India’s pageantry scene is doing quite well, much like in Thailand and the Philippines. Dedicated news outlets serving the region serve frequent updates on the pageantry scene, lauding the “prettiest and most desirable” faces over the years. There is no shortage of news articles on glamorous photoshoots, upcoming pageants, as well “juicy news” on the candidates themselves. Indian pageantry serves as subset of local showbiz, giving Indian viewers more reasons to tune in and follow the life and times of these young, beautiful women who put themselves up to be measured for their physical beauty.
The medium is the message?
For the most part, beauty competitions are regaled as a means to communicate to a much wider audience key messages that are supposedly important to everyone’s lives.
The Miss Universe for one commonly uses pro-environment promotions to show that the beauty queens are not just there to be pretty; they are there to be ambassadresses of important messages to the world.
Messages that we hope are actually penetrating their intended audiences, and ultimately, causing things to change for the better. For what is the use of a multi-million dollar international beauty pageant that supposedly exists to help push forth important causes, if it fails in its larger and more substantial mandate?
Hopefully, in a not so distant future, these pageants would become genuine beacons of social change. Of course, many would argue that beauty contests are just that – beauty contests.
They are made to entertain people and to uphold certain beauty standards that people find agreeable at a certain time. But it still remains that beauty pageants have yet to fully reach their potential as possible spaces for more important issues, issues that require the loud and festive stage of beauty pageants in order to raise awareness and trigger actual social action.
We wait with bated breath for this time to come.