Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, and is NON CH related - chat about the weather, or anything else that takes your fancy.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Spoonbill
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:45 am
Real Name: Bill/Will/Willie/William
Location: Melton Mowbray
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 14 times

Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by Spoonbill » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:17 pm

Vilified to the point of TV extinction in the 1980s for their allegedly non-PC nature, beauty pageants represent a phenomenon which still has the power to make otherwise-intelligent and objective persons shuffle their feet in discomfort. Even today, being asked for your opinion on the subject constitutes being put in the hot seat and no mistake. You feel that whatever opinion you air, somebody will castigate you for being somehow deplorable and/or maladjusted in some way and that you'll either be accused of being something ending in -ist or simply be left feeling ashamed of being a perfectly normal human.

As a teenager in the 70s, I used to feel decidedly uncomfortable sitting through these shows in the same room as my parents and sister - not because I objected to the existence of the phenomenon or had anything against the contestants or organisers, but because I wanted it clearly understood that, whilst I reserved the right to watch the proceedings, I wasn't the sort of lad who treated the show as an oglefest even if other blokes allegedly did. Why shouldn't I watch and enjoy the pageant as long as I did so with the right attitude?

The irony of the situation was that I was of course merely falling victim to my own tendency towards unnecessary soul-searching. My parents and sister couldn't have cared less what was going on in my head while I was watching. They, like most of the members of most of the households in Britain, simply sat down and watched the Miss United Kingdom or Miss World pageants as ordinary light entertainment, in just the same way that they'd sit down to watch The Morecambe & Wise Show, The Two Ronnies or Dad's Army. And nobody ever sounded off the next day about how degenerate the pageants were. After all, the ladies wanted to compete in the contests and the public wanted to watch them compete. Was that really a recipe for the undermining of society?

Now, in the year 2010, our most popular TV shows are those in which contestants from all over the UK compete against one another in various ways in a glamorous theatrical arena - and if some of those contestants are cringe-makingly talentless and/or painfully idiotic, we unfortunately enjoy the shows all the more. The media give saturation-level coverage to the participants, to the point of risking inflicting harm, just as they do to the participants in other reality TV shows. Watching people compete on TV in relatively harmless and even not-so-harmless contexts has become a national fixation and the stuff of everyday life.

So isn't it time TV companies reassessed their attitudes towards beauty pageants? After all, all they ever consisted of were some polite and amiable ladies walking onstage in front of TV cameras and attempting to convince us that they possessed charm as well as looks. There was never the spite, swearing, petulance and overt sexuality we find in today's reality shows - nor was there a trace of the Let's all snigger at the talentless idiot mentality often visible in today's TV talent shows. It was all so very tame, prim, innocent and demure by comparison. So what precisely was there to criticise?

Besides, I suspect that not only would beauty pageants be at least as popular now in the post-Baywatch era as they were in the 60s and 70s, but also that the ladies would be keener than ever before to compete, deluging the organisers at local and regional level with applications because they'd see the contest not merely as the route to a prize and a sash but as a way of significantly advancing their careers and securing work as TV presenters, actors, models, recording artists and so forth. There'd certainly be no shortage of university graduates signing up for the competitions, so the classic image of the wannabe beauty queen with a head full of sawdust would go straight out of the window. And the news media would go into overdrive, scrutinising even the tiniest details of the contestants' lives and creating a whole new rash of freshly-minted celebs each year which the British public would inevitably lap up. Such is the way of things.

In the current TV climate, is there really no room for the return of grace, charm and beauty as an antidote to the brutish ego, swagger and personal folly of talent-show and Reality TV contestants?

I only ask this question as a neutral observer with a fair's fair attitude to life. But I suspect that the inevitable phone-voting could net somebody or other a tidy fortune.

Where's the harm in a return to televised beauty pageants? After all, the pageants are still going on out there, ignored almost completely by the greater world but enduring nonetheless. How schizoid of the broadcasting media is it to continue treating beauty pageants as non-PC and sexist whilst at the same time broadcasting highly sexualised reality shows, pop videos and late-night erotica?

Whatever happened to objective common sense?

Discuss.

