The Instigator
KirstinKate
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
numa
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Beauty contests are harmful.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
numa
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 35,971 times Debate No: 8177
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (41)
Votes (1)

 

KirstinKate

Pro

Basic Background of the topic:
Beauty contests are popular in many parts of the world. The biggest, the Miss World competition, has been running annually since 1951, and although it is less popular in the UK now than it was in 1968, when it attracted 27.5 million TV viewers, it attracts an enormous worldwide audience - around 3 billion viewers in 115 countries. There are beauty contests for various categories of age, sex and sexuality; this topic focuses on adult womens beauty contests as overwhelmingly the most popular and high-profile version.

- Note that there are difficult technical issues about running this debate: it probably works best as a values debate on whether beauty contests are a good thing or not, but this kind of comparison motion is frowned upon in some policy-based debating circles. Proposing a ban on beauty contests might be met with various entirely valid opposition lines on enforceability and warped priorities which would tend to undermine the point of the debate.

Arguments

1.Beauty contests promote an ideal of female beauty to which only a minority of women can realistically aspire, but which adds to the pressure on all women to conform to it. This can be harmful to women by encouraging dieting, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery, or simply by making them feel inadequate and ugly. People enjoy beauty contests. Many women enjoy entering them. Many people enjoy watching them. Nobody is forced to do either. The beauty of a fit, healthy, well-proportioned human form is something from which we can all take pleasure, and beauty contests, along with other forms of art, are vehicles which enable us to do so.

2.Women in beauty contests are judged on their physical appearance rather than on any other qualities they may possess (the existence of a talent element in many such contests is all very well, but ugly women simply aren't going to win). Judging women, but not men, primarily on their looks contributes to the subjugation of women because other qualities, such as intelligence, are not seen as part of ideal femininity and therefore not as things to which women should aspire. Ideal masculinity, while in itself potentially damaging to men, tends to be construed in much wider and less restrictive terms - it is notable that male beauty contests, judging men on their physical appearance, are much less popular than female ones. There is nothing wrong with judging people primarily on their physical prowess - we do this all the time in competitive sport, where fitness and strength are major determinants of success. Every competition, of every kind, values certain qualities over others - we recognise that being able to lift heavy weights is the prime definition of human worth, but we can still give prizes for weightlifting; similarly, we can give a prize to a beautiful woman for her beauty without implying that beauty is all that matters about anyone.

3.The image of female beauty promoted by beauty contests is culturally specific and western - it doesn't matter how many Asian women win Miss World, they can still only do so if they take part in the swimsuit competition, which may well not be considered appropriate dress in their culture. There were demonstrations against Miss World by feminists and Hindu nationalists when it was held in Bangalore in 1996. Riots in Kaduna in northern Nigeria over Miss World 2002 left more than 200 dead and led to the contest being moved to London. Beauty contests, like sport, can be an important focus of national or regional pride. Despite the declining popularity of competitions such as Miss World in the UK, they hold an important cultural place in many parts of the world. The victories in recent years of Miss India, Miss Turkey and Miss Nigeria in Miss World competitions made many Indians, Turks and Nigerians proud, and were seen as symbolic of those countries progress in competing with more powerful countries on their own terms.

4.Beauty contests fail to challenge harmful political attitudes to women. Despite paying lip-service to feminist keywords such as empowerment and self-confidence, they do nothing concrete to aid the liberation of women; indeed, by reinforcing looks as the most important feminine quality, they harm women's liberation in general. The fact that the organisers of Miss World 2002 had no problem with holding the contest in Nigeria at the same time as a high-profile case in which a woman was due to be stoned for adultery exposes the competition hypocrisy; it was only relocated after rioting made it unsafe to hold it in Nigeria.
numa

Con

first, as suspected, let me point out that this debate is entirely plaigarized. i google'd the introduction and it turns out that this summary as well as my opponent's contentions all come verbatum from a website (found here: http://www.idebate.org...). that is pretty low, without citation. i affirm that my opponent is a big fat cheater :o) however, i will debate this anyway. this is because my opponent was actually dumb enough to not only copy and paste the arguments for one side of the issue, but she copied and pasted the arguments for MY side of the issue as well! so basically, she has already negated her own points, however, i will continue to argue them IN MY OWN WORDS, meaning double negation, meaning an automatic win for my side, imho.

