Beauty pageant

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The winners of the International Pageant of Pulchritude 1930 competition. Miss Universe 1930 Winners.jpg
The winners of the International Pageant of Pulchritude 1930 competition.

A beauty pageant or beauty contest is a competition that has traditionally focused on judging and ranking the physical attributes of the contestants, although most contests have evolved to also incorporate personality traits, intelligence, talent, and a contestant's ability to answer judges' questions on various subjects as judged criteria. The term refers largely to contests for women such as the Big Four international beauty pageants. Hundreds of thousands of beauty contests are held annually, [1] but the Big Four are considered the most prestigious, [2] widely covered and broadcast by media. [3] The Wall Street Journal, [4] BBC News, [5] CNN, [6] Xinhua News Agency, [7] and global news agencies such as Reuters, [8] [9] Associated Press [10] and Agence France-Presse [11] [12] collectively refer to the four major pageants as "Big Four" namely: Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth. [13] [14] [15]

Contents

The organizers of each pageant may determine the rules of the competition, including the age range of contestants. The rules may also require the contestants to be unmarried, and be "virtuous", "amateur", and available for promotions, besides other criteria. It may also set the clothing standards in which contestants will be judged, including the type of swimsuit.

Beauty pageants are generally multi-tiered, with local competitions feeding into the larger competitions. For example, the international pageants have hundreds or thousands of local competitions. Child beauty pageants mainly focus on beauty, gowns, sportswear modelling, talent, and personal interviews. Adult and teen pageants focus on makeup, hair and gowns, swimsuit modelling, and personal interviews. A winner of a beauty contest is often called a beauty queen. The rankings of the contestants are referred to as placements.

Possible awards of beauty contests include titles, tiaras, crowns, sashes, scepters, savings bonds, scholarships, and prize money. Some pageants award college scholarships, to the winner or multiple runners-up. [16]

Top three countries who are successful in all Beauty Pageants around the world are Venezuela, United States and Philippines.[ citation needed ]

History

Early years

Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset was crowned the 'Queen of Beauty' at the Eglinton Tournament of 1839, the first known beauty pageant Jane Georgina, Lady Seymour, Eglinton Tournament..jpg
Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset was crowned the 'Queen of Beauty' at the Eglinton Tournament of 1839, the first known beauty pageant
Woman receiving an award for winning a beauty pageant, 1922 Beauty show, 1922, (8-5-22) LOC npcc.06819 (cropped).jpg
Woman receiving an award for winning a beauty pageant, 1922
Lone Star State Selects Beauties for 100 Year Pageant [17]

European festivals dating to the medieval era provide the most direct lineage for beauty pageants. For example, English May Day celebrations always involved the selection of a May Queen. In the United States, the May Day tradition of selecting a woman to serve as a symbol of bounty and community ideals continued, as young beautiful women participated in public celebrations. [18]

A beauty pageant was held during the Eglinton Tournament of 1839, organized by Archibald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton, as part of a re-enactment of a medieval joust that was held in Scotland. The pageant was won by Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, the wife of Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset, and sister of Caroline Norton, and she was proclaimed as the "Queen of Beauty". [19] [ unreliable source? ]

Entrepreneur Phineas Taylor Barnum staged the first modern American pageant in 1854, but his beauty contest was closed down after public protest. [20] [21]

National pageants

Beauty contests became more popular in the 1880s. In 1888, the title of 'beauty queen' was awarded to an 18-year-old Creole contestant at a pageant in Spa, Belgium. All participants had to supply a photograph and a short description of themselves to be eligible to enter and a final selection of 21 was judged by a formal panel. [22] Such events were not regarded as respectable. Beauty contests came to be considered more respectable with the first modern "Miss America" contest held in 1921. [23]

The oldest pageant still in operation today is the Miss America pageant, which was organized in 1921 by a local businessman as a means to entice tourists to Atlantic City, New Jersey. [24] The pageant hosted the winners of local newspaper beauty contests in the "Inter-City Beauty" Contest, which was attended by over one hundred thousand people. Sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C., was crowned Miss America 1921, having won both the popularity and beauty contests, and was awarded $100. [25]

