Beauty Contest Research Paper Introduction Generator

"Beauty contest" and "Beauty queen" redirect here. For other uses, see Beauty contest (disambiguation) and Beauty queen (disambiguation).

A beauty pageant or beauty contest is a competition that has traditionally focused on judging and ranking the physical attributes of the contestants, although some contests have evolved to also incorporate personality traits, intelligence, talent, and answers to judges' questions as judged criteria. The term almost invariably refers only to contests for unmarried women such as the Big Four international beauty pageants.[1][2][3] Similar events or competition for men or boys being called by other names and more likely to be bodybuilding contests.

The organizers of each pageant may determine the rules of the competition, including the age range of contestants. The rules may also require the contestants to be unmarried, and be "virtuous", "amateur", and available for promotions, besides other criteria. It may also set the clothing standards in which contestants will be judged, including the type of swimsuit.

Beauty pageants are generally multi-tiered, with local competitions feeding into the larger competitions. For example, the international pageants have hundreds or thousands of local competitions. Child beauty pageants mainly focus on beauty, gowns, sportswear modelling, talent, and personal interviews. Adult and teen pageants focus on makeup, hair and gowns, swimsuit modelling, and personal interviews. A winner of a beauty contest is often called a beauty queen. The rankings of the contestants are referred to as placements.

There are some swimsuit competitions which are for judging the beauty of only a part of body, such as female buttocks (ex. Miss Bum Bum contest held in Brazil, Miss Reef contest held in several South American countries).[4]

Possible awards of beauty contests include titles, tiaras or crowns, sashes, scepters, savings bonds, scholarships, and cash prizes. However, adult and teen pageants have been moving more towards judging speaking. Some pageants award college scholarships, to the winner or multiple runners-up.[5]


Early years[edit]

European festivals dating to the medieval era provide the most direct lineage for beauty pageants. For example, English May Day celebrations always involved the selection of a May Queen. In the United States, the May Day tradition of selecting a woman to serve as a symbol of bounty and community ideals continued, as young beautiful women participated in public celebrations.[7]

A beauty pageant was held during the Eglinton Tournament of 1839, organized by Archibald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton, as part of a re-enactment of a medieval joust that was held in Scotland. The pageant was won by Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, the wife of Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset, and sister of Caroline Norton, and she was proclaimed as the "Queen of Beauty".[8]

Entrepreneur Phineas Taylor Barnum staged the first modern American pageant in 1854, but his beauty contest was closed down after public protest.[9][10]

National pageants[edit]

Beauty contests became more popular in the 1880s. In 1888, the title of 'beauty queen' was awarded to an 18-year-old Creole contestant at a pageant in Spa, Belgium. All participants had to supply a photograph and a short description of themselves to be eligible to enter and a final selection of 21 was judged by a formal panel.[11] Such events were not regarded as respectable. Beauty contests came to be considered more respectable with the first modern "Miss America" contest held in 1921.[12]

The oldest pageant still in operation today is the Miss America pageant, which was organized in 1921 by a local businessman as a means to entice tourists to Atlantic City, New Jersey.[13] The pageant hosted the winners of local newspaper beauty contests in the "Inter-City Beauty" Contest, which was attended by over one hundred thousand people. Sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C. was crowned Miss America 1921, having won both the popularity and beauty contests, and was awarded $100.[14]

International pageants[edit]

In May 1920, promoter C.E. Barfield of Galveston, Texas organized a new event known as "Splash Day" on the island. The event featured a "Bathing Girl Revue" competition as the centerpiece of its attractions.[15][16][17][18] The event was the kick-off of the summer tourist season in the city and was carried forward annually. The event quickly became known outside of Texas and, beginning in 1926, the world's first international contest was added, known as the International Pageant of Pulchritude.[17] This contest is said to have served as a model for modern pageants.[18][19][20] It featured contestants from England, Russia, Turkey, and many other nations and the title awarded at the time was known as "Miss Universe".[18][21] The event was discontinued in the United States in 1932 because of the Depression (the international competition was revived briefly in Belgium).

After World War II[edit]

The popularity of the Miss America pageant prompted other organizations to establish similar contests in the 1950s and beyond. Some were significant while others were trivial, such as the National Donut Queen contest. The Miss World contest started in 1951, Miss Universe started in 1952 as did Miss USA. Miss International started in 1960. The Miss Black America contest started in 1968[22] in response to the exclusion of African American women from the Miss America pageant. The Miss Universe Organization started the Miss Teen USA in 1983 for the 14-19 age group. Miss Earth started in 2001, which channels the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to actively promote the preservation of the environment.[23][24] These contests continue to this day.