~~ here we go ~~

"Beauty contests promote an ideal of female beauty to which only a minority of women can realistically aspire"

so do magazines, tv shows, the movies, and the media in general. so what? to argue this point would mean that this same argument is applicable to all forms of media and entertainment. the point is that nobody forces anybody to watch or believe anything. people who watch beauty pageants essentially enjoy them. and nobody says that people have to conform to society's standard of beauty.

"Judging women, but not men, primarily on their looks contributes to the subjugation of women"

who says that only women are judged? there ARE male beauty pageants or something similar thereof. moreover, it is an ignorant assumption that only females are subjicated to pressure from society to look or act a certain way. guys are under immense pressure to be "buff" and exhibit "masculine qualities," so to assume that women are the only group who is oppressed is a fallacy.

"they can still only do so if they take part in the swimsuit competition, which may well not be considered appropriate dress in their culture."

then very simply, they don't have to enter. this is a PRIVATE competition and doesn't affect any country in an economic or political way. nobody is forcing a country or group of people to enter. if they do so, they do so under their own inclination to participate in the aspects of the competion as-is. if the asians or anyone else have a problem with it, they can create their own similar pageant.

"Beauty contests fail to challenge harmful political attitudes to women."

on the contrary, these pageants require that a woman have a certain level of political knowledge; to be without it will not get you far. a perfect example is the criticism miss california received from perez hilton and others for her answer regarding proposition 8 and gay marriage. had she been kept out of the loop or ignorant to politics (like women have been in the past), she would have been humiliated and not taken seriously. being in a pageant requires a certain amount of political correctness. that includes pc recognization of feminism, liberalism, women's rights, etc.

"by reinforcing looks as the most important feminine quality, they harm women's liberation in general"

i disagree. consider the feminist groups of the 1970s. lesbians or butch women were kicked out of women's lib groups because the women didn't like the reputation of being "butch" or "dykes" simply because they aspired for equal rights among the genders. i think being politically active, talented, etc. all while retaining aspects of femininity IS empowering and helps to remove sterotypes about how feminist women look and behave.

"The fact that the organisers of Miss World 2002 had no problem with holding the contest in Nigeria at the same time as a high-profile case in which a woman was due to be stoned for adultery exposes the competition's hypocrisy"

uh, what does a culture's punishment for a crime like adultery have to do with the ideals of the competition?

~~ good luck, pro. ~~
Debate Round No. 1
KirstinKate

Pro

Basic Background of the topic:
Beauty contests are popular in many parts of the world. The biggest, the Miss World competition, has been running annually since 1951, and although it is less popular in the UK now than it was in 1968, when it attracted 27.5 million TV viewers, it attracts an enormous worldwide audience - around 3 billion viewers in 115 countries. There are beauty contests for various categories of age, sex and sexuality; this topic focuses on adult womens beauty contests as overwhelmingly the most popular and high-profile version.

- Note that there are difficult technical issues about running this debate: it probably works best as a values debate on whether beauty contests are a good thing or not, but this kind of comparison motion is frowned upon in some policy-based debating circles. Proposing a ban on beauty contests might be met with various entirely valid opposition lines on enforceability and warped priorities which would tend to undermine the point of the debate.
http://www.idebate.org...)

Arguments

1.Beauty contests promote an ideal of female beauty to which only a minority of women can realistically aspire, but which adds to the pressure on all women to conform to it. This can be harmful to women by encouraging dieting, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery, or simply by making them feel inadequate and ugly. People enjoy beauty contests. Many women enjoy entering them. Many people enjoy watching them. Nobody is forced to do either. The beauty of a fit, healthy, well-proportioned human form is something from which we can all take pleasure, and beauty contests, along with other forms of art, are vehicles which enable us to do so.

