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Are beauty contests harmful?

Are beauty contest potentially harmful to young women and young girls?

Yes or No and why?

Answer Question

Asked by Gingerwheel at 9:09 PM on Jun. 26, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 17 (4,310 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • I think it depends on the person and the reason they're entering. I did a few pageants in my early 20s because I needed the scholarship money. I did my best, won some, lost some and enjoyed the experience and the competition. The money I won helped pay for some of my education, but I also had other academic scholarships, plus I worked nearly full time.

    There were girls who were doing it because it sounded like fun, some who did it because they had their eye on Miss America and the spotlight, and some who did it because their moms told them to do it.

    By the time you get to the Miss America state and local feeder pageants, the girls are usually old enough to make their own decisions about whether it's a good use of their time and money. It's the baby and toddler pageants that are problematic for me because those girls don't know enough about themselves yet to value their unique beauty, rather than get crammed into a mold.

    Answer by SusanTheWriter at 9:21 PM on Jun. 26, 2011

  • I think that the "pageant world" takes something that could be cute and fun for young girls to a scary level. Do I think that pageants are bad? No, not really. I wouldn't be opposed to letting my girls get dressed up, even with some makeup (gasp, I know. LOL) and participate in one local contest a year or something if THEY showed interest.

    What I see is parents sinking hundreds and thousands of dollars into outfits and finding a new pageant each weekend for their children to participate in. They are so superficial that I wouldn't want my child to have that focus every single weekend...once a year or something in a life that is balanced out a little more is not such a big deal to me, but when you're "glamming it up" constantly, I think it messes with the child's mind and perception of herself.

    I realize there are scholarships at stake, but I wonder how often parents spend more than the child wins?!

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 9:50 PM on Jun. 26, 2011

  • I don't think it is harmful.. I mean yes sometimes you will find a crazy beauty queen, but you can also find crazy professions too ...

    Alot ( if not most) of them award scholarships, or money for scholarships... you get to meet new people, and have fun experiances...

    Yes it is sad and i am sure alot of girls feel badly when they dont win.... but kids also lose at sports, but it is fine for them to play those...

    Also, the only real reason I have ever heard for someone to hate pageants is because it only promotes beauty or downgrades women... well so does alot of things... tv, magazines, etc... except pageants actually have benefits.

    Answer by 2lilbumblebees at 9:51 PM on Jun. 26, 2011

  • the toddlers in tiaras freaks me out!!! I think it is a double sided thing, it can either build your confidence or make you even more insecure, if i had a daughter who wanted to be in a pageant maybe... for a scholarship lol

    Answer by My2boys0523 at 10:17 PM on Jun. 26, 2011

  • If it is not just to "be beautiful" and rely on your appearance to get you places in life,then I guess it would be harmless.
    The harmful part involves girls having breast implants, plastic surgery, dieting to be"perfect" when they really need to be working at educating themselves and being the best person they can be instead of the most beautful person.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 10:26 PM on Jun. 26, 2011

  • Any activity a parent makes about them and uses to hurt their child is a bad thing. I had wonderful experiences during my time on the pageant circuit. It was my choice and a fun mother daughter activity. I grew up poor so sponsors and my aunt having a friend who owned a dress shop was the only way I could compete. I sold the most ad space in every program and used those selling skills later in life. We kept it fun and reasonable. I never worried about my looks or weight my focus was on doing well in school and my talent which were huge things during the pageants. Poor grades would automatically get you marked down with the pageants I was in. 


    Answer by chaiteamomma at 11:42 PM on Jun. 26, 2011

  • in a way yes. I think it deepens superficiality & puts an image in girls head that they must be pretty.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 7:38 AM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • each family makes the situation either harmfu or okay... nothing is set in stone, the people andf how they act make the difference

    Answer by JoLee12345 at 9:10 AM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • I think it depends on the person and their personal views on what is beautiful, but do I like pagents? nope and I don't agree with them but if someone is just doing it for the fun of it, then I say go ahead ,I will not nor have I ever judged someone because they want to do them.

    Answer by momto4girzls at 10:46 AM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • NO! Not at all. Are the attitudes of some of the uber competitive moms potentially harmful? Yes. The contests themselves are a wonderful thing. They teach everything from self esteem to public speaking to posture...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:50 AM on Jun. 27, 2011

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