Great Fashion at Beauty Pageants
Orestes Nuez (The Freeman) - November 19, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Beauty pageants or beauty contests are competitions originally focusing on the physical attributes of the contestants. Then, intellectual qualities have also been considered, as well as personality traits and talent. A contestant’s ability to answer judges’ questions on various subjects has since become a major criterion, too.

There has, in recent years, evolved another eagerly-awaited side to beauty pageants. Today, beauty pageants are good platforms for showcasing the brilliant creations of fashion designers. Many little-known but talented designers break into public attention by way of beauty pageants.

Audiences look to beauty pageants for the best gowns, casual and athletic wears. While the swimsuit has always been the tool used to judge the beauty contestants’ physical forms, new styles of this classic piece come up on the pageant stage all the time. Indeed, the fashion angle of beauty pageants does not fail to wow audiences.

Beauty pageants are really popular these days – all the way from international to local contests. In the Philippines, even the small barangays or backstreet communities do hold their own versions, of course trying to mimic the big, established events. And these always draw huge crowds, too.

Beauty pageants began in medieval-era Europe. During the Eglinton Tournament of 1839, organized by Archibald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton, a beauty pageant was held as part of a re-enactment of a medieval joust that was held in Scotland. The pageant was won by Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, the wife of Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset. She was proclaimed as the “Queen of Beauty.”

To this day, English May Day celebrations continues to involve the selection of a May Queen. In the United States, the May Day tradition of selecting a woman to serve as a symbol of bounty and community ideals also continues. Entrepreneur Phineas Taylor Barnum is said to have staged the first modern American pageant in 1854.

Many beauty pageants today are multi-tiered, with local competitions feeding into the larger competitions. International and national pageants have many, many local competitions. Each event is a chance for good fashion designs to shine and the designers’ opportunity to hug public attention.

A beauty contestant that is able to move to the upper next rung of the competition also tugs along on her rise the designer of her pageant outfits. The designer’s moment to shine, though, is not all on the beauty contestant’s credit. Most of the new fashion designers are truly great talents that deserve good exposure.

Naturally, the big and popular pageants give designers better exposure. Especially if, say, the pageant proceedings are picked up by media, the fashion designs featured are seen and most likely to be appreciated by the public. Well, yes, the name behind the design is noted, as well.

Exposure in the mainstream media itself can already be a huge factor. And there’s social media to boot. In sites like YouTube, the posted videos (of the pageant) are played over and over again, and, thus, there is continuity to the exposure of the designer.

By just wearing the designer’s creation at the pageant, the beauty contestant is construed as its endorser – especially if it looks good on the contestant. Many up-and-coming designers even consider dressing the pageant’s hosts, who normally thank their sponsors and designers over and over again. What could be better exposure than that?

A winner of a beauty contest is often referred as a beauty queen. But even before she is proclaimed winner, she has already been dressed up like one by her fashion designer. The outfits provided her are very often the designer’s best – because the designer knows that these can make or break his or her (the designer’s) reputation.

BEAUTY CONTESTS
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