2.Women in beauty contests are judged on their physical appearance rather than on any other qualities they may possess (the existence of a talent element in many such contests is all very well, but ugly women simply aren't going to win). Judging women, but not men, primarily on their looks contributes to the subjugation of women because other qualities, such as intelligence, are not seen as part of ideal femininity and therefore not as things to which women should aspire. Ideal masculinity, while in itself potentially damaging to men, tends to be construed in much wider and less restrictive terms - it is notable that male beauty contests, judging men on their physical appearance, are much less popular than female ones. There is nothing wrong with judging people primarily on their physical prowess - we do this all the time in competitive sport, where fitness and strength are major determinants of success. Every competition, of every kind, values certain qualities over others - we recognise that being able to lift heavy weights is the prime definition of human worth, but we can still give prizes for weightlifting; similarly, we can give a prize to a beautiful woman for her beauty without implying that beauty is all that matters about anyone.

3.The image of female beauty promoted by beauty contests is culturally specific and western - it doesn't matter how many Asian women win Miss World, they can still only do so if they take part in the swimsuit competition, which may well not be considered appropriate dress in their culture. There were demonstrations against Miss World by feminists and Hindu nationalists when it was held in Bangalore in 1996. Riots in Kaduna in northern Nigeria over Miss World 2002 left more than 200 dead and led to the contest being moved to London. Beauty contests, like sport, can be an important focus of national or regional pride. Despite the declining popularity of competitions such as Miss World in the UK, they hold an important cultural place in many parts of the world. The victories in recent years of Miss India, Miss Turkey and Miss Nigeria in Miss World competitions made many Indians, Turks and Nigerians proud, and were seen as symbolic of those countries progress in competing with more powerful countries on their own terms.

4.Beauty contests fail to challenge harmful political attitudes to women. Despite paying lip-service to feminist keywords such as empowerment and self-confidence, they do nothing concrete to aid the liberation of women; indeed, by reinforcing looks as the most important feminine quality, they harm women's liberation in general. The fact that the organisers of Miss World 2002 had no problem with holding the contest in Nigeria at the same time as a high-profile case in which a woman was due to be stoned for adultery exposes the competition hypocrisy; it was only relocated after rioting made it unsafe to hold it in Nigeria.
numa

Con

after once again copying and pasting what she already did in round 1, my opponent has offered zero new arguments, and all of her posted ones i have already responded to and refuted back in round 1. please extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
KirstinKate

Pro

KirstinKate forfeited this round.
numa

Con

my opponent has offered nothing new, and i already refuted all of her plagiarized arguments. extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
Debate Round No. 4
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
alto2osu
Wow...you know, at first I was bewildered and a little bit miffed that all of these debates that the instigator started had an age limit on them.

I'm kind of okay with it now :) Let the young 'uns deal with this crud.
Posted by KirstinKate 8 years ago
KirstinKate
yeah wasn't thinking .

I was in a hurry didn't cite any of my sorces so now i'm being called a cheater.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 8 years ago
studentathletechristian8
you copied your first round argument and put it in the second round as well...
Posted by studentathletechristian8 8 years ago
studentathletechristian8
you were thinking when you posted this debate werent you? no you weren't!!! I can't believe it, but numa was right. You even posted the CON argument onto your opening round from the website. Automatic vote goes to numa
Posted by MTGandP 8 years ago
MTGandP
PRO has not only plagiarized, but plagiarized again in the second round after being called on it.

Kirstin, if your entire argument is copied from another site, it doesn't matter if you cite your source. It's still not an original argument, and is invalidated.
Posted by KirstinKate 8 years ago
KirstinKate
I apologize for not citing my sorce numa. I was in a hurry making my argument.

I fixed it but I couldn't rebute any of your arguments by mistake because I had to fix my error. so I hope you accept my mistake.
Posted by numa 8 years ago
numa
lwerd, i stole your idea :o)
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
Volkov
Somehow an 18 year old is too old to debate the merits of beauty pageants?

Even us old, straight males have fashion knacks you know :(
Posted by I-am-a-panda 8 years ago
I-am-a-panda
I thought you went to the other end of the age scale, ragnar.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
So she doesn't want to debate us old fogies. Her loss. :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by numa 8 years ago
numa
KirstinKatenumaTied
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Total points awarded:07