Swimsuit competition[edit]

Main article: Swimsuit competition

The requirement for contestants to wear a swimsuit was a controversial aspect of the various competitions. The controversy was heightened with the increasing popularity of the bikini after its introduction in 1946. The bikini was banned for the Miss America contest in 1947 because of Roman Catholic protesters.[25] When the Miss World contest started in 1951, there was an outcry when the winner was crowned in a bikini. Pope Pius XII condemned the crowning as sinful,[26][27] and countries with religious traditions threatened to withdraw delegates.[28] The bikini was banned for future and other contests. It was not until the late 1990s that they became permitted again,[13] but still generated controversy when finals were held in countries where bikinis (or swimsuits in general) were socially disapproved.[13][29] For example, in 2003, Vida Samadzai from Afghanistan caused an uproar in her native country when she participated in the Miss Earth contest in a bikini.[13] In 2013, the swimsuit round of the Miss World contest was dropped because of Islamist protests in Bali (Indonesia), where the contest took place.[29] In 2014, the Miss World contest eliminated the swimsuit competition from its pageant.[30]

In 2017, Carousel Productions was criticized of objectifying women when the delegates of Miss Earth 2017 walked the first time in the history of international pageants wearing swimsuits during the event but their faces were concealed by a veil in the Beauty of Figure and Form segment of the competition which was first introduced in the Miss Philippines Earth 2017 pageant.[31][32][33][34] It was one of the three preliminary judging segments of the pageant that include Poise and Beauty of Face and Environmental and Intelligence Competition.[35][36] The organizers defended the "beauty of figure and form" segment and released a statement that the said round was intended to promote strict impartiality during pre-judging by focusing on the contestants’ curves, execution and not beautiful face.[37][38]

Major beauty pageants[edit]

Main article: List of beauty pageants

Major international contests for women include the yearly Miss World competition (founded by Eric Morley in 1951), Miss Universe (founded in 1952), Miss International (founded in 1960), and Miss Earth (founded in 2001 with environmental awareness as its concern).[39][40][41] These are considered the Big Four pageants, the four largest and most famous international beauty contests for single or unmarried women.[42][43]

FoundedPageantOrganizerLocationBikini allowedBikini regulation
1921Miss AmericaMiss America Organization[13]Atlantic City, New Jersey19971947: Bikinis were outlawed because of Roman Catholic protesters.[25]
1997: Contestants allowed to wear bikinis.[13]
1951Miss WorldEric Morley,
Miss World Organization
London, England19511951: The first winner Kiki Håkansson from Sweden was crowned in a bikini. Countries with religious traditions threatened to withdraw delegates,[28] and Pope Pius XII condemned the crowning as sinful.[26][27]
1952: Swimsuits toned down to more modest designs.[13]
1996: Miss World contest was held in Bangalore, India, but the swimsuit round was shifted to Seychelles because of intense protests.[44]
2013: The swimsuit round was dropped because of Islamist protests in Bali, Indonesia, where the contest took place.[29]
1952Miss UniverseWilliam Morris EndeavorNew York City19971952: Bikinis banned.
1997: Contestants allowed to wear bikinis.[13]
1960Miss InternationalInternational Cultural AssociationTokyo, Japan19601964: Bikinis made mandatory
1983Miss Teen USAWilliam Morris EndeavorNew York CityNot allowed1983:Bikinis banned.
1997: Contestants allowed to wear bikinis.[13]
2000: Tankinis were provided as an option for the first (and only) time.[13]
2016: Bikini competition was removed and replaced with athletic wear[45]
2001Miss EarthCarousel ProductionsQuezon City, Philippines20032003:Vida Samadzai from Afghanistan participating in a bikini caused an uproar in her native country.[13]
2017: The "Beauty of Form and Figure" preliminary judging in Miss Earth 2017 was introduced where the delegates walked in white two-piece bikinis but their faces were covered by a white veil to focus the judgment on the body figures on this portion.[46][47]


Critics of beauty pageants argue that such contests reinforce the idea that girls and women should be valued primarily for their physical appearance, and that this puts tremendous pressure on women to conform to conventional beauty standards by spending time and money on fashion, cosmetics, hair styling, and even cosmetic surgery. They claim that this pursuit of physical beauty even encourages some women to go on a diet to the point of harming themselves.[48][49][50]

