A beauty pageant or beauty contest is a competition that has traditionally focused on judging and ranking the physical attributes of the contestants, although most contests have evolved to also incorporate personality traits, intelligence, talent, and answers to judges’ questions as judged criteria.
Business is the activity of making one’s living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is “any activity or enterprise entered into for profit.
So then, with the above definitions, is pageant a business?
Of course, we understand the mantra that no individual or organization goes into an event such as pageantry without the intent to make profit, but the problem here is making the said profit at the detriment or by exploitation of the contestants. Your profits can come from donors, or sponsors or partners but not from the contestants whom you (the organiser) should be planning to enrich or change their lives for the better.
We believe that the founding fathers of pageants built pageantry on a premise to help and empower young ladies who were beautiful, intelligent and had something positive to offer to the society. Not the other way round.
In Nigeria, sadly, the reverse is the case. We have contestants striving so hard and going to extreme lengths to complete tasks given to them by pageant organisers to which the sole aim is to enrich the pockets of their producers or directors. They (Organizers) make you believe that they are helping you by “giving” you their title and as such, it has to be paid for through several terrible means possible.
In as much as this organizers are the major culprits in this ever growing scam, the contestants have a share of the blame. Alot of desperate contestants in their desperation to be called beauty Queens and Kings end up offering to pay for the crown and when you have two or three of such contestants, the producer crowns the highest bidder. Just then, it has become nothing but business.
That said, a pageant organiser with integrity knows that his crown is not for sale and wouldn’t turn his organization into an outright ponzi scheme. The use of contestant to “peddle tickets” which is now a common practice, has grown over the years into a deadly practice as contestants are forced to to go through extreme measures to sell as many tickets as possible or risk not winning the crown even when they are the most qualified. But one thing we believe is this, if contestants refuse or stop “hawking” tickets, we would know the pageants that will stand the test of time
The beauty pageant competition is to meant to empower and change the lives of the aspiring Queen or King, not to turn them into mere “event ticket hawkers”, prostitutes to be pimped out to the the highest bidder, and pieces of meat to be sexually abused all in the name of modelling.
The #PageantNotBusiness Campaign is presented by #PageantForum a group of pageant Kings and Queens and models in Nigeria who have come together to say enough is enough. We are calling on all pageant enthusiasts, kings queens and Nigerian models as a whole to join us and speak up against this growing menace. Tell us your story. Challenge others to tell their story. Let’s put a stop to the flaming vices that is eating up our industry. Pageants are not, and will never be a form of business. Let your voice be heard!!!