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Beauty Pageants - Good or Bad?

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I just came across this:

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Viewership for Miss America 2019 plunges 23% after swimsuit portion is cut
By DANIELLE CINONE | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | SEP 10, 2018 | 11:10 AM

No swimsuits? No viewers.

Sunday’s Miss America 2019 competition — the first time participants did not don a swimsuit — reached 4.3 million viewers on ABC, a 23% plunge in viewership from last year’s broadcast, according to Nielsen overnights.

Does such a substantial drop in viewership - nearly 1 in 4 viewers - indicate that a substantial portion of the viewers were tuning it to, well, ogle beautiful women in skimpy swimsuits?

Is "ogle" perhaps too loaded a term?  "Admire," perhaps?  "Make eyes at?" "Lay eyes upon?" "Look fixedly?"

Are beauty pageants/contests ultimately inappropriate?  They seem to feed into many insecurities and anxieties that women face.  They literally measure the worth of a woman by comparing her to other women.  And the measurement is, at the end, mostly about physical beauty.  And the concept of "physical beauty" easily ends up becoming distorted and unhealthy.  From the Wikipedia article:

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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 claim that this pursuit of physical beauty even encourages some women to go on a diet to the point of harming themselves.[47][48][49]

The London Feminist Network argues that rather than being empowering, beauty pageants do exactly the opposite because they deny the full humanity of women by placing them as the subject of objectification; they reinforce the idea that a woman's only purpose is to look attractive.[50]

Another criticism that is placed on beauty pageants is in the way beauty is quantifiably scored as highlighted by the "Myth of the Perfect 10".[51] 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.[52]

BYU used to have a beauty pageant:

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Current BYU students aren’t used to having a university-sponsored pageant take place and perhaps don’t know it used to be a BYU reality. Former Miss BYU contestants and winners remember their experiences in the pageants as they celebrate Women’s History month.

Thirty female BYU students would compete for a chance at royalty each year in the Miss BYU homecoming pageant. Beginning in 1937, the pageant quickly paved a legacy of honor and poise as it became a school tradition.

While other universities currently sponsor pageants, the Miss BYU pageant ended in 1988. The decision to end the tradition was influenced by a statement made by President Spencer W. Kimball, as reported by the Deseret News.

“These queen contests — it seems every class, every group, every club, must have a queen,” President Kimball said. “The flattery resulting is frequently destructive to the queen. If I had 100 daughters, I would resist any one’s ever becoming a queen, the object of a beauty parade or contest.”

...

Unlike most pageants, the Miss BYU pageant held no swimsuit competition.

“This pageant was different and I knew it,” Fullmer said. “It wasn’t part of the Miss America pageant system. It was its own thing.”

Some contestants were relieved BYU didn’t require a swimsuit portion. Harris said she doesn’t think she would have participated in the pageant if there were a swimsuit competition.

“To me, I just felt like that was irrelevant,” she said. “I think they handled the pageant very well because I like that they didn’t make it all about looks and body image.”

I remember watching the Miss America Pageant when I was young, but it's probably been 30 years since I have watched it or any other such pageant.  Now that I am a husband and father, I think I would have a hard time with one of my daughters wanting to be in one of these.  And it's not really that I am puritanical about such things.  I just find the notion of a contest pitting women or girls against each other based mostly on their physical appearance to be inherently problematic.

So . . . thoughts? 

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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46 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I just came across this:

Does such a substantial drop in viewership - nearly 1 in 4 viewers - indicate that a substantial portion of the viewers were tuning it to, well, ogle beautiful women in skimpy swimsuits?

Is "ogle" perhaps too loaded a term?  "Admire," perhaps?  "Make eyes at?" "Lay eyes upon?" "Look fixedly?"

Are beauty pageants/contests ultimately inappropriate?  They seem to feed into many insecurities and anxieties that women face.  They literally measure the worth of a woman by comparing her to other women.  And the measurement is, at the end, mostly about physical beauty.  And the concept of "physical beauty" easily ends up becoming distorted and unhealthy.  From the Wikipedia article:

BYU used to have a beauty pageant:

I remember watching the Miss America Pageant when I was young, but it's probably been 30 years since I have watched it or any other such pageant.  Now that I am a husband and father, I think I would have a hard time with one of my daughters wanting to be in one of these.  And it's not really that I am puritanical about such things.  I just find the notion of a contest pitting women or girls against each other based mostly on their physical appearance to be inherently problematic.

