Performing And Perfecting: The Negative Effects Of Beauty Pageants

832 words - 4 pages

Have you ever considered entering a beauty pageant because it seemed fun? These beauty pageants do appear to be fun but they can have a lasting effect on your perception of beauty. Even though beauty pageants build confidence through performance and help boost careers, they harm society by lowering self-esteem, putting too much emphasis on beauty at a young age, and also providing unrealistic images of beauty.

People argue that beauty pageants help boost self confidence through performance on stage and that pageants can help you later in life. “The pageant has given me a lot of self confidence and self-esteem. The pageant directors make me feel wonderful and brought out qualities in me that I never knew were there” (qtd. in Decker). This is not always the case. Different scenarios affect girls differently. She stated that the directors made her feel wonderful but there is no guarantee that a director or anyone will pay special attention to a child. Another argument is that beauty pageants help later in life. An example of this is Shannon Depuy. She won prize money in pageants which helped put her through college (Decker). Shannon Depuy did pageants for a lot of her life. She is described as a “veteran All-star of American beauty pageant circuit” (Decker). This is good for Shannon since she had practice, but beginning beauty competitors may not be so lucky. Depuy having a history of pageants gave her an advantage. The fact that beauty pageants help boost confidence and help later in life is great for the girls this applies to, but this is not the case for beginning beauty competitors who are usually the main competitors.

Beauty pageants forster beliefs of unrealistic expectations for beauty. “There are unrealistic expectations to be perfect. They [competitors] strive to be flawless, and they can take that too far,” says psychologist and nutritionist Martina Cartwright (qtd. in Triggs). The pressure of society to be beautiful weighs heavily on anyone and adding pressure by entering them into a beauty pageant can only make things worse. This is setting your child up for low self-esteem which can manifest into other problems. “The mental health and development consequences of this are significant and impact on identity, self-esteem, and body perception,” says Phillip Brock (Nicky). The mental health and development of girls is already slightly damaged during everyday living. If a guy doesn’t like you, if you don’t find yourself pretty when you look...

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