Are Pageants Still Relevant?
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Are Pageants Still Relevant?

So much more than gowns and bathing suits.

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Are Pageants Still Relevant?
Gabe De Liso

If you or anyone you know has ever been in a pageant, you may have come across this question: "Are pageants still relevant in today's society?"

As the previous Miss Hawai’i Filipina 2015, and current Miss Manoa USA 2017, I say of course! Pageants are definitely still relevant in today's society. Once we look past that superficial idea that pageantry is for insanely beautiful women with perfect bodies, we realize that there is so much more to it than that.

First of all, pageants allow young women like myself an opportunity to step out of our comfort zones and to gain confidence in ourselves. Walking on stage wearing a swimsuit and five and a half inch heels is not an easy thing to do. In fact, we have personal trainers and dedicate ourselves to strict high protein, low carb diets. But pageant girls look so natural on stage because they have confidence in themselves and have learned to be comfortable in their own skin. Whether they are a size 0, 2, 5, 10, etc., they have acquired the ability to just love themselves regardless of what anyone else thinks, and that’s such an important characteristic to have. Let’s be realistic, everyone has different body types based on genetics and cultural differences. There is no standard image. Regardless of what anyone thinks, we are all beautiful.

Second of all, pageants allow us to get out into the community and make a difference in the lives of others. From the moment we are crowned, we instantly become celebrities and role models within our communities. People will congratulate anywhere you go— I even had a classmate congratulate me while I was washing my hands in the restroom. People will reach out to you for appearances and community service events. During my reign as Miss Hawaii Filipina, I was given the opportunity to feed at homeless shelters and perform for residents at nursing homes. I also met many people within my community who educated me about scholarships and job opportunities. We don’t really realize the extent to how much of an impact we can make until we overhear little girls telling their moms, “I want to be like that princess when I grow up,” or asking us if they can try on our crowns and that they are going to be like us one day.

Third of all, pageants shape young women into ideal citizens of society. Every pageant has an offstage pre-pageant interview. Typically, the interview is the highest scored phase in the whole competition. In the interview, we are judged based on our ability to answer questions quickly, general knowledge of local and worldwide current events, appropriateness of responses, confidence, clarity, speech, eloquence, vocabulary, appearance, social manners, and sincerity. If we really think about it, pageant interviews are very similar to job interviews. Pre-pageant interviews helps us to build the skills that we need as we get older to prepare for job interviews.

I also recently had the opportunity to rekindle with some of the title holders that I know to get different viewpoints of this question.

Joahnnalee Ucol, current Miss Hawaii Teen USA 2016, said:

"Pageants are relevant especially in today's society because we represent the real type of young women today. As a titleholder, we are given a spotlight to the public, allowing us to make an impact on people. For example, I immigrated here from the Philippines with no knowledge of English, yet along the way, I became Miss Hawaii Teen USA. We become inspirations to people who share the same background, therefore, empowering them for what they might have in store. Now, I have scholarships to Universities here in Hawaii and in the Mainland to further my education and my future; To think that I was just another girl with dreams, I now have a stepping stone to a brighter future because of pageants.”

Ronnie Allen Campan, previous Miss Teen Hawaii Filipina 2015, said:

"I think it's definitely still relevant. Not only is it great for young girls to build self-confidence, but also all of the women that participate are there to get their point across, to share their cause/platform and make a difference. They're doing it for selfless reasons that will help better our society and I think that's commendable."

Kamakaila Waipa, previous Miss Hawaii-Island Filipina, Miss Hawaii Island Princess, Miss Diamond Darling, and Miss Hawaii Teen, said:

"I think pageants are still relevant because they have become a symbol of empowerment for women all around the world."

Kylie Nishida, previous Miss Oahu Filipina 2015, said:

"I believe pageants are relevant in today's society because people continue to see what they really stand for; leadership, dedication, and the drive to make a difference in their community."

Audrey Casicas, 2nd runner up of Miss Maui Filipina 2016, said:

"I think pageants fall in between being relevant and not in today's society. Yes, it boosts confidence in young ladies, helps her to feel beautiful inside and out, gives them the time to express themselves, it provides scholarships. But on the opposite side, there's many viewpoints of "beautiful," if a young woman were to showcase her talent, ace the question phase & so on. It remains that they're being judged on outer beauty. Also, now in the 21st century, women are becoming more empowered and taking on more powerful roles in her lifestyle."

Amelia "Emily" Laborte, current Miss Hawaii Filipina 2016, said:

"Pageants promote women of all ages to emulate their self-confidence and ability to be poise no matter the situation. They also give women the opportunity to obtain a scholarship and a title as a positive role model in society for all empowered women."

Do you think pageants are still relevant in today's society? Let me know what you think!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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