The Instigator
AREA
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
philosopherpirate
Con (against)
Losing
18 Points

Beauty pageants do more good than harm

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 65,211 times Debate No: 556
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (15)

 

AREA

Pro

(Please note that the opinions expressed in a debate are not necessarily those of the debaters)

I) the good points of being judged by beauty

Human beings are social animals, and we must judge one another immediately the first time by our outer appearance, since the outer appearance is easy to know quickly. The need to be judged and understood quickly by your appearance has increased as modern society developed and we started meeting more and more people and becoming busier and busier.

The result is not just that beautiful people with better DNA get better treatment. Just looking good does not make you successful; you are only judged AT FIRST by your appearance, and after that, the content of what you say and do is more important.

But even getting judged by your beauty is not so bad. Anyone can be beautiful if they make some effort. Some will always be more beautiful than others, and if some people hate themselves because they are not the most beautiful, then they have a personality disorder which should be treated by a psychologist.

But if beauty pageants promote judgment and competition of beauty, then GOOD, because we need at least SOME of that. If we have it, then all people can improve their beauty, and get a better first reaction from others.
The way to do this, is thinking about make-up and fashion, and cool gestures. This is fun, since it is an art. What is wrong with making this wolrd more beautiful to the eye? It is also useful; King Louis the XVI's favorite courtesan was described by all who knew her as having an ugly face, but she was very charming thanks to her developing her own style, manners, and unique fashion.

Women especially can use their power as women to get time, money, and energy from men, and this compensates for the lack of chance women have in society. Until women get more respect for their other cards (ability, consideration, etc), then they should at least use their looks and the weakness of men with money to get ahead.

So, why shouldn't women enjoy the freedom to choose to judged as a sex object if that is what she wants?

(Please note that the opinions expressed in a debate are not necessarily those of the debaters)
philosopherpirate

Con

Beauty pageants are harmful for a number of reasons.

The first reason is that it dehumanizes women. The other debater already admitted that women participating in beauty pageants turn themselves into sex objects. He then argues that its okay because its their choice to turn themselves into objects. Even if its their choice, its still harmful for a couple of reasons. The first is that just because they have a right to participate in beauty pageants does not mean that their participation causes more good than harm. I have the right to slowly drink myself to death, to hit myself in the head with a hammer, and any number of other self-destructive activities that would certainly cause more harm than good, despite my choosing to participate in those activities. Just because they choose to turn themselves into objects does not mean its a good thing they did.
Secondly, beauty pageant contestants don't just turn themselves into sexual objects, they turn all women into sexual objects. Beauty pageants contestants actively participate in and perpetuate in a system that turns women into objects to be rated and then possessed. Even if the contestants are okay with being objects, they will not be the only ones treated as such. Beauty pageant contestants actively and explicitly support a societal norm, a way of viewing women, that extends beyond them and to women in general. So even if its their choice to turn themselves into dehumanized sex objects, they turn all other women into them too.
Moreover, beauty Pageants also destroy girl's self-esteem and contribute to the increasing rate of eating disorders and suicide among young women. Beauty pageants play a uniquely powerful role in defining what is attractive in our society by explicitly ranking the physical attractiveness of women from all around the country in a supposed objective manner. This standard of beauty is how many women define their attractiveness and worth as an individual. If they meet society's standard for beauty then they are automatically beautiful and worth more. If they fail to live up to that arbitrary standard then they are ugly and worthless. The problem is that 99% of women cannot physically live up to the standard of beauty that pageants perpetuate. So when everyone else who is not beautiful enough to participate in the pageants realize they cannot ever meet that standard of beauty they have one of two options: either become terribly depressed that you cannot ever meet society's standard for self-worth or become self-destructive. When just about every young girl in this nation is held to a standard of beauty that they cannot possibly hope to match, the inevitable outcome is that those girls become self-destructive and either become bulimic or anorexic or even attempt to kill themselves.
The other debater argues that "But even getting judged by your beauty is not so bad. Anyone can be beautiful if they make some effort. Some will always be more beautiful than others, and if some people hate themselves because they are not the most beautiful, then they have a personality disorder which should be treated by a psychologist. " The problem with this argument is that not "everyone" can be beautiful because beauty standards perpetuate a very specific, very high standard of beauty. Very few people can meet this standard and so not everyone is beautiful because of beauty pageants. He is also right that people who hate themselves because they are not the most beautiful person out there have a psychological problem that they should get help with, but those psychological disorders are caused, in part, by beauty pageants. The purpose of beauty pageants is to pick out the most beautiful women and everyone else is deemed the loser. The message of beauty pageants is if you are not the most beautiful person then you are worthless, are a loser.
Finally, the other debater argues "Women especially can use their power as women to get time, money, and energy from men, and this compensates for the lack of chance women have in society. Until women get more respect for their other cards (ability, consideration, etc), then they should at least use their looks and the weakness of men with money to get ahead." The problem with this argument is that beauty pageants actively prevent this from happening. Beauty pageant contestants refuse to use or be judged by anything other than their looks. There are many places and ways and opportunities for women to get ahead by using their intelligence and skill and to be treated as equal human beings. Contestants refuse to participate in those opportunities and instead perpetuate sexist stereotypes, destroying what hope other women have of not being an object.
Debate Round No. 1
AREA