It is argued that rather than being empowering, beauty pageants do exactly the opposite because they deny the full humanity of women by placing them as the subject of objectification; they reinforce the idea that a woman's only purpose is to look attractive.[51]

Another criticism that is placed on beauty pageants is in the way beauty is quantifiably scored as highlighted by the "Myth of the Perfect 10".[52] Beauty becomes a numerical coefficient in ranking contestants, and this type of scoring still remains followed as a system even in nationwide beauty pageants such as Miss America.[53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^"Miss Earth 2004 beauty pageant". China Daily. Reuters. 2004-10-25. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  2. ^"Brazil's Miss World finalist has her hands and feet amputated". 22 January 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  3. ^Enriquez, Amee (2 February 2014). "Philippines: How to make a beauty queen". BBC News. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  4. ^Sophie Jane Evans (August 7, 2014). "Brazil's finest assets on show: Country unveils the 27 women set to compete in its annual Miss Bum Bum contest". Daily Mail. Retrieved March 3, 2018. 
  5. ^Miss Teenage California scholarship awards, from the pageant websiteArchived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^Universal Newsreel (1935). "Lone Star State Selects Beauties for 100 Year Pageant". Texas Archive of the Moving Image. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  7. ^"Miss America: People & Events: Origins of the Beauty Pageant". Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^Colin Blakemore and Sheila Jennett, ed. (2006). The Oxford companion to the body (1. publ. ed.). Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-19-852403-X. 
  10. ^"It's Not a Beauty Pageant. It's a Scholarship Competition!". The LOC.GOV Wise Guide. Library of Congress. August 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  11. ^"Beauty Pageants History: The Beginning and Beyond". Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ abcdefghijk"History". Pageant Almanac. Pageant Almanac. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2008. 
  14. ^"Miss America". In Encyclopedia of New Jersey. 2004. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  15. ^Stein, Elissa (2006). Beauty Queen: Here She Comes... Chronicle Books. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-8118-4864-0. 
    "Revues and other Vanities: The Commodification of Fantasy in the 1920s". Assumption College. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  16. ^"The Sloane Collection, no. 4 – Galveston Bathing Girl Revue, 1925". Story Sloane, III Collection. Texas Archive of the Moving Image. 1925. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  17. ^ ab"Miss United States Began In Galveston". The Islander Magazine. 2006. 
  18. ^ abcCherry, Bill (25 October 2004). "Miss America was once Pageant of Pulchritude". Galveston Daily News. Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. 
  19. ^Brown, Bridget (17 May 2009). "Isle bathing beauty tradition reborn". Galveston Daily News. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. 
  20. ^Savage, Candace (1998). Beauty queens: a playful history. Abbeville. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-55054-618-7. 
  21. ^"The Billboard". 25 September 1948: 49. 
  22. ^"The Ritz-Carlton Hotel - Atlantic City"(PDF). Historical Timeline. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  23. ^Warner, Claire (6 December 2015). "What Is The Miss Earth Pageant? Angelia Ong Isn't The Only Winner You Need To Know". Bustle. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  24. ^Schuck, Lorraine (October 12, 2006). "About Miss Earth Beauty Pageant". Miss Earth official website, Carousel Productions, Inc. Archived from the original on February 24, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2008. 
  25. ^ ab"We're all intellectuals". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. November 6, 2008. 
  26. ^ abVarious, Selvedge: The Fabric of Your Life, page 39, Selvedge Ltd., 2005
  27. ^ abMaass, Harold (June 7, 2013). "The controversial bikini ban at the Miss World beauty pageant". Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  28. ^ abHan Shin, Beauty with a Purpose, page 193, iUniverse, 2004, ISBN 0-595-30926-7
  29. ^ abcNidhi Tewari, "Miss Universe 2013: Winning Beauty To Wear Million Dollar Diamond-Studded Swimsuit", International Business Times, November 5, 2013
  30. ^Lange, Maggie (18 December 2014). "Miss World Pageant Axes Swimsuit Portion". New York Magazine. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  31. ^Dela Cruz, Lito (19 October 2017). "Miss Earth organizers slammed over controversial preliminary round". Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  32. ^Requintina, Robert R. (25 June 2017). "Veiled faces and 2-piece swimsuits in Miss Philippines Earth pageant". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  33. ^Tuazon, Nikko (24 June 2017). "Miss Philippines Earth 2017 organizers defend controversial preliminary event". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  34. ^News, Manila (20 October 2017). "Miss Earth pageant covers contestants' faces as they walk down in swimsuits". Coconuts Media. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  35. ^Adina, Armin (15 July 2017). "Miss PH-Earth winners 'unveiled' tonight". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  36. ^Dela Cruz, Lito (19 October 2017). "Miss Earth organizers slammed over controversial preliminary round". Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  37. ^News, Rappler (25 June 2017). "Miss PH Earth organizers on veil issue: Women not objectified". Rappler. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  38. ^Requintina, Robert R. (25 June 2017). "Veiled faces and 2-piece swimsuits in Miss Philippines Earth pageant". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  39. ^"Mexicana Anagabriela Espinoza gana concurso de belleza en China". Terra Networks. Mexico. EFE. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  40. ^Sibbett, Rebecca (15 February 2008). "Edinburgh students launch beauty pageant". The Edinburgh Journal. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  41. ^Fischer, Bernd (20 August 2012). "Beauty pageants: the bad and the beautiful". Perdeby. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  42. ^"Beauty with scandals". The Standard. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  43. ^"24-year-old former Tian Zhizi elected as "Miss Japan 2011"". Business Times. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  44. ^"Miss Greece now Miss World, despite pageant protests". CNN. November 23, 1996. Archived from the original on December 17, 2003. 
  45. ^Murray, Rheana (29 June 2016). "Miss Teen USA pageant drops swimsuit competition in favor of athleisure". Today. 
  46. ^News, Blasting. "Miss Earth organizers slammed over controversial preliminary round". Blasting News. Retrieved 2017-11-20. 
  47. ^"Miss Earth pageant covers contestants' faces as they walk down in swimsuits | Coconuts Manila". Coconuts. 2017-10-20. Retrieved 2017-11-20. 
  48. ^"Beauty and body image in the media". Media Awareness Network. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  49. ^"Reigning Miss Universe Suspected of Having Cosmetic Surgery". Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  50. ^"Plastic Surgery: Bollywood, Miss Universe, and the Indian Girl Next Door"(PDF). Gujarati Magazine (Sandesh). Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  51. ^"Why OBJECT to Beauty Pageants?". Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  52. ^Riverol, A.R. (1983). "Myth, America and Other Misses: A Second Look at the American Beauty Contests". ETC: A Review of General Semantics. 
  53. ^"Miss America : National Judging Process". Archived from the original on 26 December 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 


