Beauty Pageants…Really?

If you read my blog, you already know that I wish I was skinnier/prettier, and it’s also no secret that I’m doing what it takes to make that happen.  I wish that I looked good in a swim suit or a form-fitting evening gown…I wish that I was half as pretty as some of the ladies who participated in the Miss America pageant over the weekend.  That’s the truth, and I admit it. </disclaimer>

After football just became too painful to watch, I found myself watching a portion of Miss America, and it left me feeling disgusted, smug and aggravated (just as it does anytime I witness a beauty pageant.)  Some of the ladies, most of whom were outwardly beautiful, sang songs about going to Disneyland during the talent portion while others gave bubblegum-type answers that I’d expect from tweens about the problems facing our nation.  But it doesn’t matter how ridiculous or out of touch these ladies are because they’re pretty, right?

My niece is outwardly beautiful, and if I had a daughter, I’d want the same for her.  I wouldn’t want her to struggle with obesity or her body image the way I struggle with mine, but I also wouldn’t want her to think that her looks alone define her.  And I wouldn’t want her to believe that looking hot in a bikini makes her “healthy” as they have portrayed in the the Miss America pageant.  That part really, really disgusted me.  Note to society: Being skinny does not make you physically fit!

I concede that maybe my perspective on beauty pageants could change as my body continues to change, but I don’t think it will.  I believe that women can and should be taken as seriously as men at work, at home, etc.  And I don’t think that’s likely to happen while they’re parading around on a stage wearing crowns or swim suits and stilettos.

I know that it’s my choice to watch or turn it off, and that’s what I did because witnessing weird and outdated contests that suggest that a woman’s most important job is to be skinny and pretty, makes me want to puke.  And changing “beauty pageant”  to “scholarship pageant” doesn’t make it any less vile.

How do you feel about beauty pageants?  Do you watch beauty pageants?  Do you think they’re awesome?  Outdated?

 

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Marion
    January 18, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Hi Kenlie! One thing I really should tell you is that I really do think you’re pretty. I think that every time I see your picture(s). Pageants, I think there is something much more useful to do. 😀

    🙂 Marion

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks Marion..I wasn’t fishing for that (like I do sometimes..hehe) But thank you..

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  • Reply
    Emily
    January 18, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Item 1) You are very pretty. I know, as a bigger girl myself, that it is hard to separate obesity with beauty. But you are beautiful, inside and out.

    Item 2) I’m not crazy about beauty pageants and their bastard offspring CHILD beauty pageants. I think they are pretty exploitative.

    Item 3) I am glad Miss Wisconsin won, as she had an actual talent (opera FTW!)

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      #2…agreed. It’s like a horrific little train wreck filled with insecure Moms and self-esteem issues….

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  • Reply
    Jodi
    January 18, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Kenlie,
    I like to watch them to make fun of them. I am not sure why. It amuses me that a lot of people have not much else to offer but their looks. With that being said not all “beautiful” (in the eye of the beholder in my opinion) women are vapid. My closest friend is breathtakingly beautiful and she is also a wonderful human being. I am not against pageants. I think if looks are you thing and you want to do it go for it. I let my daughter do a small natural beauty pageant and she loved it. I decided not to let her do anymore because #1 I am super competitive and #2 I don’t want her to change her opinion on herself based on what others think of her. At this point in her life she has great self esteem. I know I can’t stop that from changing (my parents couldn’t stop mine from being damaged) but I can TRY.

    Jodi

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      Of course….I think we all realize (I hope) that not all beautiful women are wretched…Who would ever think something so awful?

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  • Reply
    Tammy
    January 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

    As a teenager, I had the opportunity to do fashion shows. I loved them, but I knew being a model wasn’t in my future, so I went to school to get a degree. I have friends who were in pageants, some for the glory and others for the scholarship money (when Kellye Cash became Miss America, I knew the first alternate who became Miss Tennessee (she is now a doctor!)). I hate that there is so much emphasis on perfection. I looked through the photos of the contestants before the show (which I did not watch), and some of them looked so much older than they are with the heavy makeup and stiff hairdos. I guess there is a “uniform” look they are trying to achieve. For the most part, pageants are probably outdated, but they are no worse than TV shows like The Bachelor where women are trying to “win” a man.

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    • Reply
      Tammy
      January 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

      I meant to mention Miss South Carolina who was getting so much press because she lost over 100 pounds before she could even compete. That is quite an accomplishment, as you well know, so maybe it was a little bit of justice for her to strut her stuff – just to shut up the naysayers who probably didn’t think she could ever lose the weight, let alone represent her state in a beauty pageant.

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      • Reply
        Kenlie
        January 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

        And good for Bree…I’m sure she must feel pretty good about that…and she should.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Good point about pageants and the bachelor….I think that show is vile too….but I’ve watched parts of it just as I watched parts of the pageant.