Pro

First to refute,
In PhPr's first reason was supposed to show how BPs dehumanize women. While I would agree that this would probably be a bad thing, PhPr never explained how merely making your body into an object makes you dehumanized. Instead of showing this necessary logical link to support his assertion, PhPr instead made the false analogy that implied that participating in a pageant is akin to hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, without explaining why.
Let's think about the implied argument here…
If objectifying your body is so damaging, then we should not put our bodies on display for sculptures, Olympic ice-skating judge panels, or even our own doctors.

Our bodies are objects. If you prick us, we will bleed. And what is wrong with utilizing these physical tools for the betterment of ourselves and out society?
His second reason was really nothing more than an extension of the first. But did he ever explain how it is that men who judge women's bodies and faces in a pageant will then judge all women in that way… or how these men would otherwise not have done this anyway? Are there men who judge women exclusively by their appearance? Of course, but those men have been around since before beauty pageants. Just because they are wrong, and they watch pageants, doesn't mean the pageant made them do it. To say otherwise is to say that there was no violence before Hollywood invented the action film.
And the truth is that many men who do actively judge the women in a pageant will not turn around and say "well, those women were getting judged like that, so I guess all the OTHER women must be the same way", and then forget that they have more to them than their appearance. After all, a doctor does not start giving surgery to his mother when they meet for Mother's Day.

PhPr's 3rd reason is actually the details of his 1st and 2nd reasons (in other words, they are all one reason). Now it is clear that 99% of women are either anorexic, bulimic, or have committed suicide…according to him. In addition to that leap in logic, he forgets that "society's standards" are not a monolith. Society has room for more than one standard, after all. Plus-sized models, have won pageants. Short models have as well. The first time people saw Kate Moss, they said there were surprised because she was thinner than the other models, but then they said, well, she knows how to hide her size when she needs to, and also how to show that thin and short can be beautiful in its own way as well. Suddenly mainstream media can show tiny and plus sized girls standing side by side with the older standards. Thanks to these pageants, our acceptance of bodies can grow. Women who had been Anerexic, such as Kate Dillon, only stopped hating themselves after they saw plus-sized models finding ways of showing their bodies in beautiful ways so that they can compete and win in beauty pageants.

His 4th reason was that these pageants are the cause of mental illness (again, this is also his 3rd reason). If we apply his logic to everyday life, then we should not *ever* choose to eat chocolate ice cream, because people will assume that Strawberry will be a worthless loser, and, and we should all get pink like strawberry. But wait a minute… if a woman gets rejected by one man, does that mean that all men hate her? Different strokes for different folks. You don't have to be a loser, just because you are not the number one winner. Will they sometimes feel like a loser? Yes, but we all feel that way sometimes. Last I checked, people have been judged by their beauty since pre-history, and have been married and rejected by this criterion, among others. If there were no beauty pageants, would this fact change?
He also forgets that there is a context. Yes they are judged by their beauty, but it is a beauty pageant! If you see land with a factory on it, you will not suddenly become so biased that you will assume that all land should be used for industry, and start picketing against residential zones and parks.

In PhPr's final reason, he admits that there are "many places and ways and opportunities for women to get ahead by using their intelligence and skill and to be treated as equal human beings." No kidding. When men and women want to judge someone by their brains, they will watch Jeopardy, a lecture, or a chess match. But to assert that women will stop wanting to do these things simply because of beauty pageants is not only unfounded, but flies in the face of history. Since the invention of the beauty pageant we have seen more women entering higher education then men.

To summerize this refutation, I will state that PhPr could not find any harm for beauty pageants, but instead listed all the bad effects of women suffering self esteem problems, problems that have always existed in all women – and all men, since pre-history, since everyday life has us competing for mates anyway, one of the criterion for mate competition being beauty. Nothing new here.

Now for my second argument,

II) if the government tries to shame desire for beauty into not existing, then the government will fail because it is fighting human nature. This will make the government look like weak fascists who over regulate, but it will also make beauty pageants move underground, where they would become more old fashioned and degrading.
If the government REALLY succeeds in brainwashing people into pretending that beauty doesn't exist in public, then people will be too ashamed to talk about their problems relating to beauty. Many people who are so crazy about becoming beautiful are risking their lives by becoming anorexic of bulimic, and they should be able to tell people about their problems without fearing shame over the stigma the government is trying to make on people who try to be beautiful.
philosopherpirate

Con

"To summerize this refutation, I will state that PhPr could not find any harm for beauty pageants, but instead listed all the bad effects of women suffering self esteem problems, problems that have always existed in all women – and all men, since pre-history, since everyday life has us competing for mates anyway, one of the criterion for mate competition being beauty. Nothing new here."