So . . . thoughts? 

Thanks,

-Smac

 

I'm glad for the changes away from swimsuits.  I think the whole term "beauty pageant" ought to go away.  If it were more along the lines of an America's Got Talent, I think it could increase viewership.  Focus on talent and scholarship, instead of the exterior would be great things, and I think could pull viewers, they would need to be somewhat more creative and depart from the past, but I think they could do it.  Maybe a trivia contest like Jeopardy style, in addition to the talent competition.  For a test of physical skill, some kind of obstacle course, like a mini American Ninja Warrior.  There are all kinds of things they could do to have a competition and to make it interesting for audiences at the same time. 

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I just came across this:

Does such a substantial drop in viewership - nearly 1 in 4 viewers - indicate that a substantial portion of the viewers were tuning it to, well, ogle beautiful women in skimpy swimsuits?

Is "ogle" perhaps too loaded a term?  "Admire," perhaps?  "Make eyes at?" "Lay eyes upon?" "Look fixedly?"

Are beauty pageants/contests ultimately inappropriate?  They seem to feed into many insecurities and anxieties that women face.  They literally measure the worth of a woman by comparing her to other women.  And the measurement is, at the end, mostly about physical beauty.  And the concept of "physical beauty" easily ends up becoming distorted and unhealthy.  From the Wikipedia article:

BYU used to have a beauty pageant:

I remember watching the Miss America Pageant when I was young, but it's probably been 30 years since I have watched it or any other such pageant.  Now that I am a husband and father, I think I would have a hard time with one of my daughters wanting to be in one of these.  And it's not really that I am puritanical about such things.  I just find the notion of a contest pitting women or girls against each other based mostly on their physical appearance to be inherently problematic.

So . . . thoughts? 

Thanks,

-Smac

 

I graduated from BYU in 1980. I’ve not known until this moment that BYU discontinued the homecoming queen tradition just eight years later. 

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I hate beauty pageants with a passion - putting women on display to be judged for their appearance. Our culture holds women to a ridiculous standard and even young women feel like they can't just have their natural eyebrows and eyelashes anymore. 

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I think they're demeaning and stupid.

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Good?  Bad?  Either way, they're stupid.

I dated a pageant girl.  I broke-up with her (among other reasons) because she became so envious after she placed runner-up to the girl that eventually won her state and went on the the Miss America pageant.  I thought it was stupid then.  I think it is stupid today.  And from a gospel setting, I don't think there is any benefit that can't be had in other, better ways.

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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

So . . . thoughts? 

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Was it announced ahead of time that there would be no swimsuit portion?

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Just now, katherine the great said:

Was it announced ahead of time that there would be no swimsuit portion?

Yes.  See, e.g., here.

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4 hours ago, smac97 said:

Does such a substantial drop in viewership - nearly 1 in 4 viewers - indicate that a substantial portion of the viewers were tuning it to, well, ogle beautiful women in skimpy swimsuits?

I'm surprised that number is not larger.  I always thought the whole point of those ridiculous pageants was for people like Trump to ogle at beautiful women...  It would be equivalent to watching bay-watch without the swimsuit scenes, people don't really watch it for the good acting and gripping plots. 

Edited by pogi
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4 minutes ago, pogi said:

I'm surprised that number is not larger.  I always thought the whole point of those ridiculous pageants was for people like Trump to ogle at beautiful women...  It would be equivalent to watching bay-watch without the swimsuit scenes, people don't really watch it for the good acting and gripping plots. 

Perhaps the drop wasn't larger because many people weren't paying attention to the news in June (which is when the "No More Swimsuit Competition" news hit the media).  If there is a similar or greater drop in viewership next year, your assumption about pageants may be more or less substantiated.

-Smac

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Bad.

Seriously, we have easily accessible free p0rn now. Either stop ogling women entirely or go for broke. The days that a beauty pageant were your best option are long gone.

