CFHS girls react to Miss Universe

The annual pageant, Miss Universe 2017, took place in Manila, Philippines, on Jan. 29. Thousands of young girls and women across the globe watched as contestants competed in several categories.

Amongst varying divisions, the swimwear category sparks high controversy. Questioning intentions, many suggest the argument falls between confidence versus objectification.

Senior Allison Eagan said, “For the competition as a whole, I am concerned with how they judge this portion. Is it heavily on looks or solely off of confidence? Overall, I don’t think it’s a necessary category.”

Senior Summer Pieters added, “The winner and contestants of Miss Universe are supposed to stand as role models. I think it’s silly that part of determining that role depends on how well you match societies’ standards wearing a bikini.”

One of the largest target markets for Miss Universe and competitions alike are young female viewers. Though a promotion of confidence is highly suggested by advocates of these competitions, some viewers worry about potentially harmful impressions.

Eagan said, “These competitions and the swimsuit category in specific demonstrate the importance of being extremely skinny. While it may be empowering to the contestants, I don’t think it’s the right message to send to the young girls.” Sophomore Tyler Westerman said, “I don’t agree with the message that pageants give young girls and people in general. I know a lot of the competition is based off of looks, which only pushes us back further as a society.”

Despite controversy regarding societal impressions, the idea of confidences remains as a large component to pageant competitions.

Eagan said, “Winning the title of Miss Universe is a huge achievement. In addition, the community and mission trips they work on are inspiring and should be promoted stronger over the beauty aspect. I do believe the contests in these pageants are confident and strong leaders, though it sometimes get lost in the emphasis on looks.”

In recent years, discussion over swapping the swimsuit category for athletic wear has been strongly debated amongst the pageant organizations.

Pieters said, “If the goal is to promote fitness and confidence with the swimsuit category, there is a such a better way to do it. The idea of changing the category into athletic wear is a stronger and safer way to get the idea across.”

As for the future, changing components of the competition for the better begins with society noticing as many work to eliminate the objectification women face.

Westerman said, “Lately a lot of people have been speaking out about standards women are given. I think the future is bright and will continue to improve.” Eagan added, “I would hope that society moves away from focusing on how women look and what they wear. Women work hard in high jobs and excel in college. Society should focus on the achievements women have made rather than objectifying through appearance.”

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