Not Just Beauty: The Role of Advocacy in Beauty Pageants
For a long time, beauty pageants have been associated with glamour, glitz, and the display of physical perfection. However, there is an increasing realization that these competitions are more than just platforms for featuring only external beauty.
In recent years, beauty pageants have welcomed advocacy as a vital part of their goals. It aims to showcase the impact of such events on instilling positive change and promote social causes.
This significant change marks a departure from the traditional outlook of beauty pageants and accentuates the evolving role in the community.
Today, most pageants are embracing the concept of going beyond physical appearance by highlighting the significance of advocacy.
They encourage contestants to highlight causes that they care most about as they use the platform for meaningful changes. Most of them root for issues of racial disparity, gender equality, and support for mental health issues.
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This transformation has also resonated with both the audiences and the participants. Representing the advocacies they are most passionate about allows every contestant to show their commitment to making a significant difference.
Thus, this opportunity enables contestants to be advocates, explaining the social issues and motivating others to take action. It also pushes contestants to become accurate role models as they prove that beauty can exist with brains, dedication, and compassion for social causes.
Judges now look at the impact of the contestants on their chosen causes. They evaluate each in their ability to make change and mobilize society.
This unification of advocacy and beauty has attracted a set of contestants who are genuinely passionate about making a positive change. The younger generations who previously haven’t considered joining pageants now see them as their chance to make a difference.
Since the world has witnessed significant changes in the past years, audiences see beauty pageants with new eyes.
In the history of beauty pageants in the Philippines, several Filipina beauty queens have elevated their advocacies by championing social issues. Here are some of the inspiring queens and their advocacies.
She made history as the first Filipina to win the title. Throughout her reign, she focused on raising awareness about child abuse and promoting education.
Through her efforts, she was able to raise funds for educational programs. In addition, she used her voice to urge people to take action against child abuse and exploitation.
In 2020 she also initiated support for the LGBTQ+ community when she combined her passion for Esports and helped raise funds for the “LoveYourself” organization that aims to encourage queer individuals to embrace their identities and self-worth.
This beauty queen is renowned for her commitment to promoting women’s rights and preserving indigenous culture. She also initiated the project “One Town, One Product” (OTOP) for the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry.
In addition to these advocacies, she also actively promoted quality education for all. During her reign, she worked with specific organizations and movements to raise awareness of the importance of education.
In 2020, Gray also partnered with the group Young Focus to start a feeding program that benefited 1,000 families in Tondo, Manila, Philippines.
She has been a vocal advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. She made efforts to debunk misinformation and reduce the stigma about AIDS.
In addition, she was also the Goodwill Ambassador for the regional sector of UNAIDS, an HIV/AIDS charity organization. Wurtzbach is also an ambassador for World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines and has used her influence to promote LGBTQ+ rights.
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This beauty queen has been actively involved in supporting projects and initiatives that aim to give education to those who lack access to it.
Growing up in Bohol and having experienced walking for 30 minutes before arriving at her school, she also advocates for education in rural areas. She saw the need for school supplies and quality facilities for schools in rural areas.
These Filipina beauty queens are role models of their advocacies’ impact outside the realm of beauty pageants. Their efforts reached beyond the stage and spotlight, enabling them to make a big difference in society and their chosen communities.
Beauty competitions are undergoing an impressive transformation from mere displays of physical attributes to platforms that welcome social change and advocacy.
By encouraging participants to use their influence and voice to acknowledge critical issues, beauty pageants have been solid catalysts for positive change.
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