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Beauty and Media: How Beauty Is Presented by the Pageants in America, Essay Example

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Essay

The business of developing the ideal presentation of beauty among young women across the stretch of the American region has created a rather specific culture when it comes to defining what the term ‘beauty’ means. Every year, the new season of pageants that run across the American regions to search for the ‘most beautiful lady’ in town follows one specific pattern of judgment, and that is physical appearance in par with the intellectual capabilities of the contestants being evaluated. In relation to the development of the Miss America Pageant, it could be realized that there has been one common culture that the competition preserves. That is to make sure that the contestants who win do not only have physical beauty, but also have the proper intellectual capacity to respond to the most intriguing questions that challenges the society at present. Question is, what is important in pageants such as the Miss America? Is it the outer appearance or often noted as the physical beauty or is it the inner sense of one’s character? Is it really a pageant for scholarship or is it more concentrated on marketing and making women feel like as if they need to buy and appreciate products endorsed by these beautiful women after winning the pageant?

Relatively, the sponsors often define the judgment of the level of beauty based on physical appearance. Since the ladies are to carry on the name of the companies serving as sponsors to the pageant, it is important that the ones crowned fit the requirement of being ‘marketable’. This fact has manifested certain irregularities in the manner by which the society begins to understand what womanly beauty is about. Given that most of those crowned as ‘beautiful’ in the said pageants fall in a specific notation of vital statistics, skin color and so and so forth, women in America [especially the young ones] begin to develop a notion that beauty is dependent on such statistics and qualifications.

This fact has been supported by the writing of Gerald Early in his article Life with Daughters: Watching the Miss America Pageant, where he describes how his daughters and their idea about beauty have become acculturated with the common thinking of the public (532). Understanding the course of development that young girls become subjected to, Early describes his daughters to be somewhat disillusioned; not wanting to be just what they are, the concentration on their appearance and the way they carry themselves like the women of the pageant becomes more of an obsession rather than an inspiration. On the other hand, Mariah Burton’s I won I’m Sorry makes a specific distinction on how the pageant empowers the being of modern women and how such competitions specifically say that women, out of their attractive attributes could become a source strong directions of change in the society. Unlike men, women who are subjected to beauty pageants like that of Miss America are given the chance to present their thoughts and prove that they are not only beautiful as they are also intellectually superior in their field. The high standards of the pageant, according to Burton, should be an inspiration and not a source of desperation among young American women today.

In conclusion, the saying, ‘beauty depends on the eyes of the beholder’ still stands to impose value on how people interpret value. Although the society does set a specific standard of what beautiful is, and even though media tend to impose thoughts on how a woman should look like, it is still an individual distinction of attractiveness and beauty that will make him or her understand the realities behind womanhood. No matter how the world puts beauty as presented through magazines and pageants, it should be considered fully as a definition based on individual understanding and beliefs of what beauty really should be about. True, there are many different factors that influence the existence of beauty pageants such as that of Ms. America. While it is true that the organizers hope that the winners be given scholarship grants and become ambassadors of intellectual and social achievements, commercial marketing also becomes a driving force on how each individual winner is chosen to become a part of the circle of beautiful ladies recognized in the country and in the world.

References:

Early, Gerald. (1990). Life with Daughters: Watching the Miss America Pageant.

Nelson, Mariah Burton. “I Won. I’m Sorry.” (in SOL)

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