||This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
A beauty pageant or beauty contest, is a competition that mainly focuses on the physical beauty of its contestants, although such contests often incorporate personality, talent, and answers to judges' questions as judged criteria. The phrase almost invariably refers only to contests for women and girls; similar events for men or boys are called by other names and are more likely to be bodybuilding contests. Winners of beauty contests are often called beauty queens. Children's beauty pageants mainly focus on beauty, gowns, sportswear modelling, talent, and personal interviews. Adult and teen pageants focus on makeup, hair and gowns, swimsuit modelling, and personal interviews. Possible awards include titles, tiaras or crowns, sashes, savings bonds, and cash prizes.
The first modern American pageant was staged by Phineas Taylor Barnum in 1854, but his beauty contest was closed down by public protest., He previously held dog, baby, and bird beauty contests. He substituted daguerreotypes for judging, a practice quickly adopted by newspapers. Newspapers held photo beauty contests for many decades: In 1880, the first “Bathing Beauty Pageant" took place as part of a summer festival to promote business in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Contests became a regular part of summer beach life, with the most elaborate contests taking place in Atlantic City, New Jersey (“Fall Frolic”) and Galveston, Texas ("Splash Day"), where the events attracted women from many cities and towns.
Universal produced a newsreel of the Texas Centennial Celebration beauty pageant in 1935, which shows models attempting to fit into life-sized cutouts of the Centennial Committee's concept of the "perfect figure." Today in America, 250,000 contestants compete in beauty pageants, 100,000 are under the age of 12.
When beauty pageants began, they were viewed as “trivial events whose interpretation required no scholarly effort.” Miss America, the first pageant of its kind, has made an effort to ensure that it does not appear as a "stereotypical" pageant.
Another stated goal of pageants is promoting self-esteem and public-speaking abilities of the contestants. Winners of these pageants have said that they feel a sense of accomplishment.
Pageants may be aligned with community or social organizations to raise money for charities. The “clubs” that each contestant supports may be referred to as “platforms.”
Some pageants award college scholarships, to the winner or multiple runners-up.
Types of pageants 
International Pageant of Pulchritude 
In May 1920 promoter C.E. Barfield of Galveston organized a new event known as "Splash Day" on the island. The event featured a "Bathing Girl Revue" competition as the centerpiece of its attractions. The event was the kick-off of the summer tourist season in the city and was carried forward annually. The event quickly became known outside of Texas and, beginning in 1926, the world's first international contest was added, known as the "International Pageant of Pulchritude." This contest is said to have served as a model for modern pageants. It featured contestants from England, Russia, Turkey, and many other nations and the title awarded at the time was known as "Miss Universe." The event was discontinued in the United States in 1932 because of the Depression (the international competition was revived briefly in Belgium).
Around the globe 
Major international contests for women include the yearly Miss World competition (founded by Eric Morley in 1951), Miss Universe (founded in 1952), Miss International (founded in 1960) and Miss Earth (founded in 2001 with environmental awareness as its concern). These are considered the "Big Four" pageants, the four largest and most famous international beauty contests.
During the 1950s, pageants thrived to promote county fairs and local products. For example, some of Raquel Welch's titles included " Maid of San Diego County", " Maid of California" "Miss Photogenic" and "Miss Contour." Women from around the world participate each year in local competitions for the chance to represent their country's international title.
2002 was a year remarkable for its number of winners from countries with a majority Muslim population. In that year Miss Lebanon, Christina Sawaya won the Miss International pageant, Miss Turkey, Azra Akın won Miss World, and the original winner of Miss Earth for that year was Džejla Glavović from Bosnia and Herzegovina (before being replaced by Winfred Omwakwe of Kenya). In 2006, the Muslim nation of Pakistan crowned its first Miss Bikini Universe, Mariyah Moten, which later became a controversy worldwide.
Saudi Arabia joined the pageant world in 2010 with the Miss Congeniality pageant. Contestants are judged on ethics and good behavior for the title "Queen of Ethics".
Selecting a "beauty queen" 
Beauty pageants are generally multi-tiered, with local competitions feeding into the larger competitions. International pageants involve hundreds, sometimes thousands, of local competitions. In the United States, there is now a commercial beauty pageant industry that organizes thousands of local and regional events for all ages for profit, supported by magazines like The Crown Magazine and Pride of Pageantry. Contestants are judged on beauty, physical fitness, poise, public speaking ability, community service and wardrobe.