AREA is right in that the harms I list for beauty pageants existed before beauty pageants and will exist even if there are never any more beauty pageants. My argument is that these harms, anorexia, bulimia, suicide, and dehumanization, are all made worse by beauty pageants. Every single refutation AREA offers against this argument is a straw man argument. My claim is much more reasonable and intuitive than AREA is making it out to be. If women parade themselves as barely clad pieces of meat in front of the entire nation it does two things. The first is that it establishes a monolithic, unattainable standard of beauty. AREA argues that there are multiple standards of beauty and that beauty pageants actually help create these different standards. While it may be true that there are some beauty pageants for "plus-sized" women, these sorts of pageants are not only much rarer than "traditional" beauty pageants but also receive much less attention. The vast majority of beauty pageants, and the most watched beauty pageants, are those who hold women to a standard of beauty which is thin, tall, blonde, and big chested. When was the last time that a woman under 5 foot or over 180 pounds won the Miss America pageant? To say that beauty pageants do not establish a high, monolithic standard of beauty is, at best, indicative of a profound misunderstanding of what beauty pageants are.

Beauty pageants play a key role in establishing what society's collective standard of beauty. There of course has always been a collectively held ideal of beauty and people will always be predisposed to feel worse about themselves if they do not meet that standard. But that doesn't mean that we should embrace that practice. Establishing a singular, and unreachable, standard of beauty does nothing but increase the propensity for people to engage in self destructive practices because that standard is impossible to attain. My claim is not, as AREA makes it out to be, that because 99% of women cannot meet the standard perpetuated by beauty pageants 99% of women suffer from eating disorders and are suicidal, simply that 99% of women, because of beauty pageants, are at an increased risk of suffering from those problems. This has been empirically proven. With the increase in the prevalence and popularity of beauty standards there has also been a dramatic increase in eating disorders among those women most likely to participate in or watch beauty pageants: white middle-to-upper class women aged 16-25.

The second thing that women parading themselves as meat does is encourages men to treat women as objects. My argument is not that men see women acting like objects in a pageant and then make a conscious choice to treat other women like objects. My argument is that beauty pageants contribute to a culture in which it is not only acceptable but desirable to treat women like objects. If beauty pageants are good and desirable things, as AREA advocates, then treating women like objects is a good and desirable thing because that is what every beauty pageant is. AREA then argues that it is not bad to treat women as objects because our bodies are objects. While our bodies are material objects there are problems with treating people as objects. When people are treated as objects they lose their rights and are used as means to others happiness. Specifically, when men are encouraged to view women as objects this increases the instance of violence against women and rape.

The new argument AREA brings up about the government stopping all beauty pageants is irrelevant. I do not have to defend a ban on beauty pageants or any sort of government action, only that beauty pageants do more harm that good, the topic.

The key issue in contention is "more good than harm." None of the supposed advantages to beauty pageants given by AREA come close to being able to overcome the harms of eating disorders, suicide, abuse, and rape. Even if beauty pageants only increase the chance of these problems a very small amount, that is more harm than whatever good beauty pageants can cause.

If this speech seems like a restatement of my original arguments that is because it largely is. AREA's arguments were almost entirely non-responsive to my arguments and missed just the point. Perhaps clarifying in light of his misunderstandings will create a debate with more direct and relevant refutation and an easier debate to judge.
Debate Round No. 2
AREA

Pro

"beauty pageants, are at an increased risk of suffering from those problems. This has been empirically proven" Proof: "With the increase in the prevalence and popularity of beauty standards there has also been a dramatic increase in eating disorders among those women most likely to participate in or watch beauty pageants: white middle-to-upper class women aged 16-25." That was your empirical evidence? HIV has also gone up since the advent of pageants, I guess those must be connected too. And the increase in once-socialist countries becoming capitalist, and the internet. If only we could assume that everything that increases after event must certainly have been caused by it. This logical fallacy is what they call magical thinking. Check your causation.

"My argument is that beauty pageants contribute to a culture in which it is not only acceptable but desirable to treat women like objects." Not really women, but the bodies of women. By treating their own bodies as objects, they invite the audience and judges to see their bodies as objects as well. Besides from that, your statement sounds fair. But of course it contributes to a culture where it is desirable to treat women's bodies (and men's bodies) like objects. That's the whole point. And while that is happening, in the next studio over, the same company that broadcasts the pageant is also filming a quiz show that promotes judging people based on their knowledge of random trivia. Survivor invites people to judge others based on whatever open-ended criteria they choose. And beauty pageants are doing nothing to stop that. Because judging the way someone handles her own body is not the same as saying "I'm gonna stop watching quiz shows, because now I no longer care about brains". Beauty, brains, brawn, etc are not mutually exclusive.