  1. Sones, Michael. "History of the Beauty Pageant". Beauty Worlds: The Culture of Beauty (2003): n. pag. Web. 4 November 2009.
  2. Liben, Lynn S., Rebecca S. Bigler, Diane N Ruble, Carol Lynn Martin, and Kimberly K. Powlishta. "Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Evaluating Constructs and Pathways". Developmental Course of Gender Differentiation. 67.2 i-183. Print.
  3. Harvey, Adia M. "Becoming Entrepreneurs: Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender at the Black Beauty Salon". Gender and Society. 19.6 (2005): 789-808. Print.
  4. Banet‐Weiser, Sarah. "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity". (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999)
  5. Wilk, Richard. "The Local and the Global in the Political Economy of Beauty: From Miss Belize to Miss World". Review of International Political Economy. 2.1 (1995): 117-134. Print.
  6. Burgess, Zena, and Phyllis Tharenou. "Women Board Directors: Characteristics of the Few". Journal of Business Ethics. 37.1 (2002): 39-49. Print.
  7. Huffman, Matt L., and Philip N. Cohen. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Gap in Workplace Authority: National versus Local Labor Markets". Sociological Forum. 19.1 (2004): 121-147. Print.
  8. Ciborra, Claudio U. "The Platform Organization: Recombining Strategies, Structures, and Surprises". Organization Science. 7.2 (1996): 103-118. Print.
  9. Lamsa, Anna-Maija, and Teppo Sintonen. "A Discursive Approach to Understanding Women Leaders in Working Life". Journal of Business Ethics. 34.3/4 (2001): 255-267. Print.
  10. Bell, Myrtle P., Mary E. McLaughlin, and Jennifer M. Sequeira. "Discrimination, Harassment, and the Glass Ceiling: Women Executives as Change Agents". Journal of Business Ethics. 37.1 (2002): 65-76. Print.
Bathing beauty contest, USA, 1920
Lone Star State Selects Beauties for 100 Year Pageant[6]
The panel of judges for the 1973 Miss Amsterdam pageant

Sally Baggett is a college instructor, writing tutor, proofreader, and writer. Writing is her life. She holds a master’s in literature, teaching basic writing at the college level and tutoring in writing at all levels. She also is a literature instructor, inspiring students to love what they read so that writing about it is more fun. She enjoys cooking with her family and assisting others in achieving their dreams.


