Pageants are about so much more than beauty

I recently came across an article, shared to my Facebook page, which had been written for the Telegraph by well-respected journalist and broadcaster Rowan Pelling entitled ‘What’s so wrong about being a beauty queen’,

Ms Pelling argued that beauty pageants are well past their sell-by date and that while some women were having their “vital statistics being discussed in public”, other young girls should “consider becoming a human rights lawyer” if they wanted a worthwhile career that reaps several benefits. The article absolutely outraged me, not because I have anything to do with the pageant industry, but because of how belittling it was to some extraordinary females who have made a difference in the world through their titles.

I am no beauty queen. I can barely walk in a straight line most days, let alone consistently strut my stuff on a catwalk. Although this is the first pre-conception that people have of pageant pros – that having a pretty smile and good posture wins you a crown. It is, surprisingly, one of the minor elements that a title holder requires. Thanks to social media, I have recently become a follower of all things pageant and my image of a stereotypical beauty queen has been absolutely shattered. What has become most evident is the amount of hard work and determination that all contestants put into their work, most notably their dedication to charity and helping women to empower and inspire themselves to be the best they can be.

The perception of a beauty queen has been clouded over the past decade, or so. However, I think what has been lost between the expensive gowns, flawless hair and the shining teeth that the public eye see’s is the strong, motivated females that are desperate to make a difference.