women could be trotted around and judged like like livestock. The entire process is dedicated to the furtherance of all the inane pursuits around supposed “beauty”, frivolous nonsense formerly deemed necessary in the pursuit of the primary career goal – “landing a (suitable) husband”.

Pachy's avatar

@stanleybmanly, we’re in total agreement!

stanleybmanly's avatar

And of course the final and paradigm insult is that the entire cattle call is but a stepping stone to the big show run and owned by Donald Trump.

josie's avatar

Harmless nonsense.
Some people like that stuff. Others don’t.
But it is a way to win money.

Plus, it’s a nice break from an increasingly obese landscape, so in that way it has a few redeeming features I suppose.

Here2_4's avatar

I think they are terrific. Nobody is forced to enter, or watch. I remember being a little girl watching. I never thought those women were less for being beautiful. There is nothing wrong to want to be beautiful. It is not shoved at us like commercials shove round butts barely clothed in our faces. It retains some grace and charm, two things severely endangered in our present culture.

Here2_4's avatar

BTW Trump is out.

jca's avatar

When I was little I used to watch, because in those days (many moons ago), there were only 3 channels plus PBS. Now I’m not interested and I think the ladies look fake. Some people like to watch the pageants, and I guess as long as advertisers pay to advertise, and sponsors pay to sponsor, the pageants will go on.

JLeslie's avatar

I rarely watch, but sometimes I catch a few minutes of a pageant. I actually don’t have a problem with appreciating how beautiful some people are. Most of the women on pageants now often look a little too fake, and the high heals are too high, and the questions they ask the women are too brief. I remember when I was a young girl one year Miss New York won and she was what everyone called a “natural” beauty.

Many countries still love the pageants. I know my Latin American friends, especially those a little older than me, love to watch them. Even though I am a little critical of that, because I think it has a lot to do with a more macho culture, which I have negative thoughts about, I do think that having a Miss America or Miss USA as an embassador kind of plays well internationally.

I’m a little surprised we still have the pageants in America, I don’t know how much longer they will hang on. I guess in the end I am pretty neutral about it. I saw an episode of a show where teenagers get to become something they aren’t. This one girl went from being a t-shirt and jeans, no make-up, not popular, farm girl, who many perceived as homely, to competing in a pageant; that was her wish, to be in a beauty pageant. The show styled her hair, taught her how to make up her face, posture, answering questions, walking, and she was absolutely beautiful. A natural beauty really, but lacked the confidence and know how. Competing in a pageant was great for her in my opinion. She didn’t need a pageant to learn those things, but the pageant represented being pretty I guess. Pretty, unfortunately, still matters in our society. That show proved that pretty takes some work, and that almost everyone can be pretty.

cazzie's avatar

I had to look this up the other day because it was annoying me. Did you know that other countries do NOT run these pageants? When you see women from other countries in the Miss Universe or what ever contest, they are selected by a marketing company from photos provided by modeling agencies. These contests are not for the benefit of the young women. They are marketing exercises for the sole purpose of generating revenue for sponsors and the corporation behind them. The ‘prize money’ is chicken feed compared to the commercial revenue. Why? Because people are mesmerized by comparison and displays of looks. It feeds the beast that is really the worst in us all. Like professional sports teams that have their hands out for public money to build them new stadiums.

If a young person lacks confidence, groups like the scouts or toastmasters or forensics is a much more beneficial venue.

talljasperman's avatar

I thought that the shows were to help Trump find his next wife.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie That is very interesting.

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