Then he says that viewing people as objects makes them lose their rights… Not sure I see the linkage there, but let me remind you that we are talking about women (and men) who choose to use their bodies as objects and men and women viewing their bodies as objects. PhPr speaks of men violating women. But wait…any man who views women as objects is not someone who can be trusted when he says "the pageant made me view them that way." Such a man would have serious developmental problems, and was probably born that way. From the time we are infants, we are supposed to be able to understand that others have feelings of their own. That is why babies look at the eyes of us adults to try to figure out what is going on in our minds.

As for "losing their rights", last I checked, America, Brazil, Venezuela, etc, still have laws prohibiting rape and murder. In fact, considerable progress has been made for women since the advent of pageants, so by your logic, we should assume that these pageants are the sole cause of women's progress. Possible, but I wouldn't go that far.

Nice to know PhPr does not advocate a ban, but the 2nd paragraph of my 2nd arguments still stands *un*re*futed*. People have a tendency to live life in certain ways even if it is not pointed out to them. Sexism and eating disorders existed even before pageants, but one ting that was invented after pageants was treatment for people with eating disorders, and a new dialogue on beauty and it's place in society. If you put something on display, it will have its critics. Only then, will people become consciously aware of it. The public only started debating beauty *and other cards* on a large scale once the beauty card was put on display in pageants. In the decades after thin models became popular, people would wonder if there was a link to pageants or not, find that they couldn't "empirically prove" one, but they didn't stop there. After they wondered, they actually built treatment centers for people who really are suffering from eating disorders, and people suffering from a body complex. If beauty had not been put on display so that we can appreciate it's benefits, we never would have noticed any of the harms inherit to the way human beings treat beauty.

PhPr finds that there is a slight chance that pageants cause suicide, abuse, and rape.
Not sure how much of a chance there is. I couldn't disprove it, and he cannot prove it, so there might be some chance. But let us consider the effect on suicide, abuse, and rape rates caused by poverty. Women have always been the majority of the poor. But at least now they have another way to stop being poor. At least now, some are more likely to look up at the display of beauty we call a pageant, become inspired to consider her looks in addition to everything else, and enjoy her own beauty and give that to the world. Am I arguing that the result is they all become professional beauty queens? No. Good for the "winners" if they win, but let us discuss how this benefits all other women. She may consider entering a pageant, fail to win the tiara, but she is still more beautiful now, because she tried, and continues to use her body as an instrument of art. Anyone who has created art knows the joy of it, and people tend to enjoy looking good, once they discover that it can be an art. For many, it takes the pageant. Add to this, she now has a new weapon to use in her struggle to avoid poverty. If bosses, investors, regulators, clients, and perspective employees have the habit of judging people by their looks, well, now, at least these pageant watchers can save themselves some face. They will more often be drawn to her than before, they will less often assume negative assumptions like "she isn't making effort to look professional and attract my business, so I cannot trust her to make effort in general" than before. Business opportunities can only increase. Superficial? You bet.
Human? Definitely.
Human beings have always communicated through their appearance, and we will always judge ourselves and one another by our appearance. We don't usually do it consciously, but psychology shows it to be in our nature. Even nuns look people up and down and judge them before they speak with them. And if PhPr is going to find this state of humanity offensive, he should then admit that it is best that we put it out in the open, into consciousness. But you don't have to take my word for it. Ask University of Florida professor Timothy Judge and University of North Carolina professor Daniel Cable. <http://news.ufl.edu...;. Or read the Jeff Biddle and Daniel Hamermesh and read their survey published in the June 1996 issue of Compsych. Or read Sociologist Bonnie Berry's Beauty Bias: Discrimination and Social Power.
And so long as they have the looks, so long will they have that advantage. Presidential candidates are not the only people whose looks count (try finding a short President or CEO. You can't). Looks are consistently linked to better pay. It is also linked, in the mind of the viewer, to intelligence. Yes, believe it or not, you are thought to be more intelligent if you look good (here, looking "good" is not to be confused with looking "sexual".) The reason why has not been determined. Maybe it is because we assume that others are aware of their appearance and surroundings, and have covered all the bases. But whatever the reason, it affects salary and success. The more of that you have, the less suicide, abuse, and rape you get. Last I checked.

III) using beauty to attract attention to 1) other traits and 2) causes

Many women use beauty pageants as a first step to attract the attention of the mass audience. Who is the mass audience? They are mostly people who only judge people by their looks, and not by their abilities, or compassion.

1) But since all these people cannot pay attention to anything that looks good, they can never learn about the importance of
other traits UNTIL A BEAUTIFUL PERSON TELLS THEM TOO!

This is why beauty Queens tell their audience to judge people's hearts and brains after they win a pageant. Even Omarosa did that!
philosopherpirate

Con

This debate is about the good beauty pageants cause versus the harm they cause. So let us look at the good that AREA gives in his previous post:

"If you put something on display, it will have its critics. Only then, will people become consciously aware of it. The public only started debating beauty ... on a large scale once the beauty card was put on display in pageants."

