Are Beauty Pageants Harmful?

•June 18, 2010 • 7 Comments

I’ve been studying for my English Composition CLEP Test by picking a topic from a list and writing an essay off of that topic, so I though I would post some here as I wrote them. The facts are all made up, as the test doesn’t care so much about facts as it does how you support your views and your essay structure. Anyway…

The beauty pageant as an event has become a popular competitive activity since its start in the early 1900’s. Women from all over the world have entered themselves in beauty pageants, and even the parents of pretty young ladies have given their daughters the opportunity to participate. The competition can be fierce, with hundreds of women presenting themselves before the judges in the hopes of being named “Miss California” or “Miss America” as a reward for their good looks. But while a casual observer might find beauty pageants a seemingly harmless activity, others have raised concerns about the effect of these events on average Americans, and even on the participants themselves. Is there a negative physiological effect to beauty pageant observers? Who do the pageants effect? What effect do these competitions have on the participants?

Being named beauty of the year out of a myriad of other women can be quite a boost to ones self-esteem, and having a positive view of oneself can encourage you to use your new found fame to promote causes that are important to you. In fact, numerous beauty pageant winners have gone on to use their fame to do just that. 2009’s winner of the Washington State Beauty Gala, Edith Odriew, went on to promote the Society For Inept Students by starring in their TV commercials. Sally Taf, winner of the National Beauty Contest, used her fame to get into a reality TV show, and from there encouraged young ladies to pursue their dreams. For both of these winners, their boosted self-esteem opened new doors for them, allowing them to expand their horizons and be a role model for others.

With all the media coverage that most beauty pageants have, it is inevitable that the winners, and even the runner-ups, build a fan base. Not surprisingly, while a good percentage of beauty pageant watchers are men between the ages of 20 and 35, statistics have shown that the majority of pageant followers are girls between the age of 10 and 17, a highly impressionable age. This provides a tremendous opportunity for the pageant winners to be good role models for young female fans. Unfortunately, while many winners have put their influence to good use, many others have squandered the opportunity, choosing instead to use their fame to pursue whatever catches their fancy. While some end up on a socially acceptable path, others have fallen under pressure and taken up drug use or other negative activities. This can send a confusing message to young fans looking for someone to imitate in life. But while even a beauty pageant winner that is a good role model can benefit young fans, there is another point to consider about the effects of beauty pageants.

The constant barrage of faces that are lauded as “beautiful” or “gorgeous” during a beauty pageant may be nice to look at, but it sets a standard of beauty that is limited and harmful to the populace in general. This limited view of beauty can be harmful to young women, causing them to become discouraged when they can’t fit themselves into that particular category of good looks. This discouragement can often be unfounded, as while they may not be beautiful according to beauty pageants, their own unique beauty sets them in a class all by themselves. Not only might young women be affected by this limited view of beauty, but young men might also be deceived into setting a high and unnecessary standard of female beauty that limits them in their quest for a partner. Sadly, these side effects of beauty pageants have had quite an effect on the population; in fact, a study done in 2008 asking females between the age of 15 and 25 if they thought they were beautiful or not, showed that more than 70% of them said they would not call themselves beautiful. This doubt of one’s beauty by a large sample of the female population, and the unnecessary standards set by many males, seems to be a unfortunate side effect of beauty pageants and their limited scope.

With the beauty pageant being such a well know event that has branched out into many parts of society, the effects of this event should now be apparent amongst the general populace. While there is no doubt that these pageants have opened doors for some women, allowing them to use their influence to provide good role models and promote causes they support, the sometimes little noticed side effects often have a greater effect. It seems to me that the narrow minded standards of beauty set by beauty pageants is harmful to society in general, and not worth the small accomplishments that come out of a beauty pageant.

Ultimately the Ultimate

•June 4, 2010 • 1 Comment

Ok, I’m going to say it. No I’m not. I never will. I’m to loyal. Naw, why lie to myself. Aww, I guess I’ll say it…maybe.  Yeah, ok here goes. I am officially now saying that I love Ultimate Frisbee more than Base….than, baseb….more than baseball. *pause* I still love you baseball! Please don’t let this mar our relationship! Ok, well baseball used to be my favorite sport, but now Ultimate has taken 1st place, with baseball right underneath it. Ultimate is just so much fun! There’s nothing quite like seeing that disc (yes, it is a disc, not a Frisbee, because that’s the name of the manufacturers of the first discs) fly out of your hand and down the field, with a teammate running it down to advance the play. Or vice versa, having someone huck (i.e. throw a long pass) it to you down field, and you be the one pounding over the ground to pull down that disc, leaving nothing but wind and opposing players behind you. Or throwing hammers (they can’t be described, so if you don’t know what they are, you missing out), I loooooove throwing hammers. My teammates can attest to that. Pretty much just everything about Ultimate is amazing, except for getting exhausted. Ironically, I got my first leg cramp just now after playing a couple hours of intense Ultimate.  But even that isn’t so bad considering all the benefits. Yeah, I love Ultimate.

I still love you to baseball….just don’t tell Ultimate.

It’s Been A While

•June 3, 2010 • 7 Comments

Yeah, it’s been a looong time since my last post. What’s happened since uh *checks date of last post*, April last year? Well….a heck of a lot. But me is boring, let’s focus on you. More specifically, are you out there? Which kind of comes back to me. If you’re not out there, well then, I’m not going to hang around here. It’s kind of the way things work in this world. If nobody bought iPods, would Apple keep making them? I think not. Which would be a bummer, because than I couldn’t replace mine when I need to. Anyway, as I was saying, it’s the supply and demand idea. You demand, I supply. And vice versa. Oh,  it’s kind of a part of capitalism. Well, not limited to capitalism I guess, but it’s still a part of it, just like money. Haha….wow, this paragraph structure sucks. Can you believe I’m getting ready to take a English Composition test?

