Pageant contestants offer more than just ‘beauty’

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Society pictures a beauty queen as a perfect face with a stick figure, but I’m here to knock out that stereotype.

First, I do not agree with the term beauty queen. There is so much more than beauty when it comes to a refined young woman competing for a pageant title. These so-called beauty queens consist of more than just a pretty face.

Most people who gawk at the idea of entering a pageant don’t realize the responsibilities that come with the title. The purpose isn’t to pick the prettiest woman and give her a crown—quite the contrary. A title holder represents her community through service and involvement. She is an intelligent woman who helps to lift up those around her.

I have experience in the pageant world, and I can honestly say I have seen several contestants who break the pageant stereotypes. The women I have talked to after the pageant have told me they learned so much about themselves throughout the experience. Participating in pageants offers an opportunity for women to build self-confidence and become more aware of their surroundings.

One of the most mocked portions of pageants is the swimsuit competition. I will agree that it can be intimidating, but the purpose of this phase of competition is not meant for women to compare themselves and pick who is the skinniest.

In several pageants, they refer to this phase as the Lifestyle and Fitness portion. The point is to show that a woman is healthy and takes care of her body.

Might I also add that not every pageant has a swimsuit phase. Some pageants will highlight fitness by performing a fitness routine and others modeling their favorite sportswear. There are also pageants that don’t even have a fitness portion.

Another factor many people don’t realize is, that in several pageants, much of the judging happens behind the scenes.

Every pageant consists of a personal interview with the panel of judges, which gives the judges an opportunity to get to know the women before the rest of the competition. 

There is more to pageants than just strutting your stuff on stage. The interview portion is a big part because a title holder must be able to communicate and represent herself well.

A title holder prepares herself for the future, and holding a title opens several doors. Many employers find the experience impressive and notice exceptional interview skills.

Overall, pageants are meant to create confident women who stand as role models to those around them. Pageant participants will attest to positive experiences by participating in pageants.

The women who choose to compete for the right reasons learn to have a deeper respect for themselves and others.