International pageants

Bathing beauty contest, USA, 1920 11 women and a little girl lined up for bathing beauty contest.png
Bathing beauty contest, USA, 1920

In May 1920, promoter C.E. Barfield of Galveston, Texas organized a new event known as "Splash Day" on the island. The event featured a "Bathing Girl Revue" competition as the centerpiece of its attractions. [26] [27] [28] [29] The event was the kick-off of the summer tourist season in the city and was carried forward annually. The event quickly became known outside of Texas and, beginning in 1926, the world's first international contest was added, known as the International Pageant of Pulchritude. [28] This contest is said to have served as a model for modern pageants. [29] [30] [31] It featured contestants from England, Russia, Turkey, and many other nations and the title awarded at the time was known as "Miss Universe". [29] [32] The event was discontinued in the United States in 1932 because of the Depression (the international competition was revived briefly in Belgium).[ citation needed ]

After World War II

The popularity of the Miss America pageant prompted other organizations to establish similar contests in the 1950s and beyond. Some were significant while others were trivial, such as the National Donut Queen contest. The Miss World contest started in 1951, Miss Universe started in 1952 as did Miss USA. Miss International started in 1960. Miss Asia Pacific International which started in 1968 is the first and oldest beauty pageant in Asia. [33] [34] The Miss Black America contest started in 1968 [35] in response to the exclusion of African American women from the Miss America pageant. The Miss Universe Organization started the Miss Teen USA in 1983 for the 14-19 age group. Miss Earth started in 2001, which channels the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to actively promote the preservation of the environment. [36] [37] These contests continue to this day.

Swimsuit competition

The requirement for contestants to wear a swimsuit was a controversial aspect of the various competitions. The controversy was heightened with the increasing popularity of the bikini after its introduction in 1946. The bikini was banned for the Miss America contest in 1947 because of Roman Catholic protesters. [38] When the Miss World contest started in 1951, there was an outcry when the winner was crowned in a bikini. Pope Pius XII condemned the crowning as sinful, [39] [40] and countries with religious traditions threatened to withdraw delegates. [41] The bikini was banned for future and other contests. It was not until the late 1990s that they became permitted again, [24] but still generated controversy when finals were held in countries where bikinis (or swimsuits in general) were socially disapproved. [24] [42] For example, in 2003, Vida Samadzai from Afghanistan caused an uproar in her native country when she participated in the Miss Earth 2003 contest in a red bikini. [43] [44] She was condemned by the Afghan Supreme Court, saying such a display of the female body goes against Islamic law and Afghan culture. [45] [46] In 2013, the swimsuit round of the Miss World contest was dropped because of Islamist protests in Bali (Indonesia), where the contest took place. [42] In 2014, the Miss World contest eliminated the swimsuit competition from its pageant. [47]

In 2017, Carousel Productions was criticized of objectifying women during the Miss Earth 2017 competition where delegates wore swimsuits during the event with their faces concealed by a veil in the Beauty of Figure and Form, a segment first introduced in the Miss Philippines Earth 2017 pageant. [48] [49] [50] [51] It was one of the three preliminary judging segments of the pageant that include Poise and Beauty of Face and Environmental and Intelligence Competition. [52] [48] The organizers defended the "beauty of figure and form" segment and released a statement that the said round was intended to promote strict impartiality during pre-judging by focusing on the contestants' curves, execution and not beautiful face. [53] [49]

Major beauty pageants

The term "beauty pageant" refers largely to contests for women. [54] [55] [56] Major international contests for women include the yearly Miss World competition (founded by Eric Morley in 1951), Miss Universe (founded in 1952), Miss International (founded in 1960), and Miss Earth (founded in 2001 with environmental awareness as its concern). [57] [58] [59] These are considered the Big Four pageants, the four largest and most famous international beauty contests for single or unmarried women. [60] [61]