Outlines can be tricky things. There are usually a lot of sections, and you might feel like it’s too much work since you have to do so much writing anyway. But don’t let your ambition to write get the best of you.

Outlines are one of the only ways to ensure that your writing process goes smoothly and quickly. If you think through each section beforehand, you save that much more time while composing. Did I mention focus? Without an outline, you risk rambling and wasting time and energy. To keep your writing high quality and efficient, consider adding outlines as a hard and fast rule of your writing process.

Why Outlines?

We’ve already mentioned a few reasons why outlines are important, but let’s go over it in detail. Outlines help us:

  • Organize our thoughts
  • Organize our research
  • Prevent the essay from rambling
  • Write without having to think as much
  • Write faster
  • Discover what we don’t want to write about before putting in a lot of work
  • End on a strong note

Part of the first step of the writing process (prewriting), outlines force us to “think out” our essays before we sit down to write. Now, I’m not saying you can’t free write. Many of my students prefer to sit down and start typing before thinking much about the essay.

Freewriting is one type of brainstorming, and it’s perfectly fine. But it shouldn’t be your final product. In fact, I find that it’s useful to take a freewriting exercise and use it as a guide to create an outline. This is actually called reverse outlining—using a freewriting exercise or rough draft to fill in an outline, revealing any disorganization and flaws in logic.

If you don’t compose anything before filling in an outline, that’s ok too! That’s actually what I prefer to do now that I write a lot. I tell students that after you come up with a thesis, that’s when you can start the outline. This is because the thesis will usually guide the body paragraphs, which in turn drives your research.

The key is to fill in the outline as you do research. This way, your research notes stay organized, and you have a visual of which sources work and which don’t.

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, I am rather fond of outlines! They tend to be the key to very successful essays.

How to Build an Effective Outline

Every teacher has a different version of their favorite outline. That’s because outlines are subject to the writer—there is no specific outline formula that everyone must use. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a loose structure that most writers find helpful. Let’s take a look at what an outline can contain.

This is the outline formula I share with my students. It’s not perfect, but it’s a place for students to start. This outline is useful for a research paper where you are using a lot of facts (what I call “research items”). You’ll notice that after each “research item,” I included a sub point for analysis. This means that when you write the paper, every quote or example needs a sentence explaining it. You might find it useful to look at different examples of outlines to help you get a feel for what you prefer in an outline. Here is one example from Ashford University, and here is a simpler one from Penn State.  

You probably also noticed I included sentences called “hook” and “zinger.” These two sentences function in complementary ways: the hook grabs the reader’s attention, while the zinger leaves the reader thinking.

Are you starting to see how an outline can focus your writing and end the essay with a strong conclusion?

Note:This is an outline useful mainly for research and persuasive essays. You can tweak this outline to fit any type of writing simply by inserting the type of information you need. Mainly you want to keep the intro and conclusion paragraphs the same but change the content of the body paragraphs. For a narrative essay, for example, your body paragraphs wouldn’t contain “research items” or “analysis.” Instead, they would probably contain “events,” “setting,” and “characters.”

Filling It In

What items you fill in on an outline are really up to you or your teacher. You can be as detailed as filling in every single space, or you can use a bare bones approach by filling in just topic sentences.

Personally, I find it helpful to fill in the items that I struggle with while composing an essay. I don’t want to pause to think about what quote I was going to use or what my main point was in paragraph 3. I want to look at my outline and say, “Oh yeah!” and keep typing.

Therefore, I like to fill in every spot except the minor ones. I usually leave these spots blank:

  • “background information” in the intro
  • “analysis” spots in the body paragraphs
  • “summary of main points” in the conclusion

The other blanks I like to fill in so I can jump right into substantial writing when it comes time to draft the paper.

Will You Use an Outline?

If you’ve never been a fan of outlines, give them another try. I hope this example outline can be a guide for your writing. If you already use outlines, well, I tip my rhetorical hat to you.

Once you start using outlines, you might find that your writing process gets easier and your writing more focused. Whether you write for school or work, an outline can help you achieve the writing you’ve always wanted to have!

After you’ve finished your outline and have begun researching, don’t forget to cite your sources in APA format, MLA format, Harvard referencing, and loads more citation styles using Cite This For Me citation tools!


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