The BIGGEST problem with Pageants and why I avoid them

It is no surprise that Steve Harvey’s big blunder is trending right now. He announced the wrong winner at the recent Miss Universe Pageant.  I felt bad for Miss Columbia who had to take back the crown.

Then I thought, “Is that really the worst that could happen?”  I made this post on my Facebook page:

I saw that the wrong winner was announced on Miss Universe. That’s terrible. However what is MORE terrible is the fact that this competition is even still around. 😟
‪#‎objectifyingwomen‬ ‪#‎missuniverse‬
‪#‎eatingdisordertrigger‬
‪#‎bodypositive‬

and I tweeted this:

 

The truth is, I am disappointed that Pageants such as Miss Universe and Miss America are still going strong. Why is that?  Sponsorship money? I am sure the ratings are great. The fact is  we still like to drool over pretty women and wish we were them.  As a society, we still glorify the woman’s body as a sexual object and that’s not okay with me.

coronet-150212_1280

 

 

These pageants are anti-women and here is why.

 

  1. There is no body diversity.  I know there is more to the pageant than the swimsuit competition.  They do have the talent portion and the “Presence and Poise” (wearing a glamorus evening gown).  But to me, it’s not about WHAT they wear, it’s that each woman  looks the same. They are all a size zero, stereotypical model body type.  Who knows what they put themselves through to look like that.  I want to know the statistics for eating disorders amongst the contestants.    Upon looking at this website, I was floored that they had the audacity to say this:

The Miss Universe Organization empowers women to develop the confidence they need to achieve their personal best. A confident woman has the power to make real change, starting in her local community with the potential to reach a global audience. We encourage every woman to get out of her comfort zone, be herself, and continue to define what it means to be Confidently Beautiful.

So, Miss Universe organization, in other words, it’s great to be confident BUT…. we must have a flat stomach, tiny waist, big boobs and a thigh gap in order to be beautiful.  Thanks for the hypocrisy.

Why don’t we  see bigger women showing off their bodies at these competitions? They don’t allow it.  It’s not their definition of beauty.  I’m sure it’s because they think fat women are lazy and not taking care of themselves. The mindset is,  “How dare this person who surely must binge every night, represent what it means to be a true American!”  (or insert whatever country you are from).

2.  The second biggest reason I abhor these pagents is a result of the objectification—being exposed to the industry (not just pageants, but models in general)  can be a huge trigger for eating disorders.  I know that eating disorders are complex and don’t result from simply looking at skinny women; however, sometimes we don’t realize how these little things can add up in a young, impressionable girl’s (or boy’s) mind.  Imagine what is going though her head when we watch and comment on how beautiful they are.  An obsevant girl will notice that their bodies are all the same.  She might compare her body and feel ashamed or less than.  Even if it’s not an eating disorder trigger, it may lead someone to want to go on a self destructive diet, or never want to wear a swimsuit.  It’s not fair that we are letting society dictate what is okay and it’s certainly NOT okay for young girls (and boys!) to think that they need to look like that to feel beautiful and confident.  It’s important to remove anything in our life that is a trigger for body hatred. For me, letting go of certain objectifying magazines has been a big help in redirecting my focus toward body acceptance.

3. Lastly, it encouarges unhealthy competition. Why are women competing against each other anyway?  I want the focus to be on love, peace and acceptance.  Besides, if someone wants to be in a real competition, they can go on shows such as The Voice or America’s Got Talent (assuming they really do have talent).   I know I have done enough judging and comparing in my life.  I finally feel free to love myself and not worry about how I stack up to other women.  We are all in this struggle of life together and should be lifting one another up, not  tearing each other down based on something superficial.

And after all is said and done…. we could have 20 contestants who are all bigger sized and into Fat Acceptance Activism and it would STILL  be sexually objectifying.  Why?  Because they are being judged for WHAT they are instead of WHO they are. (and who we are cannot be judged)  They are being put on display like tophies to be gawked at.  We are not prizes to be adorned, we are beautiful souls who should be cherished.

So enough with the fake smiles, starvation diets, spray tans, and skimpy bikinis.  My deam is that these competitions will be banned someday.  But for now, we can simply decide not to watch and instead focus on how incredibly amazing we are.

Kellie McGarry

Body Acceptance Life Coach

http://www.mcgarrywellness.org

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2 thoughts on “The BIGGEST problem with Pageants and why I avoid them

  1. Great post and I really agree with “we are beautiful souls who should be cherished”. The people who change the world for the best are those with beautiful souls, hearts and minds. Bodies are only temporary.

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