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The World of Beauty Pageant Modelling

  • Claire Louise

Pageant modelling has been a staple of American culture for many years; however, its success has found its way over the pond to the UK. Beauty contests are often for children, however, there are adult versions out there for you to get involved with.

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What Is Pageant Modelling?

International beauty pageants take place all over the world, and thanks to their commercial success in the USA, they’ve become a huge deal in Britain as well. In fact, they’ve always arguably existed here in some respects, with a May Queen often being chosen for May Day.

In the modern sense, they are usually concerned with physical attributes such as attractiveness, but they’ve expanded to be more all-encompassing, and often have other elements. For example, contestants might be asked to display a talent (like singing or dancing), or face interview questions.

pageant modelling

International pageants for children and toddlers focus on beauty, gowns, sportswear modelling, talents, and personal interviews. Adult and teen pageants focus on makeup, hair and gowns, swimsuit modelling, as well as personal interviews – these are conducted on stage in front of everyone!

People go all out. They get extensions, they take walking classes, and choreograph everything from dances to their general posing routines and even their smiles.

Shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo have captured their success in mainstream media.

Why Get Into Pageant Modelling?

Beauty pageants are a lucrative business. Winners aren’t just safe in the knowledge that they won – they get real cash prizes, and sometimes these are huge. They are often crowned or given a sash, and beauty Queens are often given a title as well.

You can even win college scholarships and contracts across the modelling world to boost your career. In fact, it is great modelling experience for young people who walk the catwalk in front of a panel of judges. Pageantry is a good way of building confidence. Many finalists look for modelling jobs or for roles in the entertainment industry, especially those who have made a name for themselves after becoming Miss Universe. For some young women they are a role model who will excel in public speaking at events aimed to inspire.


The Moral Conundrum of Pageant Modelling

There are a few concerns when it comes to pageant modelling, especially where minors are involved. Children are sometimes thought to be forced into the world of beauty pageants, with many mothers being accused of living vicariously through their child.

Other opponents argue that such pageants are not empowering for young girls and lead to anxieties and insecurities. In extreme cases, it’s thought that they encourage young girls to diet or seek cosmetic surgery, often leading to body dysmorphia or eating disorders. Some pageants have now got rid of the swimsuit modelling section, after claims that this is a step too far.

On an altogether darker level, beauty pageants have even been blamed for forcing little girls to grow up too fast. They wear make up and do their hair in an extreme fashion originally intended for adults. Critics accuse organisers of helping to sexualise young children. Sadly, one little girl named JonBenet Ramsey was murdered age six – she was a pageant queen and some people argue this made her a target. Thankfully, this was an isolated incident.

Would you partake in pageant modelling? What do you think of kids who take part? Cute or creepy? Let us know!

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