(NB I neither liked nor disliked beauty contests myself. I'm simply advocating clear-sightedness and a lack of double-standards.)
Last edited by Spoonbill on Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anniexf
Button Grecian
Posts: 1898
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:29 pm
Real Name: Ann Wilkinson 8s
Location: England
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by anniexf » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:21 pm

Spoonbill, this is a brilliant article! Not that I agree with you, & I've never watched any of the talent shows you mention, but you put such a strong case so well. Have you sent it anywhere for publication? It immediately occurred to me that papers like The Guardian or The Observer might be interested, as it's just the kind of "radical re-appraisal" material they sometimes put out themselves.

sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3394
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown ColA '53-'61
Location: Essex
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by sejintenej » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:54 pm

Spoonbill wrote:
So isn't it time TV companies reassessed their attitudes towards beauty pageants? After all, all they ever consisted of were some polite and amiable ladies walking onstage in front of TV cameras and attempting to convince us that they possessed charm as well as looks. There was never the spite, swearing, petulance and overt sexuality we find in today's reality shows - nor was there a trace of the Let's all snigger at the talentless idiot mentality often visible in today's TV talent shows. It was all so very tame, prim, innocent and demure by comparison. So what precisely was there to criticise?
There are those out there who seem to make it their life's work to complain about anything which they don't agree with; shows like Miss World, Baywatch etc are classic examples. The media are terrified of them because they will deluge the ombudsmen, MPs etc with so much hate mail that they are forced to do something to save themselves. If you want to do anything like that you have to satisfy the doo-gooders (? free tickets, ......) We had that with the so-called race relations geeks
Spoonbill wrote: Besides, I suspect that not only would beauty pageants be at least as popular now in the post-Baywatch era as they were in the 60s and 70s, but also that the ladies would be keener than ever before to compete, deluging the organisers at local and regional level with applications because they'd see the contest not merely as the route to a prize and a sash but as a way of significantly advancing their careers and securing work as TV presenters, actors, models, recording artists and so forth. There'd certainly be no shortage of university graduates signing up for the competitions, so the classic image of the wannabe beauty queen with a head full of sawdust would go straight out of the window. And the news media would go into overdrive, scrutinising even the tiniest details of the contestants' lives and creating a whole new rash of freshly-minted celebs each year which the British public would inevitably lap up. Such is the way of things.

(NB I neither liked nor disliked beauty contests myself. I'm simply advocating clear-sightedness and a lack of double-standards.)
I don't think that such an image would go straight out the window until the winners prove that they have more than sawdust. Just a few have but even more haven't lived up to the wished-for image. With the Miss World type image the winners are supposed to behave for their 12 month reign. With the current rubbish once they get finished then they can go mad and hang what people think

I personally found the Miss World type contests a total bore and suspect that they were responsible for the world shortage of silicon

User avatar
englishangel
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6955
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:22 pm
Real Name: Mary Faulkner (Vincett)
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by englishangel » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:46 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reita_Faria

This lady was clearly "Sawdust for brains"
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3394
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown ColA '53-'61
Location: Essex
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by sejintenej » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:13 pm

englishangel wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reita_Faria

This lady was clearly "Sawdust for brains"
Mea culpa. I was actually thinking about her and one other as being the (worthy) exceptions. I seem to have deleted that para when editing my post.

User avatar
NEILL THE NOTORIOUS
Button Grecian
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:01 pm
Real Name: NEILL PURDIE EVANS
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:52 am

On return from the Canal Zone, in 1953, I married my Fiance, who had been the 1951 Festival Year Leicestershire Beauty Queen ------

She was, naturally a "Cracker" ! :)

I don't know about Sawdust for brains --- but she had enough to dump me -- after 20 years !!! :lol: :lol:

Hence TBA :) :)

Kim2s70-77
Grecian
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:02 pm
Real Name: Kim Elizabeth Roe (nee Langdon)
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:34 pm

I was in one of the earliest reality shows, in the early 80s, on the BBC. It was much more fun for the participants than a Beauty Pageant would have been!!
I know Pageants are big here in the States, and looks alone don't cut it - the contestants have to have a serious 'talent' of some description. I think they are a good focus for young women if healthy self-esteem is fostered, rather than unhealthy body-image obsession. They are also a good source of scholarships for college - not just airhead parades. I do worry about the pushy-parent syndrome, though - and there is always the horror of the JonBenet type child - over-sexualized and hideously made up to look like miniature adults.

