Why Blacks Have Black Beauty Pageants

Why Blacks Have Black Beauty Pageants?

It’s not fair.  Blacks are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

These sentiments are a common point made by many whites who are frustrated that there are black beauty pageants when blacks are allowed to compete in the Miss USA and Miss America pageants.  Why is there a need for black beauty pageants when whites aren’t allowed to have white beauty pageants?  It appears to be a huge double standard.

Many blacks contend their pageants are needed in response to the following exercise.  Close your eyes and imagine what you would consider the perfect female.  Imagine her hair, eyes, facial features, complexion and body type.  Chances are pretty good that the American majority would prefer long blonde hair, blue or green eyes, narrow nose, fair skin and a lean frame.  With this more Scandinavian image of beauty, how does the black or brown haired, brown eyed, dark skinned person with a wider nose fare in mainstream beauty competitions?  Obviously, the odds for victory are diminished.

Full lips have increased in appeal, as evidenced by the popularity of plastic surgery involving collagen lip injections, but the majority of black traits remain outside the mainstream’s realm of beauty.  Although chances are reduced for winning, black contestants have won the coveted Miss America pageant.  As of 2010, there have been 8 years where a Miss America was not white in the pageant’s 89 year existence.  There were seven years in which Miss America was black, although there were 8 blacks holding the title due to one being replaced by the first runner up, who was also considered black (bi-racial).  One Asian held the title, and to date, there have been no Hispanic title holders.  So it begs the question why is there a need for black pageants when they have proved that they can compete and win mainstream pageants?

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All races want to celebrate their physical beauty without conforming to the mainstream.  This is why there are black pageants, Miss Asian America pageants and Miss Latina US pageants.  It is common to witness whites attempting to gain the ideal look by dyeing their hair blonde, wearing colored contacts, having rhinoplasty and other cosmetic surgery or diets to obtain the ideal body type.  The fashion industry, Hollywood and magazines are rife with examples of the pursuit of white beauty.  Blacks realize these measures are unrealistic and counterproductive in a time where black adults and children continue to receive societal messages that their hair, facial features and skin coloring is not attractive or normal.  Knowing that your physical attributes will oftentimes be tolerated in a mainstream pageant rather than celebrated is a powerful incentive to go where you feel there is an appreciation for your physical beauty.  This is a big reason for some blacks and other minorities to have their own pageants while others choose to defy the odds and compete in a mainstream pageant.

1 comment
Chelsea - May 30, 2010

I can see both sides since the people of color have alternate pageants and whites do not. I am still undecided about the whole double pageant thing. Hey,on a slightly different note, I heard some guy was trying to get a “whites only” basketball league started (I am not joking).

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