Do beauty pageants serve any purpose in society? Should there be any male ones?
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I believe beauty pageants send society the wrong message. While pageants are neither immoral nor totally useless from the perspective of benefits to the contestants, they are otherwise arbitrary.
If you are intelligent, have a winning personality and are generally beautiful, you have my interest, but should you also have an award?
I do not wish to trivialize pageants. I'm sure they are meaningful to some people. However, ours is a society of unrealistic expectation. What a person can get by on these days might have been laughable a few generations ago.
As far as male pageants go, there is a false expectation in the world that everything should be equal. We don't need a male beauty pageant just because we have a female one. Now I am all for equality of opportunity and all that but there are many things that are realm-specific. Men, for instance, have desires and interests from their realm. Women have theirs. If you want to know what a male pageant looks like, check out World's Strongest Man or perhaps the World Poker Tournament. Women compete in poker as well but for whatever reason it is a male dominated sport. I think those two sports demonstrate well enough that men are largely interested in competing ability. So, if there is to be a male pageant, a competition of abilities would most likely be the stage. I don't mean to generalize. Obviously women like to compete but on the whole their competitions are different in nature. I don't pretend to know what those competitions are that are specific to women, except beauty pageants as far as I know. The thing you compete in, is usually how you measure your self worth. What gives you self worth is often ingrained by society.
The question becomes what is good for society's perception. Should we perceive beauty and personality and intelligence as laudable? I believe we should. However, perhaps we should also have pageants that measure only personality and intelligence. Obviously there are talent and science competitions in school and other institutions. These competitions usually produce some original research or invention or ability. Does a beauty pageant?
I also believe that if enough men are interested then there should be male competitions. Only if enough people are interested and if they have the same benefits female beauty competitions have.
At this point, I would like to argue a point other than the original but closely related. Does the negative impact on society outweigh the positive? I would argue that it does. It gives unrealistic expectations to young women about what is admirable in a woman. Not all can look a certain way but that does not diminish their value. No has said that it does. However, while no one is saying it, is it being implied through such contests?
In conclusion, I don't see much disagreement between the two of us. I think some parameters should have been established. Such as, a limiting definition for society. Also, we could have discussed the use of "purpose" with more clarity.
Anyway, thanks for a thoughtful debate .
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