Critics of beauty contests argue that such contests reinforce the idea that girls and women should be valued primarily for their physical appearance, and that this puts tremendous pressure on women to conform to conventional beauty standards by spending time and money on fashion, cosmetics, hair styling and even cosmetic surgery. They claim that this pursuit of physical beauty even encourages some women to diet to the point of harming themselves.
See also 
Select beauty contests:
Related events for men:
Transsexual beauty contest:
Female impersonation beauty contest:
- Universal Newsreel (1935). "Lone Star State Selects Beauties for 100 Year Pageant". Texas Archive of the Moving Image. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- Colin Blakemore and Sheila Jennett, ed. (2006). The Oxford companion to the body (1. publ. ed.). Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 019852403X.
- "It's Not a Beauty Pageant. It's a Scholarship Competition!". The LOC.GOV Wise Guide. Library of Congress. August 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Stein, Elissa (2006). Beauty Queen: Here She Comes.... Chronicle Books. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-8118-4864-0.
"Revues and other Vanities: The Commodification of Fantasy in the 1920s". Assumption College. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
- Miss Teenage California scholarship awards, from the pageant website
- "The Sloane Collection, no. 4 - Galveston Bathing Girl Revue, 1925". Story Sloane, III Collection. Texas Archive of the Moving Image. 1925. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- "Miss United States Began In Galveston". The Islander Magazine. 2006.
- Cherry, Bill (25 October 2004). "Miss America was once Pageant of Pulchritude". Galveston Daily News.
- Brown, Bridget (17 May 2009). "Isle bathing beauty tradition reborn". Galveston Daily News.
- Savage, Candace (1998). Beauty queens: a playful history. Abbeville. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-55054-618-7.
- The Billboard. 25 September 1948. p. 49.
- News, EFE (28 November 2009). "Mexicana Anagabriela Espinoza gana concurso de belleza en China". Terra Networks (Mexico)/EFE. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- Sibbett, Rebecca (15 February 2008). "Edinburgh students launch beauty pageant". The Edinburgh Journal. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- Fischer, Bernd (20 August 2012). "Beauty pageants: the bad and the beautiful". Perdeby. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Beauty with scandals". The Standard. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- "24-year-old former Tian Zhizi elected as "Miss Japan 2011"". Business Times. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
- Cherie Wimberly (26 March 2009), The Ultimate Beauty Pageant Notebook, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN 978-1-4421-1641-2, retrieved 14 April 2013
- "Beauty and body image in the media". Media Awareness Network. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- "Reigning Miss Universe Suspected of Having Cosmetic Surgery". Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- "Plastic Surgery: Bollywood, Miss Universe, and the Indian Girl Next Door". Gujarati Magazine (Sandesh). Retrieved 2010-08-23.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2011)|
- Sones, Michael. "History of the Beauty Pageant." Beauty Worlds: The Culture of Beauty (2003): n. pag. Web. 4 November 2009.
- Liben, Lynn S., Rebecca S. Bigler, Diane N Ruble, Carol Lynn Martin, and Kimberly K. Powlishta. "Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Evaluating Constructs and Pathways." Developmental Course of Gender Differentiation. 67.2 i-183. Print.
- Harvey, Adia M. "Becoming Entrepreneurs: Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender at the Black Beauty Salon." Gender and Society. 19.6 (2005): 789-808. Print.
- Banet‐Weiser, Sarah. "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity." (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999)
- Wilk, Richard. "The Local and the Global in the Political Economy of Beauty: From Miss Belize to Miss World." Review of International Political Economy. 2.1 (1995): 117-134. Print.
- Burgess, Zena, and Phyllis Tharenou. "Women Board Directors: Characteristics of the Few." Journal of Business Ethics. 37.1 (2002): 39-49. Print.
- Huffman, Matt L., and Philip N. Cohen. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Gap in Workplace Authority: National versus Local Labor Markets." Sociological Forum. 19.1 (2004): 121-147. Print.
- Ciborra, Claudio U. "The Platform Organization: Recombining Strategies, Structures, and Surprises." Organization Science. 7.2 (1996): 103-118. Print.
- Lamsa, Anna-Maija, and Teppo Sintonen. "A Discursive Approach to Understanding Women Leaders in Working Life." Journal of Business Ethics. 34.3/4 (2001): 255-267. Print.
- Bell, Myrtle P., Mary E. McLaughlin, and Jennifer M. Sequeira. "Discrimination, Harassment, and the Glass Ceiling: Women Executives as Change Agents." Journal of Business Ethics. 37.1 (2002): 65-76. Print.