FoundedPageantOrganizerLocationBikini allowedBikini regulation
1921 Miss America Miss America Organization [24] Atlantic City, New Jersey 1997–20171947: Bikinis were outlawed because of Roman Catholic protesters. [38]
1997: Contestants allowed to wear bikinis. [24]
2018: Swimsuit segment of the pageant was dropped. [62]
1951 Miss World Eric Morley,
Miss World Organization
London, England1951–20141951: The first winner Kiki Håkansson from Sweden was crowned in a bikini. Countries with religious traditions threatened to withdraw delegates, [41] and Pope Pius XII condemned the crowning as sinful. [39] [40]
1952: Swimsuits toned down to more modest designs. [24]
1996: Miss World contest was held in Bangalore, India, but the swimsuit round was shifted to Seychelles because of intense protests. [63]
2013: The swimsuit round was dropped because of Islamist protests in Bali, Indonesia, where the contest took place. [42]
2015: The Beach Fashion segment of the pageant was dropped. [64]
1952 Miss Universe William Morris Endeavor New York City1997–present1952: Bikinis banned.
1997: Contestants allowed to wear bikinis. [24]
1960 Miss International International Cultural Association Tokyo, Japan1960–present1964: Bikinis made mandatory
1983 Miss Teen USA William Morris Endeavor New York City1997–20151983: Bikinis banned.
1997: Contestants allowed to wear bikinis. [24]
2000: Tankinis were provided as an option for the first (and only) time. [24]
2016: Bikini competition was removed and replaced with athletic wear [65]
2001 Miss Earth Carousel Productions Quezon City, Philippines 2003–present2003: Vida Samadzai from Afghanistan participating in a bikini caused an uproar in her native country. [66] [67] [68]
2017: The "Beauty of Form and Figure" preliminary judging in Miss Earth 2017 was introduced where the delegates walked in white two-piece bikinis but their faces were covered by a white veil to focus the judgment on the body figures on this portion. [69] [70]

Big Four dethronements and resignations

Dethronements and resignations are rare for the Big Four pageant winners, but when it does, it creates media attention.

The Miss World pageant has experienced 3 cases of dethronement or resignation instances:

In Miss Universe, Oxana Fedorova of Russia was crowned Miss Universe 2002 and was dethroned 4 months later as she was unable to fulfill her obligations. [81] [82] She was the first to be dethroned in the history of Miss Universe. [83] She was replaced by first runner-up Justine Pasek of Panama. [84] [85] In its early years, there were two instances where the reigning Miss Universe opted to resign from her position: Armi Kuusela, Miss Universe 1952 from Finland, who held the distinction of being the first Miss Universe winner gave up her crown in less than a year to marry Filipino businessman Virgilio Hilario while Amparo Muñoz, Miss Universe 1974 of Spain refused to travel to Japan and instead resigned after six months of her reign. [86] [87] [88] However, since the pageant had no concrete rule on resignation at that time, they were allowed to keep their titles. [89]

In Miss Earth, the 2002 winner, Dzejla Glavovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was dethroned of her crown six months into her reign, after she failed to show up at several environmental events. [90] [91] According to Carousel Productions, organizer of the Miss Earth contest, Glavovic was dethroned because of "her inability to fulfill the duties and responsibilities as the Miss Earth titleholder, in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth in the Miss Earth contract that she signed." [92] [93] She was succeeded by first runner-up Winfred Omwakwe of Kenya as Miss Earth 2002. [94]

In Miss International, Ikumi Yoshimatsu, Miss International 2012 was the first titleholder of the pageant from Japan to be dethroned shortly before the end of her reign. [95] [96] [97] She was ordered by The International Culture Association (Miss International organizer) to skip the succession ceremony and "play sick and shut up" out of fear of scandal. [98] The Miss International organizer cited the reason for her dethronement was due to her involvement in a contract dispute with a talent agency in which she claimed that she was pressured to sign by Burning Productions, a film production company which is rumored to be linked with the Japanese underworld, but she refused and went ahead by starting her own company. [99] Yoshimatsu filed criminal charges against one of Japan's most powerful talent agency executives, Genichi Taniguchi of Burning Productions, for allegedly stalking, intimidating, and harassing her. [100]