This is not true, people debated what beauty is for thousands of years before there were beauty pageants, its called aesthetics, its a branch of philosophy. Beauty pageants are not necessary for people to discuss or reconsider notions of beauty. In fact, beauty pageants stifle discussion of beauty by establishing an unquestionable monolithic standard of beauty. The only reason that beauty pageants may have spurred discussion about what is beauty and what our standards of beauty should be is because people have rebelled against the notion of beauty pageants. If beauty pageants are only good because people hate them and what they do to women in our society, is seems that not only is that evidence that beauty pageants are bad but that it would be better to spur discussion of society's standards of beauty other ways.

We do not need beauty pageants to instigate a discussion of society's standards of beauty and so this is not a "good" of beauty pageants. In fact, because they silence such discussions this as a harm of beauty pageants.

"But at least now they have another way to stop being poor. At least now, some are more likely to look up at the display of beauty we call a pageant, become inspired to consider her looks in addition to everything else, and enjoy her own beauty and give that to the world."

Women are not "inspired" by beauty pageants. AREA has conceded that the vast majority of women cannot meet the standard of beauty perpetuated by beauty pageants or even have a home of competiting in them. If women are constantly told that they need to look like beauty pageant contestants to be beautiful and know they cannot ever look like that then they will become very depressed. Beauty pageants prevent women from "enjoying their beauty." Moreover, I am not even sure what enjoying their beauty and giving that beauty to the world means, or why its good. It is certainly not a good that is in anyway as significant as the harms of beauty pageants such as suicide and eating disorders and abuse and rape.

Moreover, women can enjoy their own beauty and share it with the world without beauty pageants, and are in fact much more likely to do so if they are not continually told they are ugly by beauty pageants. AREA never says why women are unable to enjoy and share their beauty without beauty pageants, simple that for some, beauty pageants are necessary but that is not an argument.

"Add to this, she now has a new weapon to use in her struggle to avoid poverty. If bosses... have the habit of judging people by their looks, well, now, at least these pageant watchers can save themselves some face "

This argument is so offensive to not only women but to the poor I do not know where to begin. AREA seems to argue that the poor are poor because they are ugly and that if they are beautiful they will get a job and not be poor anymore. The poor are not poor because they are ugly, and being beautiful will not help them get better jobs. Moreover, beauty pageants are an incredibly elitist competition. It takes thousands of dollars to get the necessary make up, styling, and outfits to compete. The poor simply cannot compete in beauty pageants. If AREA argues that they dont need to compete, simply be inspired by beauty pageants to be more beautiful, then I have already refused this argument elsewhere.

These are the only three goods that AREA gives for beauty pageants. All of them are 1. not unique to beauty pageants, they can happen or be caused by others things, or happen naturally 2. Are in fact harmed by beauty pageants 3. So insignificant or vague as to barely qualify as goods. When we compare these goods to the harms I argue beauty pageants have, these goods are not significant enough to say that beauty pageants cause more good than harm

I argue that beauty pageants contribute to a culture in which it is desirable to view women as objects. AREA agrees by saying "By treating their own bodies as objects, they invite the audience and judges to see their bodies as objects as well" The problem is that he ignores my point that women will be treated as nothing more than objects, as nothing more than their bodies. When that happens, it is now more acceptable to abuse and rape women because they are objects, not persons. Yes, rape and abuse are still illegal, but that is not the point. Beauty pageants make it more acceptable for people to break the law and engage in these acts.

AREA then goes on to argue that "that is happening, in the next studio over, the same company that broadcasts the pageant is also filming a quiz show that promotes judging people based on their knowledge of random trivia."

This does not respond to my argument. Yes there are trivia shows, so what? How many women compete in beauty pageants or want to grow up to be beauty queens? How many little girls make believe they are in beauty pageants? Alternatively, how many little girls want to compete in a trivia show? How many female scientists, academics, and intellectuals are there? Anyone with even one eye can see that women, when they are young and grown, are much more likely to value looking good over being smart. Beauty pageants are in part responsible for that. AREA's argument that, despite beauty pageants, there are still instances in which women are judged for their intellect, does not change or negate the fact that pageants still play an important part in creating social norms where a woman's beauty is valued over her beauty.

Beauty pageants make it more likely that both men and women view women as nothing more than objects and not as full persons, making violence against more likely. This harm is significant enough to alone prove that pageants do more harm then good, but it is not the only harm.

The second harm, that beauty pageants contribute to an increase in eating disorders, also does insufficiently refuted by AREA. AREA accuses me of engaging in the post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) logical fallacy by mistakenly attributing the recent rise of eating disorders to beauty pageants. He argues that "HIV has also gone up since the advent of pageants, I guess those must be connected too. And the increase in once-socialist countries becoming capitalist, and the internet. If only we could assume that everything that increases after event must certainly have been caused by it. This logical fallacy is what they call magical thinking. Check your causation."

