Beauty pagents are contests that take place in different latitudes of the whole world. Colombia is no exception. On November 12th 2018 in the city of Cartagena women paraded themselves and competed to be the most beautiful woman in teh country.
However, the statement made above has several problems and inaccuracies. But, we believe that to unveil some of the many problems and inaccuracies of these contests it is necessary to get deep into the subject.
The beauty contest in Colombia
The national beauty contest (Concurso Nacional de Belleza)is a contest that has been held in the city of Cartagena de Indias since 1934. Who wins it receives the title of Miss Colombia and is the representative of Colombia in Miss Universe.
Likewise, the first runner up receives the title of Miss Colombia International and represents the country in Miss International, while the Princesses are responsible for participating in other competitions worldwide.
Ernesto Carlos Martelo had the idea of holding the national beauty contest in Colombia in 1932.
During its beginnings, the national beauty contest was held every two years and only until 1961 did it begin annually.
Theoretically, the Colombian National Beauty Contest is a contest that seeks national integration through the beauty of women in the country, becoming one of the most significant events nationwide. We say, theoretically, since this contest, like all the beauty contests have more and more detractors and negative aspects.
One of the major problems is the amount of pressure woman face regarding their looks.
In our point of view, there are too many negative factors around these contests. We begin with the fact that people focus solely on their qualities or physical defects.
In this type of contests, the physical attributes of women are the most important. Because of this, it does not matter what education, culture or skills they have or can develop.
It sounds corny, we know, but beauty is an individual thing. It is a bit ridiculous to compare the beauty of one person with that of another.
And, to establish a universal criterion for this is absurd, offensive and foolish.
On the other hand, beauty contests are competitions that have a lot of resonance and magnetism.
With this we want to make reference to the fact that all people are in some way exposedto it. Children can be seriously affected by them.
Boys begin to believe that women are objects, trophies. Girls begin to understand that in order to have some kind of success they must fit into a series of beauty parameters.
During her year of reign, Ms. Colombia, carries out a social mission throughout the country, accompanying the charitable activities of foundations, allies and sponsors, who work for the most needy. We believe that it is great that this person can help others due to her notoriarity. But, we also think it is not enough.
Pageants around the world
Ok, as if it was not enough that in each country these contests take place, there is a contest that brings together all the “queens”. We are talking about Miss Universe.
Miss Universe is a very popular contest and with great follow-up in America and Asia. Latin America and Southeast Asia is where it has the largest amount of followers.
The beauty pageant, Miss Universe, was created at the beginning of the 1950s.
By the moment in which the contest reached the new millennium, it arrived in search of a new image.
That being said, we must take into account is that every year, around one million people around the world see the contest live and direct.
The election of Miss Universe is a very long process, which year after year manages to move a huge amount of people and money. It is a very profitable business.
Miss Universe is a license that is annually renewed. Each country that is interested in sending a candidate, has a franchisee who, after paying an amount of money is eligable to participate. The amount paid depends on the size and economic capacity of each country.
There are certain rules to be able to participate in Miss Universe. These are:
1. That the delegate be legally a woman… being open to the possibility of a transgender woman competing, if her country recognizes her as a woman and meets the other requirements.
2. Not to have been pregnant.
3. That it be the winner of the national title.
4. That she has the nationality of the country for which she is going to compete and a verifiable residence.
5. That she is between 18 and 28 years old by January 1 of the year in which she competes.
6. That she has the disposition to be Miss Universe and fulfill what it entails.
7. That she has never been married.
Now, after presenting how the beauty contest work and do, focusing on the Colombian national beauty contest and Miss Universe, we consider that it is possible to analyze what happens in the background.
The owners of these contests found a way to exploit women and get rich without much effort.
They did so using a format that is not only frowned upon, but in many countries, such as Colombia, it is still very prestigious, as we can start to see from now on with transmissions and comments.
Underneath it all
While the 86 young candidates (in the Colombian national beauty contest) sweated trying to present themselves in the best possible way before the cameras and judges, striving to look beautiful, sexy, fun, friendly, self-confident, but also smart, the owners of the contest and the channels through which it is transmitted have filled their pockets with the silver of advertisers of beauty products at their expense.
The fact that in 2019 this contest continues to exist and continues to be relevant shows many problems in our society.
And, as we have explained previously, Miss Universe plays a determining role. The truth is that before Donald Trump was president, he has always been a business man. After acquiring it in 1996, he did everything possible to put it back on the media agenda and succeeded.
Colombia has participated in the Miss Universe for 57 years. Always waiting to be able to “leave the name of Colombia very high”. But, we ask ourselves, what does that mean? We thought that artist, scientists, athletes and musicians, amongst others where doing that, leaving the countries name very high.
At this moment, the National Beauty Contest has sponsors of the private sector, but most of its departmental candidates are elected with public resources.
Women get nothing out of it. But, the idea that women should be valued by their physic and not their intelligence is perpetuated.
It is true that women who participate are of legal age and are entitled to do what they want, but if they grew up seeing beauty contests they may think that this is their place, their goal.
Then speaking in clear terms, it is necessary for people to realise that the amount of money behind this media format is immense. We should ask ourselves the following: should they be prohibited? Should they cease to exist? The only certainty we have is that they are harmful to both men and women. They make us objects, they encase us, they take away our value.