Diversity

Besides the international beauty pageants, numerous minor competitions exist throughout the world displaying the different perceptions of beauty. Some examples of criteria to select beauty queens that are unique to certain cultures include the Indian history and traditional craft skills in the Miss Indian American pageant, [101] Indian dress section in the Miss India USA pageant [102] and the principles of "black beauty" that became accepted in the Miss Howard University competition. [103] The winner is often viewed as a model for the "ideal" community member. [104] Through the competitions, the contestants can learn how to present themselves in public and how to cultivate certain traits such as confidence or poise. [105] In some cases, the competitors are selected to act as a representative on behalf of the community. In the African American community of Howard University, the selected Miss Howard University served as advocates for the Civil Rights Movement in the decades following the 1960s. [103] Additionally, the Miss Landmine competition situated in Angola allow victims to serve as advocates on behalf of other victims of mining accidents. [106]

Researchers suggest that the emergence of beauty pageants in countries outside the United States is linked to an economic boom geared towards a more consumeristic lifestyle. For example, in India, from 1996 to 2000, the personal care industry grew by 25% while the number of women applying for the Miss India competition increased from 1000 people in 1993 to 6500 people in 2001. [107] Additionally, after China hosted about 6 international beauty pageants in 2004, the beauty industry increased in influence in the area. At the same time, the number of regional beauty pageants in the country increased. [108]


Benefits

Increased exposure for personal and professional endeavors[ citation needed ], gain personal development skills through coaching and preparation[ citation needed ], acquire opportunities to communicate your vision and goals efficiently and concisely[ citation needed ], and have the ability to inspire others to believe in themselves with your confidence and determination to be successful[ citation needed ]. Pageantry also teaches you how to handle stress by learning to deal with pressure and disappointments[ citation needed ].

Criticism

The panel of judges for the 1973 Miss Amsterdam pageant Miss Amsterdam jury 1973.jpg
The panel of judges for the 1973 Miss Amsterdam pageant

Critics of beauty pageants argue that such contests reinforce the idea that girls and women should be valued primarily for their physical appearance, and that this puts tremendous pressure on women to conform to conventional beauty standards by spending time and money on fashion, cosmetics, hair styling, and even cosmetic surgery. They say that this pursuit of physical beauty even encourages some women to diet to the point of harming themselves. [109] [110] [111]

The London Feminist Network argues that rather than being empowering, beauty pageants do the opposite: denying women's full humanity by subjecting them to objectification, denying their full humanity by maintaining that their primary purpose is to be attractive. [112]

Another criticism is in the way beauty pageant is quantifiably scored as highlighted by the "Myth of the Perfect 10". [113] Beauty becomes a numerical coefficient in ranking contestants, and this type of scoring still remains followed as a system even in nationwide beauty pageants such as Miss America. [114]

Researchers suggest that these events strengthen skills, such as interpersonal communications, self-assurance, and public speaking, which prove to be useful in future career paths. [115]

See also

Related Research Articles

Miss Universe Annual international beauty pageant competition

Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant that is run by the United States-based Miss Universe Organization. This is the largest pageant in the world in terms of live TV coverage, airing yearly in more than 190 countries worldwide to an audience of over 500 million people. Along with Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth, Miss Universe is one of the Big Four international beauty pageants- the most coveted beauty titles among all the international pageant competitions.

Miss World beauty contest

Miss World is the oldest-running international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Since his death in 2000, Morley's widow, Julia Morley, has co-chaired the pageant. Along with Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth, this pageant is one of the Big Four international beauty pageants—the most coveted beauty titles when it comes to international pageant competitions.

Miss Earth Organization, annual environmental awareness-themed international beauty competition

Miss Earth is an annual international environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awareness, conservation and social responsibility affiliated and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme. The contest is the third largest beauty pageant in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals. Along with Miss World, Miss Universe, and Miss International, the competition is one of the Big Four international beauty pageants — the most coveted beauty titles among all the international pageant competitions.

Miss India or Femina Miss India is a national beauty pageant in India that annually selects representatives to compete in Miss World, one of the Big Four major international beauty pageants. It is organised by Femina, a women's magazine published by The Times Group. Since 2013, Femina also organizes Miss Diva separately which sends representatives to Miss Universe.

