Are beauty pageants dangerous for the participants?
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Beauty is defined as the appealing characteristic of something or someone and the combination of features that aesthetically attract like shape, structure, body features etc.
A Beauty pageant is a platform where the people who are considered beautiful are showcased. The idea of beauty pageant emerged from Atlanta in 1921 and it aims to build a massive confidence in the participants, enhance their self-esteem and teach them to face criticism bravely. Another very important thing these pageants promote is Woman Empowerment.
Many people argued that it becomes the sole cause of depression and even suicidal thoughts for the participants.
The titles given to the contestants are subdivided into Miss, Mrs. or Ms. It also includes judging of personality, talent and charitable involvement through private interviews with judges and answers to public questions onstage. The pageants are mainly divided into categories that rank the contestant according to the category they contested in and the criterion they fulfil. The titles are Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Intercontinental, Miss International, Miss Earth and ,many others based on the country they are from and even cities and townships.
Many people argue that a pageant is about judging people on their looks whereas it is actually about empowering them. The attitude they get built reflects a new self-confidence in them and makes them own themselves and love themselves. The idea of Woman empowerment actually promotes women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, right to have the power to control their own lives
Positive impact of beauty pageants:
Pageants play a vital role in reducing unemployment by providing opportunities to fashion designers, program coordinators, endorsements, models, influencers and small scale companies as well. And as it was earlier stated, it empowers women by polishing their prowess, making them embrace themselves, know their worth and be confident.
The Pros and Cons of beauty pageants:
There are always two sides of every human activity, Positive and Negative. The main thing to consider is that if the fundamentals of any human activity do not harm the society in any form, it should be promoted and if it violates basic norms of a society, hurts or annoys people than it must be avoided. Nothing can happen without organization and beauty pageants are always a hectic activity involving so many people undertaking different assignments. Earlier, it was thought that such events where human bodies were exposed was considered as obscenity. But as the time passed, this concept changed. Another positive aspect of these pageants is that it provides job opportunities to a large number of people that includes designers, tailors, masters, video and audio makers, light men etc. It must also be ensured that participants are educated people.
Initially, it was an uphill task to find relevant and authentic information about beauty pageants in Pakistan. Some newspapers and their magazines have fashion pages where occasionally write-ups appear written by critics. Television channels do cover beauty pageants but it is very difficult to find reference material in their websites. However, information is available on international fashion magazines like Vogue, She, Diva and many others.
Having gone through different aspects of the subject, one can conclude that there are wrong perceptions created using religion, traditions, and customs. There are no Quranic injections for and against the beauty pageants. Similarly, there are no hadiths of Prophet (PBUH) in support or against such events. However, often argument is that these beauty pageants lead to nudity or undue exposure of body limbs. This is an unrealistic approach. Beauty pageants are being held across the Muslim world observing certain norms and dresses are stitched to cover the constant problem. Such reference was given of a girl from Somalia (Khadija Omer) who used a complete hijab and stood at number 40 in the pageant. Basically, these pageants are demonstrations of various cultures and traditions of the host country.
Written By: Syeda Hania Masroor & Syeda Fiza Asif