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  • Reply
    mary
    January 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

    i watched them when i was younger and lived at home
    mostly because my mom made me watch them with her
    she would gasp and gush over all of them
    telling me what i could look like if i tried
    then she would cry at the end when one was crowned “oh my she is so wonderful”
    guess what she does the same thing to me now…only with relatives who she thinks are better than me.
    so in a nutshell …heck no i do not watch them anymore

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      January 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      This is horrible Mary…I’m so sorry that you suffered through that.

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  • Reply
    Meredith
    January 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I think they’re downright harmful. I’m proud to have raised a now 17-year-old daughter who is healthy and grounded. She knows what matters, is a talented musician, and is realistic about what she is good and bad at. She also has a healthy body image, partly I think because she has a twin brother and boys just don’t go there. I had to keep her away from my mother from age 13 until recently, as my mom started trying to inculcate the same neuroses about weight in her as she did in me. I put pageants in the same category as my mother’s interference, and I’m glad I’ve kept both away from her.

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  • Reply
    Natalie
    January 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I can’t stand the idea behind beauty pagents. They honestly make me so sad for the girls who participate. I can’t imagine standing in front of thousands of people being judged based on how I look in a bikini or evening gown, even if I had the perfect body! Asking a few questions about their beliefs doesn’t justify beauty, especially considering they’re paraded around the stage in sexy and revealing clothing with their hair and makeup done up to make them appear flawless.

    Beauty pagents show me all that is fake in this world. The way those girls look is not normal or natural. Nobody lives their life looking that good on a regular basis. They appear to give off perfection, when perfection simply doesn’t exist.

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  • Reply
    Natalie
    January 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    One more thought! Do you ever notice that the girls all weight next to nothing? You would never see a “bigger” girl competing for such a competition on a national stage because they aren’t classified as “beautiful,” even though they might embody the same “talents” and intelligence. Sad.

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  • Reply
    desertnails8
    January 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I’m not a fan of beauty pageants. I think if a teen or adult wants to participate that’s okay. Personally, I think the focus & attention isn’t on what makes a person good, stimulates personal growth, or make or a valuable member of our community, so that makes it a hobby, for those who enjoy it, in my mind. So I feel uncomfortable when a parent is making their kid participate because it just isn’t a healthy activity for a toddler or small child. Just my opinion. And by the way I do think you are beautiful although I don’t think I am – perhaps it’s that we are the harshest critics of ourselves – and that is stinkin’ thinkin!’

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  • Reply
    Mama Zee
    January 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    But the swimsuit competition is so important! How else can we be sure the nude photo scandal will actually net any profits?!

    Really, I don’t get beauty pageants. I’m glad they’re confident, enjoy mini-waving at car lot openings, and pretend to care about the world’s troubles. I’m just not sure why others are interested in watching it.

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  • Reply
    Jennifer
    January 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I do not like them, Sam I am…I think they’re obnoxious.

    Kenlie,
    You ARE beautiful.

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  • Reply
    Deb
    January 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    They are a joke to me, and always have been. Most (not all) of the women in them come of as being dumb as rocks, which if you ask me, makes their physical beauty a complete waste.

    And like someone else said- don’t even get me started of children’s pageants! Those are downright disgusting! What kind of mother would tramp her little girl up and parade them around like a piece of meat? Its sick.

    The adult ones are only marginally better because those women chose to enter and compete versus their parents deciding it for them.

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    • Reply
      Deb
      January 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Ack! I hit post too soon!

      Kenlie, you are beautiful! You have an incredible smile that lights up your whole face. That’s something to be proud of! Don’t ever let anyone make you feel any different.

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  • Reply
    David (Keep it up, David)
    January 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I watched Miss America, all the way through (with some fast-forwarding, thank you very much to my TiVo). I personally liked the informational graphics that popped up during the talent competition. How else would I have learned that one of the finalists once “almost swallowed a diamond” or another is “afraid of windmills”? I don’t give pageants much thought, to be honest, as I’m not a woman or a parent, but they’re usually pretty good for an unintentional laugh.

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  • Reply
    Nina Patricia
    January 19, 2012 at 2:36 am

    I have to say how funny it is about the perception we have of ourselves. The first blog I remember reading of you was one with a “sad face”, you where wearing sunglasses and I swear I say you look stunning (I believe I even commented that). I believe you have one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen and I seriously think you are GORG!!.
    I feel the same as you about myself, even though the Hubs tells me all the time how beautiful I am, and I do think I look pretty in some outfits, but I vow this year to LOVE me no matter what the scale says.

    (Hate the pageants btw, I want some smart ass sassy girl to come there and tell it like it is)

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  • Reply
    NewMe
    January 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Pageants are disgusting, sexist drivel. Child beauty pageants are pure exploitation.

    YOU, Kenlie, are absolutely lovely. Inside AND out.

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