Though AREA ignores my arguments that give a causal connection between beauty pageants and eating disorders. My argument is 1. women are more likely to have an eating disorder if they have low self-esteem about their looks 2. Beauty pageants contribute to and judge women by standards of beauty which are unattainable by 99% of women 3. Women are more likely to have low self-esteem if they are unable to meet society's standards of beauty because they then fell ugly. 4. The standards of beauty established by beauty pageants mean most women cannot meet society's standard of beauty, lowering their self-esteem. 5. Beauty standards, by lowering women's self-esteem, increase the likelihood that women will have eating disorders.

Just because eating disorders and rape existed before beauty pageants does not mean that beauty pageants have not increased their likeliness.

The resolution states "more good than harm" which requires a comparison of the magnitude of the good and harms of pageants. The large magnitude of the harms of beauty pageants and insignificant good means that pageants do more harm than good.
Debate Round No. 3
AREA

Pro

This debate shows how beauty pageants (BP) do more good > harm. Con took a pop-feminist stance, I took an intellectually braver stance. Con's stance: (BP) dehumanize (false). Thus, women die b/c of their actions via suicide or eating disorders (false), or the actions of crazed men who rape and kill them. (false) My take? BP doesn't dehumanize, and it leads to the joy of discovering the 1) art of using one's body, inspires others to do the same, and it entertains. 2) It opens a public mass discourse on beauty, 3A) it educates the people who only judge by looks that they should not AND (3B) educates about other causes 4) increases the # of alternative beauty standards and 5). lowers crime. Read below for 3.2), 4), & 5).
While refuting, I'll refer to Con's paragraphs. R= round, P- Paragraph. Example, R3 P6 = "Women aren't inspired…" I apologize for coding, but PhPr's unstructured unsignposted, rambling makes them necessary.

R3P2-P3 (round 3, paragraphs 2 & 3) Yes, Aesthetics was a philosophy. Like I said, the public did not discuss it at a mass level. Most people aren't philosophers. I didn't say all people hate BP, just that it makes beauty consciously visible for the masses, some of whom become critics against the beauty's social role. This supports my 2nd argument. R3P4 Nor do BP silence this discussion. They stimulate and are an expression of it. See my 4th argument.
R3P5-P6, P15 Inspiration: Certainly most will not become the top winner in a BP. That does not mean they would never improve their ability to show their bodies and faces as art to themselves and others, which helps careers too. Competition: The idea that they will become depressed because they are not number one is an exaggeration. None of us is number one in capitalism except Bill Gates, and we are not killing ourselves over it. No one starves himself to save money. Competition isn't bad cause it motivates improvement. Improvement makes us richer in money and beauty. Should sports teams, should societies not improve?
R3P7 Women do enjoy their beauty without BPs, but some never consciously consider it, and they ignore it at their own risk. (careers, art, crime, etc). Thus, for these particular women, BP gets them into it. For others, it is still entertaining.
R3P8-P9 I am sorry that sociology offends PhPr. The real world offends me too but one of the many reasons the poor are poor is because people have a bias in favor of looks. Education is an investment worthwhile, as society is biased by academic credentials. Society is also biased by looks, so looks are an investment too. Both education and looks need wise investment, to be worthwhile. I'll remind you that very few people enter BP, so most of Con's remarks are irrelevant. Main effect is on viewers.
In R3P10 My benefits were accused of being…1) Not Unique: I have no burden to show that they are unique. Even if they were, and that made them an irrelevant factor, then Con's refutation is also irrelevant. And Con just admitted that there are benefits. 2) harms: Refuted 3) Vague: That's life. Art is vague. Beauty is subjective. Doesn't mean the judges don't know what it is. Good luck defining it. But Benefits to careers and decreased crime aren't vague.
R3 P11-P14 If PhPr sees a mannequin in a shop window, he'll say it promotes rape. My response: Only to the Taliban, who tend not to have BP in their societies anyway.
Amazingly, PhPr never refuted my 3rd argument at the end of round 3 scroll back up and read it.

My arguments:
3B) BP contestants regularly promote social causes; world peace, ending global hunger, and banning fur. Reducing landmines, unsustainable logging, and illegal arms trade would be harder without them giving these little-known specialty causes media attention via BP. People look these causes up, and some donate time or money to them. Entire BP support some causes. (Miss Earth, Jumbo Queen Elephant conservation, etc.

4) Alternative standards of beauty
As Con says, there's a globalization of the standard of beauty. And yet today's mainstream BP, are becoming more post modern; the winners are not always what rich white men traditionally wanted. Whites literally rioted in 83 when Vanessa Williams won Miss America, but she went on to big things. Since then, we've had winners with traditional Latina, African, or Asian looks. Some of these women have a full, healthy shape, rather than looking weak. Not all mainstream judges vote along with mainstream white-male traditions, and there's alternative BP the outside mainstream too.
BP can be held by any group of people who wants to promote any standard of beauty. For example, Okinawans can hold a beauty BP for "Traditional Okinawan beauty". There's no limit to the # of BP you can find or start.
Today we ALREADY have Miss India, Latina, Asia & BP for plus-sized women in many countries. The variety of BP is WIDENING the narrow spectrum of acceptable beauty. To call this trend harmful is to oppose alternative beauty standards. These alternatives help empower oppressed people (plus-sized women, racial minorities, developing countries, etc) by showing the world that it is natural even for non-Westerners to be proud of themselves. Let them feel and use an identity to counter the traditional power brokers, to whom it sends the message that the ways of rich Western men are not automatically the best, that they should respect the other viewpoints in the today's globalized world.

