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Group Discussion: Beauty pageants objectify women

Aug 5, 2014 15:30 IST

    Beauty - the word is very powerful as it symbolizes the appearance of a person. Moreover, it showcases the distinctness of person. Many people also think that beauty defines women and women define beauty.

    Beauty Pageants are basically the beauty contests or beauty competitions that are held at various levels that primarily focuses on the physical appearance of women. Although it also looks for other factors as intelligence, talent, personality etc but the prime concern is physical appearance and that depicts beauty. And women are one of those creations in this universe who are more keen and concerned about looking beautiful so such contests prevails and perpetuates in all areas and parts of the world.

    To a greater extent we may find the fact that beauty pageants objectify women and that’s because:

    1. Judgment by physical appearance: It is basically focused on judging the female contestants on the basis of their physical appearance and the way they carry themselves. So to a much fuller extent it objectifies the women.

    2. Biased approach: Since the beauty pageants select only a few number of women to participate and rejects them therein at subsequent levels, it feels like making a biased approach for those who are rejected or those who were never selected even to participate because to a much fuller extent it is to be understood that every person either man or woman is born beautiful with a unique identity and skill and no one can discriminate them on the basis of appearance. Hence, more or less that leads to objectification of the subjects.

    3. Marks superiority over other segments and competitions for women: As every women wants to look beautiful and come forth in the society as a famous and beautiful lady, most of the women who falls in this category go for beauty pageants as a sole platform rather than fulfilling their dreams or passion in other fields of education and studies.

    On the contrary, if we look at the hidden prospect then we may go against the statement saying Beauty Pageants objectify women with evident facts like:

    1) They are true contests: Beauty pageants are much more than just a beauty contest looking for appearance. They look for physical appearance along with IQ level, presentation, and attitude, communication skills, confidence level and much more and based on all these parameters they judge the best. So, rather than objectification it is practical method of contesting and selecting a women from every prospect.

    2) Pre-judgement of contestants: All the contestants of the beauty pageants are screened beforehand to make sure that they fulfill the perfect and promising educational background and other eligibility criteria before they are entered to the contests. So, this is not a way or technique to be called as objectifying.

    3) Beauty pageants glorify women rather than objectifying women: The beauty pageants glorify women by the way they want to be done and for that one major reason objectification remains a vague concern. Glorious achievements and getting recognized at a grand level and to a much broader audience reach is what makes sense to the contestants of beauty pageants and hence it won’t adhere to objectifying women but to glorifying women.

    Objectification or non-objectification of women depends upon the spectators as is famously said, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” So, in this context, to a much greater extent, perception matters.

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    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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