Local Beauty Pageants A Proud American Tradition
All across America and all over the world, girls, teens, and young women have competed in beauty pageants for many decades. Many of these competitions are local beauty pageants that are specific to the contestants’ towns, cities, states, or other regions, and the winners move on to higher-tiered competitions at national and even international levels. In addition to evaluating a contestant’s beauty and talent, judges also pageant interviews to determine other qualities, such as poise, grace, eloquence, and other abilities related to public speaking. The beauty pageant industry has grown so much that thousands of contestants today rely on a pageant coach to help them through the pageant questions and other aspects of the competition. Here are some other ways in which local beauty pageants have changed since their humble beginnings.
1. Although not local, the International Pageant of Pulchritude began in 1926, or, as it’s better known, the Miss Universe Contest (also known as the International Beauty Contest). This worldwide competition (founded in America) is the ultimate goal of many competitors in both small- and large-scale pageants everywhere.
2. Pageants in America have been local events for many decades. From the 1950s onwards, beauty pageants have been used to promote regional causes, such as county fairs and local goods and services. However, even these smaller competitions can still be a major stepping stone for a girl or teen who is working toward some of the more prestigious national titles.
3. We see children’s beauty pageants on TV frequently these days thanks to the popularity of shows such as Toddlers and Tiaras. But did you know that child beauty pageants originated in the United States, too? The Little Miss America Pageant was held in 1961 in New Jersey and is credited as the first pageant of its kind.
4. Children’s pageants have continued to expand rapidly since that first Little Miss America Pageant in 1961. An estimated 100,000 contestants under the age of 12 compete in the United States alone each year! These competitions focus on beauty and costumes, and participants often perform in a talent portion, typically doing a dance routine or singing a song.
5. For teens and adults in the United States, who also compete by the thousands in the United States, the competitions are different than those for girls–usually more rigorous contests that require pageant coaching and a lot of devotion. These competitions focus on makeup, hair, and gowns and also include categories for swimsuit modeling and personal interviews. These contests also range from local beauty pageants to those at the national and international levels, with competitions such as Miss Teen USA, Miss America, and Miss Universe being the ultimate dream for many contestants.