Or as the scriptures put it:

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

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4 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

“Beauty pageants” are a relic of the past that should have died a natural death long ago. 

I suspect pageants would have gone away long ago if there wasn't still money to be made with them.  The economics of TV make pageants and awards shows very enticing to networks that are desperate for content.  But this dip in viewership changes the equation, so hopefully the end of the televised pageants may be near.

Sadly, as long as there are people interested in participating in them, and people interested in watching them, they may never die at the local level.

But what LDS home didn't have a copy of this classic in the 80s?

51BMmCGSzxL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

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2 minutes ago, cinepro said:

I suspect pageants would have gone away long ago if there wasn't still money to be made with them.  The economics of TV make pageants and awards shows very enticing to networks that are desperate for content.  But this dip in viewership changes the equation, so hopefully the end of the televised pageants may be near.

Sadly, as long as there are people interested in participating in them, and people interested in watching them, they may never die at the local level.

But what LDS home didn't have a copy of this classic in the 80s?

51BMmCGSzxL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

I am proud to say that I did not find that while cleaning out my grandma’s old books after she died. I did find some early edition copies of Winnie the Pooh and Lord of the Rings. I also found a copy of Sunstone. So awesome grandma but a possible apostate......

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16 minutes ago, cinepro said:

I suspect pageants would have gone away long ago if there wasn't still money to be made with them.  The economics of TV make pageants and awards shows very enticing to networks that are desperate for content.  But this dip in viewership changes the equation, so hopefully the end of the televised pageants may be near.

Sadly, as long as there are people interested in participating in them, and people interested in watching them, they may never die at the local level.

But what LDS home didn't have a copy of this classic in the 80s?

51BMmCGSzxL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Mine.  I've never seen this before.

As it happens, Sharlene Wells's father is Robert Earl Wells, the same "Elder Wells" who was a Seventy and purportedly received a "confession" of some kind from Joseph Bishop in 1977 when Bro. Wells was a Seventy and Joseph Bishop was a mission president in Argentina.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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36 minutes ago, cinepro said:

I suspect pageants would have gone away long ago if there wasn't still money to be made with them.  The economics of TV make pageants and awards shows very enticing to networks that are desperate for content.  But this dip in viewership changes the equation, so hopefully the end of the televised pageants may be near.

Sadly, as long as there are people interested in participating in them, and people interested in watching them, they may never die at the local level.

But what LDS home didn't have a copy of this classic in the 80s?

51BMmCGSzxL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Mine, my parents, my 2 older siblings, my grandparents, my inlaws, all 7 of their other children....

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Since Perez Hilton's bullying of a contestant over issues inapposite to the event in 2009 the pageants have been too awful to watch.

Re Hilton's set-up and followup bullying of runner-up Miss California:  https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/Television/story?id=7381893&page=1

USU "I used to MC these sorts of things in the '70s and my two daughters participated with my encouragement and blessing" 78

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If beauty pageants are bad because young girls get a false

7 hours ago, smac97 said:

Are beauty pageants/contests ultimately inappropriate?  They seem to feed into many insecurities and anxieties that women face.  They literally measure the worth of a woman by comparing her to other women.  And the measurement is, at the end, mostly about physical beauty.  And the concept of "physical beauty" easily ends up becoming distorted and unhealthy.  From the Wikipedia article:

If beauty pageants are bad because they feed the "many insecurities and anxieties that women face" what about professional sports?

I played Church basketball and one year we were playing in the regionals in Seattle.  The hotel we were staying in was also where the LA Lakers were staying.  I remember sitting in the lobby when they came it.  This was during the disco era and afros and platform shoes were all the rage.  The lobby doors were at least eight feet in height and every one of those NBA players had to duck when they came.  It was a humbling experience but I got over it.

I also was the official photographer for the Miss Calgary Pageant and I can tell you from first hand experience that those girls put a lot of time and effort into the event and it showed in the skills they learned so it is much more than physical beauty.  It is about learn poise and how to present yourself.

