Pageants destroy mental health

Dilasha Acharya

Beauty pageants are a timeless tradition that has been held all over the world for all ages. While beauty pageants play a role in women’s empowerment by giving them a platform to establish themselves and make them feel more powerful in society, they also have inevitable backlashes.

Although beauty pageants have many positive aspects, their downsides should not be overlooked. The fundamental goal of beauty pageants is to crown the most attractive and talented female contestant. Most beauty pageants demand ladies have a specific body type or characteristic. 

Because of this, many women develop insecurities and more severe mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, children who participate in beauty pageants are more likely to develop body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.

The level of stress experienced by the participants is excessive. To prepare for a pageant, you must have a wardrobe selected, a talent practiced, be mentally prepared to answer your on-stage questions and on top of that, be considered beautiful enough to enter, according to Pageant Planet.

While beauty pageants are said to promote self-esteem, this is not the case. Instead, it has the opposite effect, leaving many participants with low self-esteem and uncertainties. 

One recent example of the downsides that beauty pageants can have is the suicide of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst. According to NBC News, Miss USA 2019 struggled with high functioning depression and her death came as a shock to everyone around her. 

Beauty pageants must be changed so tragedies like this do not occur. More women should be allowed to compete, and the competition should focus more on uplifting the contestants than tearing them down. Beauty pageants are mesmerizing to watch, but we must think about the contestants as people too.