Actually, I love writing, when I get myself to do it. This test I’m studying for, part of it is a multiple choice test, which I honestly love doing. For me, it’s fun, easy, and entertaining. Especially when they give you a sentence to read, and you’re supposed to find the mistakes. I mean, some of the sentences are so hilariously messed up it’s quite amusing.

You another thing I love? Music. Yeah, I know, who doesn’t. But lately I’ve been expanding my musical tastes oh the slightest bit. I’ve started listening to some Jason Mraz, Daughtry (how about those side by side?), Michael Buble, and Five For Fighting. That’s some good stuff right there.

So anyway. But anyhow. Yada yada. Yeah…..so, if you demand, I’ll supply…..hopefully. Tu tienes, yo dar. Tipicalmente.

Country Music Myths

•April 10, 2009 • 8 Comments

Being a big country music fan, I get a little irritated when people start bad mouthing it and putting it down. While it’s not really a big deal, I thought I would write a little article for the fun of it on country music and why it’s not what a lot of people say it is. So here goes.

Common Myths About Country Music

Country Singers Can’t Sing-

The first thing to realize is that obviously someone who listens to rock or the like isn’t going to like how county artists sing, because for the most part, it’s a whole different style. It’s not that country singers can’t sing, it’s just a different style. If you listen to artists like Martina McBride, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, George Strait, or Tim McGraw, you can’t say that they can’t sing. You may not like how they sing, but they can sing.

Country Songs Have Lame Lyrics-

I’ve heard people say that country songs are about things like stains on white t-shirts and trailer parks, and other weird things, but how many country songs have these people actually listened to? Country songs have a wide range of subjects, varying from the love, America, family, to cars, being a guy, God, and the little things in life. Some artists bring a good sense of humor into their songs, and others do better with a more serious outtake on life.

Country Music Does Take Any Musical Talent

If you think that country songs are simple musically, or they don’t require any skill to play, you need to get out more. Just listen to artists like Brad Paisley or Keith Urban, among others. Country songs are actually very diverse in their style, with the style varying from bluegrass to rock, although mostly in between those two.

Why I Prefer Country Music Over Other Musical Genres

I find country music the most enjoyable because of the diversity in style and lyrics, as mentioned above, and also in the wide variety of musical instruments employed. I love hearing the different sounds of the guitar, piano, violin, keyboard, banjo, ganjo, mandolin, bass, drums and the other instruments used. As for lyrics, while there are plenty of songs that I don’t listen to because of the lyrics, the variety of different songs compensates for that.

A Separate Quibble With Another Music Genre

Christian Contemporary. First, I have no problem with the lyrics (for the most part), praising God is wonderful, and I wish I could take the lyrics and put them to a country tune. But the musical part is where I have my problems with this genre. There just isn’t enough variety. The assortment of musical instruments used is normally small (guitar, keyboard, violin, drums), and I have yet to hear an instrumental solo that makes a song worth listening to in of itself. The song formula is like; A, B, A, B, C; and that just isn’t very creative. Granted, I haven’t listened to a ton of Christian Contemporary, and there are some artists that I like, I just don’t find that genre all that exciting musically.

So there you have it, my thoughts on country music and Christian Contemporary music. This little article wasn’t pointed at anyone specifically, and I’m not mad about the subject, I just wanted to get this out of my system. So now you know why I prefer country music.

Dear Job

•January 14, 2009 • 1 Comment

I wrote a letter to Job for a school assignment recently…


Dear Job,

I have heard of the tribulations you have been experiencing, and was moved to write this letter to you. I know that some of your friends have been accusing you of having committed a great sin or considering yourself as great as God. Having considering these accusations, and studied the Bible on the subject of tribulation, I have decided to send you my thoughts on the subject, and hopefully encourage you with them. So here goes.

I think one thing you may not have considered in your reflections is the possibility of the involvement of Satan in your trials. The fallen angel is always looking for some way to bring humans down to Hell with him, and by bringing down all kinds of troubles down on you; he could be hoping to loosen your faith in God. In 1 Peter 5:8, it says, “…your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Your afflictions could be produced by Satan in his attempts to turn you from God. So don’t let your friends convince you that because terrible things are happening to you it is necessarily because you have sinned and God is punishing you.

But yet don’t get discouraged and think that now you’re in for the long haul, and you just have to survive until Satan or you gives up. The only reason that Satan can bring these things down on you is because God allows it. God sometimes uses trials like you are going through to strengthen and intensify your faith and character. After you have gone through suffering for a while, God will restore you, as stated in 1 Peter 5:10: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” God has a plan for you, which leads me into the last point I wanted to share with you.

God has planned your life before the beginning of time, and his plan is in your best interest in the long run. Your personal afflictions might also (and I would say most likely will) affect other people around you in some way, whether it is physically, mentally, or spiritually. By seeing you persevering in your faith while experiencing considerable afflictions, someone could be encouraged by your perseverance in your faith. Even people far away could be encouraged by hearing about your limitless faith. Just remember that God has a plan for you that will ultimately be in the best interests for you and others around you.

If you get anything from this letter, I hope it is that just because you are suffering it is not your fault, or because God is angered at you; and that God’s plan will work out. Also that your perseverance amidst afflictions could be influencing your friends and acquaintances, and faith in God’s plan is always the best strategy.

Sincerely,

Will Claybourne

New Year

•January 1, 2009 • 1 Comment

Here’s to a happy and successful 2009! Here’s to Barack Obama not ruining our country in the his first year! Here’s to more people getting to know the Lord! Here’s to 2009!

And here’s to me writing more posts this year…

Merry Christmas!

•December 25, 2008 • 3 Comments

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!