And it doesn't matter if it is a beauty pageant, professional sports, or even on the job, we all have areas where we are compared to others.  I can't imaging a world where this wasn't a fact of life.  Rather than eliminating swimsuits, which is my favorite part, I would rather see more behind the scenes coverage.

All the best,

Bob

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2 hours ago, cinepro said:

But what LDS home didn't have a copy of this classic in the 80s?

Hadn't ever heard of it.  Perhaps all members of the church don't go in for all of the cliches that you try to make fun of them for.

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35 minutes ago, Coop said:

If beauty pageants are bad because young girls get a false

If beauty pageants are bad because they feed the "many insecurities and anxieties that women face" what about professional sports?

I played Church basketball and one year we were playing in the regionals in Seattle.  The hotel we were staying in was also where the LA Lakers were staying.  I remember sitting in the lobby when they came it.  This was during the disco era and afros and platform shoes were all the rage.  The lobby doors were at least eight feet in height and every one of those NBA players had to duck when they came.  It was a humbling experience but I got over it.

I also was the official photographer for the Miss Calgary Pageant and I can tell you from first hand experience that those girls put a lot of time and effort into the event and it showed in the skills they learned so it is much more than physical beauty.  It is about learn poise and how to present yourself.

And it doesn't matter if it is a beauty pageant, professional sports, or even on the job, we all have areas where we are compared to others.  I can't imaging a world where this wasn't a fact of life.  Rather than eliminating swimsuits, which is my favorite part, I would rather see more behind the scenes coverage.

All the best,

Bob

If you want more behind the scenes coverage have you considered the Trump approach of running it yourself and then just waltzing unannounced into women’s dressing room to get pervy peeks?

And another thing I do not get. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This video concurs with my view. Warning, Viewer discretion is advised:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l8QNDRbjong

 

Edited by The Nehor

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7 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I'm glad for the changes away from swimsuits.  I think the whole term "beauty pageant" ought to go away.  If it were more along the lines of an America's Got Talent, I think it could increase viewership.  Focus on talent and scholarship, instead of the exterior would be great things, and I think could pull viewers, they would need to be somewhat more creative and depart from the past, but I think they could do it.  Maybe a trivia contest like Jeopardy style, in addition to the talent competition.  For a test of physical skill, some kind of obstacle course, like a mini American Ninja Warrior.  There are all kinds of things they could do to have a competition and to make it interesting for audiences at the same time. 

To Miss America's credit, they are striving to get away from the physical beauty side of things and focus on the talents and service each of the girls brings to the table --- talents and service that the girls always had and were part of the qualifiers to get to Miss America in the first place.  But no one paid attention that huge aspect of the program because people instead were fixated on swim suits, hence they ditched the swim suits even knowing veiwership would take a hit.  They are striving to have a high quality program.

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I remember my mom watching the Miss American pageant decades ago when I was still a boy. However, I cannot tell you when the last was that I saw one. It seems like women/girls that are involved win scholarships, etc., but there are other ways to obtain those things that compensate an individual for something other than their genes. 

I suspect they will continue to exist as long as there are women interested in participating and people who will watch the show. 

I doubt the lack of a swimsuit competition had anything to do with the drop in viewership. If I had to guess I would think the reason might be the #Me Too movement and the lack of support from women viewers. 

Edited by Storm Rider

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13 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

To Miss America's credit, they are striving to get away from the physical beauty side of things and focus on the talents and service each of the girls brings to the table --- talents and service that the girls always had and were part of the qualifiers to get to Miss America in the first place.  But no one paid attention that huge aspect of the program because people instead were fixated on swim suits, hence they ditched the swim suits even knowing veiwership would take a hit.  They are striving to have a high quality program.

I agree, and I give them credit for what they’re doing so far.  I’m not anti pageants, like many in this thread seem to be.  There are many amazingly talented women involved in these competitions, I don’t want to see them go away, I just want to see an evolution that is more in tune with modern sensibilities.  

Also, I don’t think beauty should be completely ignored, but I think the standards for what to emphasize and how to emphasize it should be led by women and not men.  I think someone’s physical fitness could be emphasized differently than in a cat walk for example.  However I don’t think beauty should be so one dimensional.  

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