Beauty contests - a dissident view

Jurriaan Bendien J.Bendien at
Sun Nov 24 12:52:01 MST 2002

Kay wrote:

"It should go without saying that no one on this list
supports beauty pageants whether the contestants are
female or male.  They are obviously degrading to
humans reducing their worth to physical appearance".

I am quite happy to say I am personally not against all beauty contests,
just some, in the sense that they are mainly money-making ventures, and
feature forms of competition that are objectionable.

Many workingclass people enjoy watching beauty contests, just as they enjoy
watching soccer. The criticism should be directed rather at the "industry"
behind it, and the norms and values this imposes on the activity, the way in
which they are organised.

Beauty contests are not "obviously degrading to humans" as a matter of
principle - people aren't stupid, they know very well what is at stake. It
is more the spirit in which they are done, the ideology, and as I said, the
"industry" behind it that needs looking at.

There must be some sensible stance here between, let's say,  "moralistic
puritanism" on the one hand, and "mindless hedonism" on the other. Let us
not forget that models are workers too, and that they have a right to their
own entertainments.


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