I'm writing a paper on the perception of beauty, and I'm interested in how the general public perceives beauty pageants. so, what do you think of them..are they stupid? are the girls in them stupid/sexy/slutty/beautiful/smart/etc?is it demeaning or empowering to women? if your girlfriend won one, what would you think?
Most Helpful Guy
I am a mature male, a widowed father and I have lived an open minded life, I should like to contribute to your question replies. Your paper is on the subject "Perception of Beauty" but the main thrust of what has been addressed by yourself and others is the beauty pageant. Pageants happen every once in a while and nowadays there are many beauty contests for both genders - but not called that!
The everyday pageant is what is before our eyes and what corresponds to this in our minds. Our history as a species leaves us as we were long ago - instinctively searching for the mother or father of our offspring - whether we like it or not. The children of all species are made to be appealing with large eyes and helpless features. In fact if you look at the baby-doll faces of many pageant contestants there is a mask of infantilisation calculated to appeal to the parenting instinct of the judges. We see little adult beauty either of body, heart or mind,
The pursuit of artificial feminine beauty may be a retreat into a comfort zone, if people are sufficiently self confident and secure they can feel the less need to use cosmetics and the need to enhance breasts or lips etc is less needful. We live for the most part in an actual or potentially brutal world, we have too much time for leisure which does not tax us, I have known many academics and athletes who need no cosmetics and have never given thought to enhancement but who can be very sensual and sexual as well as competent parents and have a sort of beauty that shines from within to sufuse their looks that comes from a different perspective than the consumerism that drives the media, the fashion industry and ultimately pageants.
I have been confided in by many men who have told me they 'fancy' long legged svelte figure types because other men have bowed to peer pressure and they have acted in turn to the peer pressure that a catwalk or celeb figure is desirable. This can have dire effects, if a man is peer pressured into marrying a slim woman and his 'turn on' is a fuller figure then this can lead to erection dysfunction because the vigour of infatuation cannot continue however great the love if the primary drive is needful. I wonder whether the huge number of relationship breakdowns after marriage are in some case caused by this. This means children if any are the secondary sufferers of the beauty peer pressure myth.
A small aside ... a few years ago I wanted a pair of classically [tastefully] posed statuettes to grace my mantle shelf, a sort of personal beauty pageant. I have looked in many shops and scoured the internet - plenty of svelte figurines but not one pair of ladies who I could see in Ingres' painting "The Turkish Bath"!
I would suggest that beauty pageants be prepared to show ladies with and without cosmetics and men with and without body oil and fake tan ... let them talk for a quarter of an hour on a subject that really moves them and will move the audience. What a difference perhaps!2