Angela Woodford
Button Grecian
Posts: 2880
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:55 am
Real Name: Angela Marsh
Location: Exiled Londoner, now in Staffordshire.
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:56 am

I've come across this title a few times... for college girls?

"Home-Coming Queen"!

In what way would a contestant qualify, Kim2s70-77? Is there a male equivalent?
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

User avatar
NEILL THE NOTORIOUS
Button Grecian
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:01 pm
Real Name: NEILL PURDIE EVANS
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:41 am

PHOTOS ----PHOTOS !!!

Sorry -- I just couldn't resist it on this Thread !! (Please don't take me seriously - it is IRONY !) :lol:

Forward JR ! :axe:

User avatar
englishangel
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6955
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:22 pm
Real Name: Mary Faulkner (Vincett)
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by englishangel » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:12 am

Angela, Kim may know better, but I think it's a reunion thing, next year, you could be Class of '71 Home-coming Queen, and AFAIK there is a Home-coming King too, like an adult prom King and Queen.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

Fjgrogan
Button Grecian
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:56 pm
Real Name: Frances Grogan (nee Haley)
Location: Surbiton, Surrey
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by Fjgrogan » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:28 am

Old Blues' Day - US style? I wonder how they choose the King and Queen. Sadly the habit of the high school prom is beginning to catch on here too, putting parents to enormous expense.
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

'A clean house is a sign of a broken computer.'

Angela Woodford
Button Grecian
Posts: 2880
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:55 am
Real Name: Angela Marsh
Location: Exiled Londoner, now in Staffordshire.
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:08 pm

Oh, I see!

:idea: :idea: :idea:

I like the sound of it... "Class of '71 Home Coming Queen"! An interesting new venture for Old Blues Day! :wink: Better get into training then - book orange perma-tan appt!
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15363
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey
Has thanked: 136 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by J.R. » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:34 pm

The trouble with the 'American' angle, is the 'pushy-mums' will quite happily dress their seven year old daughters up in provocative 'adult-clothes', wearing full make up.

There is certainly something VERY dubious about that in my book.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Kim2s70-77
Grecian
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:02 pm
Real Name: Kim Elizabeth Roe (nee Langdon)
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:12 pm

Precisely, JR! See my comment about JonBenet Ramsey above!

Angela, there are four years of High school here; Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors. Once a year, usually in the Fall, there is a Homecoming weekend for Alumnae of the respective schools. There will be a Football Game (not soccer!) at home that weekend (usually one with a good sense of rivalry and/or a sporting chance of the home team winning!) and various pep rallies with a parade (and floats entered by each of the 4 years) to psych everyone up. There is usually a Homecoming dance (which is different from the Proms that occur in the late Spring and are really tied into Graduation etc) and at that dance the kids vote on the Homecoming 'court'. Each year picks a boy and a girl to represent them. I think the criteria for selection is probably no deeper than 'cute' and 'popular'. The Freshmen pick a Lord and a Lady; the Sophomores pick a Duke and Duchess; the Juniors, a Prince and Princess - and the Senior Class picks a Homecoming King and Queen. The kids get to bask in peer adulation for a couple of days and the respective couple puts it on their mental resume and feeds off it for the next 40 years of fat, boring and unfulfilled existence!!! Not too deep - just part of an American rite of passage!!

User avatar
Richard Ruck
Button Grecian
Posts: 3120
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:08 pm
Real Name: Richard Ruck
Location: Horsham
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Beauty Pageants: Still Unacceptable?

Post by Richard Ruck » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:37 pm

Fjgrogan wrote:Sadly the habit of the high school prom is beginning to catch on here too, putting parents to enormous expense.
All the local schools here have a prom, including CH, it seems. The West Sussex County Times publishes photos every year. How DO they afford all those dinner suits and ball gowns?
Ba.A / Mid. B 1972 - 1978

Thee's got'n where thee cassn't back'n, hassn't?

Post Reply