The phrase, beauty pageant, almost invariably refers only to contests for women since similar events for men are called by other names and are more likely to be “body building” contests. History tells us that choosing symbolic kings and queens for certain festivities is an ancient custom in certain parts of the world where beautiful young women are selected as a symbol of their nations’ virtues and other abstract ideas.
In beauty contests, efforts have been made to emphasize the different aspects of women and highlight their personal successes during the competitions, as against the earlier claims that the contests were trivial events whose interpretation required no scholarly effort. As is evident today, the organizers have put in their best to give women the opportunity to rise to the top through such contests, whereas pageant participants themselves are made to return to their hometowns to promote community involvement.
Competitions like this, where most women are preferred more than others, it has been found that rather than providing women with opportunities, beauty contests have gone a long way in hurting the prospects of other women who do not fit into the current cultural ideal of beauty, hence these contests are only meant to promote the idea that those who fit this ideal are “better” than those who do not. And some pageants require a swimsuit for a portion of the competition, which emphasizes the physical bodies of women, some claim in undressed state.
Naturally, the body of a woman attracts attention. The face of a pretty woman looms large in the background of any colourful canvas. What people fail to understand today about the word ‘Beauty’ is that is more than make-up. The pretty face isn’t the upshot of diligent external body-care but the product of internal, balanced nutrition that only God through His word can give!
There’s a message here for every beauty pageant contestant on the necessity of ‘inner beauty’ in her walk with God and work for the Saviour. The beauty of the woman is not the creation of make-ups that help conceal wrinkles and blemishes. Nor is it the presence of attractive mien, elegant physique or gorgeous gait. True beauty consists in outward display of virtue and blameless conduct, emanating from a pure heart.
The Scripture doesn’t applaud physical beauty as much as it praises Christian perfection created and sustained by the fear of God. In fact, it warns, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised’ (Proverbs 31:30).
In the beginning, when God created the woman, there was no make-up. The first woman, Eve, was created perfectly with good looks and pure charm. For God had ensured that “every thing that He had made…was very good’ (Genesis 1:31). And Adam was satisfied to have Eve as his wife, saying, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh…” (Genesis 2:23). Mother Eve was beautiful, no doubt. But her beauty wasn’t limited to her physical appearance. Since everything God created was very good, Eve must have been the epitome of virtue – holy, loving, caring, considerate, gentle, meek, kind, wise, prudent, and so forth (Galatians 5:22-23). Eve’s heart had no seed or root of sin. She was pure within and holy without, until the devil entered the garden and tempted her. The entry of sin marred the purity of Eve and destroyed her beauty – the ability to live in holiness. Thus, while Eve still appeared beautiful on the outside, her heart had lost its original inclination to holiness; it was then aligned to evil. Eve developed the sin nature; and her real beauty was gone.
Organizers of beauty pageants pretend that they have eventually crowned beauty queens, the name given to the winners of beauty contests, yet what they have just done is to reveal the ruined divine nature of womanhood. Going by what is seen today in such elaborate contests; human beings are only succeeding in mocking themselves by getting dressed in stolen materials. As a beauty queen, you as well as all human beings, were born with the nature of sin, the propensity for rebellion, and the tendency to stray from God’s will and way (Psalm 51:5).
The heart you carry is the source of all this iniquity from which proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, and all other works of the flesh such as uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such things like that. Because the heart is captive to sin, men and women are prone to deviate from God’s law in words, thoughts and deeds (Matthew 12:34; Romans 7:19-24).
Now, in beauty pageants, what do people look for in a woman? The answer is clear: they look for the evil parts and get satisfied. It is not all about being able to speak in public; multiculturalism, which is a widely viewed aspect in pageants; or the so-called promotion of self-esteem of the contestants. Having a sense of belonging with other contestants, and the larger pageant community can never fulfill the purpose God has for man. The claim that pageants turned girls into women is not even an issue here. All efforts put up to please God while one still live in sin are not acceptable for salvation. Sin must be conquered, otherwise, there can be no transformation; nor can there be restoration of the Edenic glory.
Beauty queens may align themselves with many clubs to raise money for charities; attend religious and other social functions; become role models for little girls and teens; try to understand and support topical issues; etc., yet these things are mere cosmetics when done in sin. Because human beings couldn’t free themselves from the bondage of sin, God, in His mercy and love, stepped in to help us out (John 3:16). The salvation offered by Christ is obtainable only by repentance and faith. To be saved and be made a new creature, you must confess your sins, repent of them and believe on the Lord Jesus as Lord and Saviour (Romans 10:9)