25 Little-Known Facts About Beauty Pageants That You Probably Didn’t Know

Beauty Pageants are a global pastime and are found in almost every culture and in nearly every theme imaginable. While in the United States Beauty Pageants and contestants have fallen prey to a lot of stereotypes, most of the beauty candidates are hard working women who spend weeks and even months preparing for five minutes on stage. For your consideration, here are 25 Little-Known Facts About Beauty Pageants That You Probably Didn’t Know.


Many of us have seen or heard of the show "Toddlers and Tiaras," which follows child Beauty Pageant Contestants. Children between the ages of 6-16 account for about 3 million beauty pageant attendees each year.

child_beauty_pageantSource: http://beauty-pageants.weebly.com/

"Glitz" dresses for children's beauty pageants can run into the thousands of dollars for one outfit, worn for one pageant season. One noted Toddler's and Tiara's contestant - Mckenzie Myers - had a $4,000 dress.

"Glitz" dressesSource: http://beauty-pageants.weebly.com/ Image Source: Shutterstock

Many adult "Miss" beauty pageants still hold to very traditional gender roles; contestants must never have been married (Miss America now allows Divorcees), or given birth to a child. (Requirements used to say "have been pregnant," but changes were made so that women who had an abortion or miscarriage could compete.) The oldest you can be to enter the Miss America Pageant is 24, for Miss USA it's 26.

traditionalgenderrolesSource: http://thoughtcatalog.com/

If you are older though, there may be hope. See #14.


There have been a lot of weirdly themed Beauty Pageants in America's History - Miss American Vampire (girls dressed like a Vampire), Miss Beautiful Ape (a promotion in the 70's where contestants wore Ape Heads to promote a movie), Miss Atom Bomb, Miss Prettiest Ankles, and Miss Lovely Eyes (where contestants wore creepy masks that covered everything but their eyes. Because scarves were too basic?)

nyc_transit_museum_miss_subwaysSource: http://listverse.com/

France actually banned Beauty Pageants for children under the age of 13, citing fears of "hypersexualizing" young girls. But it does beg the question - does a 4 year old need a spray tan, eyeliner, fake nails, fake lashes, and fake teeth?

eiffel-towerSource: http://www.nytimes.com/ Image Source: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

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