What we can learn from the town that just banned beauty pageants

We’ve been seeing beauty pageant reform pop up quite a bit in the news lately, what with Miss World recently getting rid of the swimsuit portion of their competition, and now there’s a town that’s getting rid of beauty pageants altogether.

The town of Chivilcoy, Argentina, located about a hundred miles east of Buenos Aires, unanimously passed the ruling to ban beauty pageants.

The ruling specifically stated that pageants were being banned because “. . .beauty contests between girls, teenagers and young women reinforces the idea that women should only be valued and prized for their physical appearance.”

In addition to getting rid of beauty contests because they objectify women, the ruling states that Chivilcoy is also getting rid of pageants because they promote ” . . .an obsession with body shape and a physical ideal which can never be achieved.”

The town leaders who passed this ordinance are firm on their stance that beauty should be an inclusive and expansive concept, and not tied up in a competition in which only one winner may emerge. As they put it:

“Beauty is not quantifiable. Therefore, to qualify and organize a competition based on this is discriminatory and violent.”

Not only is this Argentinian town getting rid of pageants, it’s replacing them with an award that will be given to a young woman between the ages of 15 and 30 whom the competition committee deems has given the most to her community.

So can every town in the world be more like Chivilcoy? It is straight up inspired to replace a competition that promotes the objectification of women with an award that celebrates the inner beauty of the smart, driven, and generous young women of a community. This is what we want young women to be competitive about, not what number pops up when you step on a scale, but rather how big a contribution they can make to their world becoming a better place.

Big ups to Chivilcoy for having awesome priorities and putting those priorities into effect in an awesome way. Now it’s on the rest of the world to play catch-up and start honoring the inner beauty of the young women of their communities. If a beauty competition serves to objectify a young woman, a community service competition serves to humanize her. This is what we need to be doing on a global scale, celebrating the humanity of the young women of planet Earth.

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