Vida Samadzai Afghan model

Vida Samadzai is an Afghan-American actress, model and beauty pageant titleholder who was Miss Afghanistan in 2003. As the first Afghan woman to participate in an international beauty pageant since 1974, her appearance in a red bikini in the 2003 edition of Miss Earth pageant created controversy in her native country. She was a contestant on the popular reality show Bigg Boss in 2011.

Swimsuit competition

A swimsuit competition, more commonly now called a bikini contest, is a beauty contest which is judged and ranked while contestants wear a swimsuit, typically a bikini. One of the judging criteria is the physical attractiveness of the contestants. The Big Four international beauty pageants have included examples of such a competition.

Miss International Beauty pageant competition, Organization

Miss International is a Japanese-based international beauty pageant organized by The International Culture Association. The pageant was first held in 1960. Miss International is the fourth largest pageant in the world in terms of having crowned national winners to participate in the international contest.

Džejla Glavović is a Bosnian fashion model and beauty queen. She was crowned in the Philippines as the second Miss Earth representing her country Bosnia and Herzegovina and became the first Bosnian woman to win a major international title in beauty contest.

Miss Philippines Earth , originally titled "Miss Philippines" (2001-2003) then "Miss Earth Philippines" (2018), is a national beauty pageant held annually in search of the most beautiful and environmentally-conscious and aware woman in the Philippines.

Miss Nigeria is an annual beauty pageant show which showcases positive attributes of Nigerian women and awards university scholarships. The winner portrays exemplary qualities and serves as a role model for young women in the country. The pageant is currently organized by Daily Times.

Miss Marianas is the national Beauty pageant in Northern Marianas.

Miss Gay Philippines

Miss Gay Philippines (MGP) is a gay beauty pageant in the Philippines. Considered the longest-running national gay beauty pageant in the Philippines, Miss Gay Philippines was founded in 1979 by entertainment journalist and talk show host Chito Alcid. Miss Gay Philippines is currently owned by the Betera Group. Miss gay Philippines 2018 Neil Carado. 1st Runner up Prinz Dagami. 2nd Runner up Alvin Verra. Last runner up Canuel,John Daniel. 2019 grand winner: Vince Vios, 1st runner up: Russell Gumpal, 2nd runner up: Red Elli

This is a list of the Philippines' representatives and their placements at the Big Four international beauty pageants. The Philippines, widely considered a beauty pageant powerhouse, has won in all four pageants with a total of ninety-three placements and fifteen victories:

The Big Four refers to the four major international beauty pageants for women – Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth. The group was first described by the China Daily newspaper in 2004 as "the world's four major beauty contests", Chosun Ilbo newspaper in 2010 described them as "the world's top four beauty pageants". In 2017, the Latin Times considered the group as the "most important pageants in the world". In 2018, NBC News referred to them as the "four biggest international pageants", while Agencia EFE delineated them in 2019 as the "four most influential beauty pageants in the world".

Miss Kyrgyzstan is a national beauty pageant in Kyrgyzstan.

Angelee Claudette Francisco delos Reyes is a Filipino beauty titleholder and Miss Philippines Earth 2013. Prior to her win at Miss Philippines Earth 2013, she was a contender in several national beauty pageants including Miss Philippines Earth 2009, Miss Bikini Philippines 2011, and Binibining Pilipinas 2012. She is Miss Earth 2013 Top 8 Finalist.

Miss Universe 2016 65th edition of Miss Universe held in Manila

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Miss Universe 2015 64th edition of the Miss Universe pageant

Miss Universe 2015, the 64th Miss Universe pageant, was held on December 20, 2015 at The AXIS in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Paulina Vega of Colombia crowned her successor Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines at the end of the event. After 42 years, this is the third time the Philippines won Miss Universe, after Margarita Moran in 1973. 80 contestants competed for the crown.

Catriona Gray Filipino-Australian model, singer, and beauty queen and Miss Universe 2018

Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray is a Filipino-Australian model, singer, and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe 2018. She is the fourth Filipina to win the Miss Universe competition. Previously, Gray was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2018 and Miss World Philippines 2016.

This is a list of Spain's official representatives and their placements at the Big Four international beauty pageants, considered the most important in the world.

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