5) Crime
If Con says BP is bad b/c of a tiny chance to lead to murder/rape, then he must say that any potentially bad influence with a tiny chance to lead to those crimes also does more harm than good. Action movies, comics, video games lead to violence, ballet to rape.
Two mistakes here. 1) Even if one person in 6 billion a year got victimized as a result of BP, the harm is outweighed by her getting to live in a fun society until then, and by all other people living in a fun society. BP is a form of entertainment, and is meant to be fun. Even if BP did pose a risk, people are willing to accept risk to live in a modern world that allows women to show what they can do with themselves. Many have willingly died for freedom before. 2) Even if there was a link between entertainment and crime, what makes Con think it's a bad one? More BP doesn't = more crimes. BP replaces/ substitutes for crime. For that one crazed man who would contemplate rape based on entertainment, BP is an alternative. If it is entertaining enough, then he is satisfied enough to not rape. Remember there's no BP in Saudi Arabia, where women are covered head to toe and still get raped all the time. In Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, marital and statutory rape are legal, victims are blamed, often executed. Despite the many deterrents victims face about reporting these crimes, they still do. Pakistan: domestic violence rates as high as 90%, at least 8 reported rapes every 24 hours nationwide, and an alarming rise in "honor" killings. HRW.org
This argument also refutes Con: Hiding your body doesn't prevent crime. It increases crime because it sends the message that crime is the fault of the victim for not covering up. Plus, it doesn't give the crazed man's eyes enough to satisfy his urges and prevent him from raping. BP decrease these crimes by lessening the need to commit them, & by lessening the chance for men to blame the victims by saying "it is her fault because she is pretty". b/c BP are the norm, that simply cannot be said so often.

Summary
Con misrepresented my stance. I Never said all women should enter BP and be #1-never even argued that many women WOULD enter, just that they would consider entering, few would, less would win any. But I did argue the benefits for all concerned. BP doesn't dehumanize. It's 1) fun art for models/viewers 2) A public debate 3A) it educates Biased people not to only judge by looks (3B) educates about other causes 4) Widens narrow standards of beauty 5). lowers crime, thus BP=good>harm
philosopherpirate

Con

philosopherpirate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AREA 6 years ago
AREA
The economist year-end double issue has a special on beauty and sucess.
They cite all the studies that proove people who look good tend to be thought of as more intelegent, and thus, they make more money for themselves and their companies. They go even beyond what I had argued and state that this idea is usually correct.

This article is available for free. They cite 7 academic studies, including the Hamermesh findings I cited.

http://economist.com...

By the way, anyone who wants to pro this debate, I'll show you my con.
Posted by AREA 6 years ago
AREA
Hey voters, (and non-voters)
May I ask that you give a little feedback?
I voted for Debater A (usually Philosopher Pirate, by the looks of things) because he was better at proving XYZ than Debater B. Explaining the reason for your votes would benefit the debaters immensly, and since such explainations are logical, are good practice for debaters.
BTW, I've never been to a debate tournament where judges did NOT explain their votes. It's a good habit to pick up if you plan on judging at any.

Peace out.
Posted by AREA 6 years ago
AREA
Toored
Agreed!
If you are going to run a kiddie pageant, then why doll them up, give them fake lashes, make up, evening gowns, and bikinis? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of making it for kids (and make you a freak to boot?)
Saw a documentary about how they all buy adult teeth caps that cost 600 bucks. The absence of teeth isn't supposed to affect judging officially, but everyone buys them cause they say it really does. These moms understand the "real world", huh?

I actually wasn't especially grossed out by Little Miss sunshine, because what I had seen in a public school dance show for elementary students in Hiroshima, Japan was far worse. The 3rd graders and up were fine. But the kids younger than that danced and dressed like a porno version of Britney Spears. What kind of dance teacher teaches 5 year olds to gyrate like THAT? Never even seen that kind dance in a hp hop video...
Posted by philosopherpirate 6 years ago
philosopherpirate
It probably would have made sense to post these in reverse order, but oh well.........

All of the "benefits" of beauty pageants are either so small as to be insignificant, so unlikely as to be insignificant, or actually harms of beauty pageants.

