Good evening, honorable judges.
At the beginning of my presentation, I will do some refutation and then I will give our opinions
Firstly, my opponents said that women in beauty contests are judged on their physical appearance rather than on any other qualities they may possess. We believe that there is nothing wrong with judging people primarily on their physical appearance - we do this all the time in competitive sport, where fitness and strength are predominant factor of success. Moreover doing so is little different from judging people on non-physical qualities such as intellect. Every competition, of every kind, values certain qualities over others - we recognise that being able to lift heavy weights isn’t the prime definition of human worth, but we can still give prizes for weightlifting; similarly, we can give a prize to a beautiful woman for her beauty without implying that beauty is everything.
Secondly, our opponents said the clash of cultures which brought by the beauty contest will lead to numerous protests, demonstrations and even violence. We don’t think so. Riots often have many causes and it is only the spark that is picked up upon. The example of the riots in Kaduna is misleading; there were serious underlying tensions that were the root cause.Beauty contests, like sport, can be an important focus of national or regional pride. Despite the declining popularity of competitions such as Miss World in the UK, they hold an important cultural place in many parts of the world. The victories in recent years of Miss India, Miss Turkey and Miss Nigeria in Miss World competitions made many Indians, Turks and Nigerians proud, and were seen as symbolic of those countries’ progress in competing with more powerful countries on their own terms.
Thirdly, our opponents stated that beauty contest is unfair for it is specially prepared for those who have wonderful physical appearance. We think that beauty contest is not a symbol of discrimination, because every competition aims at different groups of people. Except for this kind of beauty contest, we still have some other special forms which are designed for those who don’t have great physical appearance, such as the world obesity beauty pageant and the Miss of Wheelchair.
Now I’ll state our opinions.
We insist that beauty contests shouldn’t be banned for the three following reasons.
Firstly, Banning beauty contests would do little to destroy the ideal of beauty as it is prevalent in many other areas of society which are unrelated to Beauty Pageants such as advertising, fashion and the entertainment industry. The only result of a ban will simply be to reduce the choice of women – who of course do choose to participate. Choice is fundamentally a good thing and everyone should have as much choice as possible so long as they are not limiting the choice of others.
Secondly, Modern Beauty pageants have mandatory talent portions and are more about establishing and striving for an ‘ideal’ than rating physical beauty. This was specifically made mandatory by Lenora Slaughter in the 1938 Miss America Pageant in order to attract “ladies” to participate in the competitions. The modern form of the beauty pageant was designed by women in order to attract women.
Thirdly, In an environment where women are valued on solely on their appearance, and in which there are more opportunities for men, beauty contests give women an opportunity to improve their situations. Winning a beauty contest can be a first step toward a successful life in the future; the most attractive earn 12% more. Many Hollywood actresses are former beauty queens,
and they would not have reached their success without the beauty contests they won. In addition, the winners of high-profile beauty contests are able to publicize charities and causes they feel strongly about - they have a public platform they could not otherwise have gained. Beauty pageants can also empower in other ways: The Miss America competition is the largest provider of scholarship assistance for women in the world, indeed it pioneered assistance for women in higher education in the 40’s and 50’s.