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Beauty Pageants

Beauty Pageants have long been popular in the United States (the first one appearing in 1854), but now they are becoming more and more popular in the UK.

Beauty Queen to Professional ModelA beauty pageant or beauty contest is a competition where young girls compete to be crowned the Beauty Queen. The core of the competition is looks, and the girls go to great lengths to make sure they look perfect. They will usually been seen by the judges in several different outfits, including a formal dress and swimwear.

When beauty pageants first became popular, they were criticised for focussing only on appearance, with no regard for intelligence or education, or ‘scholarly effort’. So, in more recent times other stages have been added, in which the girls are encouraged to give a speech and demonstrate a special skill they have, such as singing or dancing.

The most famous beauty pageant is Miss World, which has smaller heats all the way down to individual countries and regions, such as Miss England and Miss London.

There are different levels of ‘naturalness’ required at different pageants. At the most glitzy pageants, contestants will wear extremely heavy make-up, crystal-embellished garments and hairstyles, and may also sport a ‘flipper’. This is a detachable dental veneer which is stuck onto a person’s teeth with putty. At more natural pageants, flippers are not allowed, fake tans may be banned, and even make-up allowance will be limited.

Similar pageants which are aimed at men are usually called bodybuilding contests, and usually focus more on the physique and muscles of the contestant.

Prizes for winning beauty pageants may include cash or savings bonds, but are more commonly tiaras, crowns, sashes and trophies. However, for most of the contestants, it’s the title that is the most coveted prize.

It’s a natural progression for beauty pageant winners to move into a modelling career, as they have already proven they have a lot of the qualities required in a model, and will already have a range of pictures with which to begin their portfolio.

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