Are beauty competitions disrespectful, derogatory and biased?


Beauty Pageants: Moving forwards or backwards?

Beauty pageants are the lifestyle of the present generation of youth. Young girls and women should thrive on participating in life goals to nurture their mental health rather than being subjected to body shame at an early age.

People often forget the true meaning of beauty—true beauty is attractive to those seeking and valuing the individual’s depth and thought process rather than external attributes. Beauty is subjective to an individual, which is irrelevant to the beauty standards that young women fall prey to.

The categorisation of the beauty pageant is entirely on physical features. In India, the beauty standards are absurd and judged based on a woman’s external beauty rather than knowledge.

With this view, women are susceptible to body image, starving to fit into toxic beauty standards and so forth. Are beauty competitions disrespectful? YES.

The beauty pageant paves the path to the patriarchy where they could disrespect and objectify women.

What is a Beauty Pageant?

A beauty pageant or contest is an event that has mainly focused on judging and ranking the physical attributes of the contestants. A beauty pageant aims to find the personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses of the contestants.

Beauty Pageant: Sexism in disguise

In 1951, Miss World emerged and paved the path to judge women based on their physical attributes. On the contrary, Mr World appeared in 1996 and was funded by the Miss World organisation. Men were solely considered based on sport bodybuilding.

The absolute difference between Miss World and Mr world is that women are evaluated based on their external appearance. In contrast, the latter is judged based on the individual’s sport.

The patriarchy is deeply instilled in our human nature that we are blind to spot the problematic behaviour of beauty pageants.

Once people understood that the beauty contest involves women’s objectification in the beauty pageants, they introduced Mr World to nullify women’s arguments that men participate in beauty pageants.

Furthermore, in 1961, “Mr Olympia” was the title awarded the professional men’s bodybuilding winner, which was a big deal. It is rather questioning that they brought Mr World precisely when women realised that they are objectified.

Beauty Pageants’ primary objective is to provide scholarships to these beautiful young women to chase their dreams and pursue their dream colleges.

However, I am inclined to believe that these young women were subjected to hypocrisy since colleges expect a student to maintain their weight by starving themselves!

Objectification of women

Furthermore, women were expected to wear a swimsuit when it isn’t necessary to begin with. The absolute mental pressure to maintain their body enforced on women from an early age is derogatory.

Miss congeniality movie comically suggested the hypocrisy when the FBI agent Sandra Bullock had to go undercover for a beauty pageant as one of the contestants. She had to change her entire habit to be in the procession.

Every time the main lead bullock tries to eat food, she is reminded of the pageant and asked to diet. Constantly, the scholarship mentioned reminding the hypocrisy of the beauty pageant.

Beauty pageants promote racial biased:

The nation has failed to respect all women’s skin tones and decides to favour fairer skin tones. The Miss India contest encourages the obsession with the desired beauty standards of long dark hair and fair skin. Hence, creating a false impression on the young generation.

If they do not possess specific beauty standards, they do not fall under the category of beautiful. Indian young women are encouraged to maintain a particular lifestyle to live a happy life, resulting in trauma and other medical health problems.


Women are exposed to such harsh derogatory treatment. Yes, women are disrespected, biased in the world of beauty pageants. Often, women’s dignity is compromised.

We must create a younger generation with beautiful thoughts to nurture their knowledge and goals instead of feeding atrocious beauty standards.

Nonetheless, every woman should live the life she desires rather than the society’s perception of beauty standards. With that being said, every woman is beautiful in her way.

Shalini Desy (@shalinimisa) is an avid reader by night and writer by day. She has been a blogger since 2018 and has her personal blog in WordPress ( In addition, she has curated over 1.5 million views on Quora. As a writer, Shalini is passionate about fashion and lifestyle and provides impressive articles for those seeking guidance. She is also a fashion content creator on Instagram, where she primarily uploads fashion video content to interact with her audience. In the future, she is all set to venture into the journey of a Fashion Influencer. Sky's the limit and so is Shalini's passion.



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