AREA says I misunderstand his argument by saying that all women would participate in beauty pageants. All women do not need to participate in beauty pageants in order for the harms of eating disorders and sexual abuse. Simply that beauty pageants, because of their visibility and importance, contribute to a culture in which it is acceptable and good to view women only as objects and women are held to an unattainable standard of beauty that increases the likelihood that they will have an eating disorder. These harms are not only very significant, the chances of them happening are very high. Now very high for suicide or eating disorders does not mean one in ten women get raped or contract anorexia but perhaps one in a thousand, or ten thousand. Granted these are numbers I am basically making up but the point is that even if a relatively few number of girls get raped or contract an eating disorder as a result, however indirectly, from beauty pageants is still significant enough to outweigh the supposed benefits of beauty pageants.
Posted by philosopherpirate 6 years ago
philosopherpirate
Finally, AREA's argument that beauty pageants lower crime is such a GROSS over oversimplification of the issue as to be laughable. The higher rate of sexual abuse and related crimes in Middle Eastern countries is due to a complicated mix of history, social norms, and religious beliefs. Beauty pageants do not lower crime by allowing potential rapists an outlet for their "urges." That is not why rapes happen and beauty pageants do not affect that. Even if this sort of logic was true, the legality of pornography in the US and not in the Middle East would have a much larger effect. As such, the chances that beauty pageants can reduce crime are so small as to be negligable.

AREA makes a good argument that we allow certain forms of entertainment despite certain detrimental effects of it. This is true but irrelevant. Just because people are okay with beauty pageants and that it may be worse to ban them then to allow them because of the loss of freedom does not mean that beauty pageants still cause more harm than good.
Posted by philosopherpirate 6 years ago
philosopherpirate
Third, beauty pageants actually reinforce the idea of only judging people on their looks. This claim is so ridiculous I do not know how AREA can even make it. Beauty pageants are judged solely on their looks. Doing so explicitly condones having people judged by only their looks. Sure there are talent competitions and that part where the contestants are asked questions but those are hardly significant in determining who wins the pageants, its entirely about the looks.

Fourth, beauty pageants do not educate people about other causes. Sure beauty queens can raise awareness about certain issues but beauty pageants are not the sole or largest raiser of awareness about these causes. Beauty pageants can hardly be given credit for awareness of land mine problems. Since awareness can be raised in other ways, ways that do not have the harms of beauty pageants, this should not be considered a benefit of beauty pageants. Moreover, many beauty pageant contestants are morons and not only fail to raise awareness but if anything, breed ignorance. Look if Miss (teen I think) South Caroline on youtube and see what she has to say. She certainly isn't raising awareness about anything.

Fifth, beauty pageants have incredibly narrow standards of beauty. Sure non-white women win beauty pageants but that is not the point. And sure, there are a few "plus-sized" beauty pageants, but they are in the extreme minority of pageants and are ignored by just about everyone. When was the last time a fat woman won Miss America? Or a short woman? Or one with very short hair? Or an acne problem? Or one without a little bit of cellulite? Even the non-white women who win beauty pageants only do so by making themselves look like white women. A black woman would not win Miss America with an afro, she has to but oil in her hair so it looks like a white woman's hair. Beauty pageants narrow standards of beauty.
Posted by philosopherpirate 6 years ago
philosopherpirate
Remember when evaluating whether or not beauty pageants do more good than harm you have to consider both the magnitude of the good or harm of beauty pageants and the chance that beauty pageants could cause that harm or good. If there is a tiny chance beauty pageants cause a particular good or harm, it should be ignored. If the good or harm is insignificantly small, it should also be ignored. The harms of beauty pageants are not only more likely than the benefits of them, but are also more significant.

AREA, in the end of his last post, says beauty pageants do a few things.

"It's 1) fun art for models/viewers 2) A public debate 3A) it educates Biased people not to only judge by looks (3B) educates about other causes 4) Widens narrow standards of beauty 5). lowers crime, thus BP=good>harm "

First, beauty pageants are not fun for the vast majority of people because the vast majority of people cannot compete in beauty pageants and are ugly by the standards of beauty pageants. Being told you are ugly is not exactly fun. Even if pageants are fun, having fun is such an insignificant benefit next to the harms of eating disorders and sexual abuse that it should be ignored because the harms outweigh the benefits.

Second, a public debate about beauty can happen without beauty pageants. As such, this should not be considered a benefit of beauty pageants. Moreover, beauty pageants kill debate by having a singular standard of beauty. There are very specific standards that contestants are judged by and and deviation from that standard is punished. There is no debate caused by beauty pageants.
Posted by Toored 6 years ago
Toored
I don't mind adult/teen pageants all that much but the youth ones scare the hell out of me!

Little Miss Sunshine anyone?
Posted by philosopherpirate 6 years ago
philosopherpirate
Damn, I thought I had more time. I am sorry after such a lengthy debate I drop the ball on the last post. I will post my last argument anyway since I was all but finished when time ran out. People can read it and do with it what they will.
Posted by AREA 6 years ago
AREA
PhilosopherPirate

Thank you for debating with me. I had initially worried that I'd pull someone with little to say, but you turned up and made it a mighty debate.

Did we ever have trouble staying under 8000 characters!
All the better to hone our editing skills.
Cheers!
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