Outsiders to the pageant world assume that the explicit rules about morality and positive reputations keep the competitions clean, wholesome and away from any questionable influences. However, in truth, beauty pageants promote sexuality and an obsession with “beauty” as defined by somebody’s personal taste.
In fact, escorts might even argue that beauty pageants have many similarities to the escort industry. Through fierce competition among mostly attractive and sometimes intelligent women, big money is to be earned, much like in the world of escorting.
- It’s all about the money. Both escorts and beauty pageant contestants can earn lots of money for strutting their stuff. Pageant winners may be awarded modeling, acting and singing contracts, in addition to sizable scholarships. The Miss America pageant hands out a $50,000 scholarship to the overall winner, and the runner-up takes home a $25,000 award. The swimsuit category (now renamed the Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit Competition) winner earns a cool grand for wearing a bikini well. In addition to the pageant-sponsored awards, other organizations hand out money and valuable items to pageant winners. The escort industry is quite similar. When an escort wins over her judge (the client), she gets a significant reward, too: her hourly fee for her time. A regular client who sees an escort once a week for an hour (at $250 per hour) pays her $13,000 over the course of a year. That’s not shabby for 52 hours of work.
- Stereotypes are prevalent for participants in both industries. The pageant girls are known for their physical beauty and being unintelligent. They may be called pageant bimbos, ditzy queens or anything else that insults their brains and beauty combination. The physical stereotype for beauty pageant participants is that they are tall, blonde and tan… and have a natural ability to do the princess wave. They are looked down upon by the majority of people, simply because they enter into an industry that helps them succeed in life through scholarships or career offers. Escorts face similar, more severe stigma. They are categorized into several types, ranging from drug-addicted crack heads and mentally unstable nymphomaniacs to coerced virgins and stupid bimbos. Each industry has their own set of stereotypes, but the facts remain that the women involved in both face stigma and unfair judgment for having the guts to enter into possible situations that can help them build successful futures.
- Anti-feminist groups claim that both activities objectify women. Actually, participants in both pageants and the escort industry will argue that they feel empowered, beautiful and appreciated through their endeavors. However, arguments continue to exist that shallow principles are used to determine success, and that chauvinistic tendencies are catered to throughout the actions of both pageant contestants and escorts. The archaic practice of selecting women (for anything) simply based on their looks and general appeal is frowned upon, tarnishing women’s success in these fields. Regardless of what the arguments may be, the women who engage in either industry are confident, intelligent, successful and capable.
- Both industries judge a woman’s worth based on her beauty. Beauty pageant contestants wouldn’t make it very far if they weren’t good looking or attractive. However, studies have repeatedly shown that society responds more positively to pretty subjects than it does to ugly ones. There’s no surprise, then, that these contests include the element of beauty as a criteria. Clients of escorts are first attracted because of a woman’s appearance. She is sexy, beautiful, glamorous or “hot”. Humankind is ingrained with an automatic appreciation for aesthetic beauty, and it’s human nature to judge on appearances.
- Competition is tough in both fields. With a significant number of pretty women entering into both industries, some will not succeed. Clients judge based on an escort’s appearance and her image. They select an escort that defines what beauty is to them, whether that is tall, short, skinny or fat. Escorts who can be attractive to clients succeed; but some do not fare well when up against the competition of other more skilled or experienced escorts. Thousands of escorts enter into the industry each year, in addition to the ones that already exist in the market. They are all competing for clients, which makes it tough. Beauty pageants are no different. Large numbers of women choose to compete because the benefits are so great if they win. However, when such a large group participating in an event, the competition becomes fierce, resulting in the creation of winners and losers.
- Special talents have a great impact on success. Beauty pageant contestants who have unique skills that stand out among others often have a leg up on others. The contestant who simply reads a poem will not stand nearly the chance for winning as the woman who creates her own creative performance using several talents. The escort industry is much the same way. An escort who can do more than just provide a “good time” to her clients will get much more business. If she lists her talents, skills and preferences for how to spend time with a client, she is creating a preview for them they want to experience. And, when they get the real performance, they are impressed.
Interviews are important. In the escort industry, clients want someone they can have a conversation with. They look for a provider who will discuss issues they are interested in with them, talk about their day or ask them questions about themselves. Also, they like to learn about an escort and what she’s passionate about. An escort who can’t express herself well to a client is going to have trouble convincing him to come see her again. In other words, her interview is essential to repeat clientele. Much like an escort, a beauty pageant contestant must be able to define what she stands for, think on her feet and provide eloquent, thoughtful answers to unexpected questions. If she can’t, she loses significant points, putting her out of the running to win a title.
- Sex is involved in both worlds. The pageant industry is full of sex-related scandals. A story broke recently about Miss California recruiters requesting sexual favors from potential contestants, as they helped them find sponsorships for entry fees. Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King resigned her crown after porn videos with her as the star were discovered online. In 2009, Miss California Carrie Prejean lost her crown due to topless photos of her surfacing into the mainstream media. Vanessa Williams, Miss America in 1983 — and the first African American winner, resigned her crown after posing nude for Penthouse Magazine. And, 1991 Miss USA Kelli McCarty has embarked on a successful porn film star career. Sex is rampant with participants in the beauty pageant world. And, similarly, sex is an important factor in the escort industry. While escorts do NOT sell sexual services or make promises that intimacies will be provided to clients, many clients do get the opportunity to engage in consensual activities with their escorts. Sex and related acts are prevalent parts of being an escort.
- Both industries are open to nearly everyone. Pageants welcome women who can fill out the application form and raise the application fees. To win, the average girl must undergo a pageant make-over so she can strive to be competitive with other contestants. The same can be said for the escort industry. Anyone who can put up a profile and post to the Internet can become an escort. Of course, to be an upscale escort, some image tweaking may be necessary, including new hairstyles, clothing and make-up habits.
- Images are important for pageants and escorting. Your image creates attitudes and perceptions about who you are and what your personality is like. Escorts create new images all of the time to help them attract the kind of clients they are looking for. They adopt a persona, much like an actress fills a role, that they play out with their clients… ranging from photos to in-person experiences. The beauty pageant industry relies on contestants who can provide the same sort of showmanship, too. Contestants create an on-stage image that is confident, poised and polished, even though off-stage they might be quirky and clumsy or a tomboy. Both fields require women to be what they think others desire in order to acquire approval.
- There is a niche for everyone. Any woman who wants to enter the beauty pageant world can; she just needs to find the right pageant for her. In addition to the Miss USA and Miss America franchises, many others exist. Some are quite traditional, while others are a bit more unique. Less traditional options include: Miss Navajo Nation, Miss Klingon Empire, Alternative Miss Ireland, Miss Drumsticks, Miss Gothic America, Miss Artificial Beauty and Miss Jumbo Queen. Beauty contests exist for nerdy types, large women, short gals, mature ladies and punk girls. The escort industry is just as welcoming, providing niches for nearly all types of escorts. Clients exist for nearly any type of escort, including bizarre fetish providers. Escorting allows women to embrace their inner quirkiness, if they want to, in order to attract equally odd clients. Pierced and tattooed escorts have success among alternative types of clients, just as the traditional tall, blonde bombshell type excels with other, more traditional pleasure seekers.
Of course, the beauty pageant industry and the escort field are two separate entities. But, arguments can be applied that participants in both endeavors utilize their beauty, personalities, brains and people skills to impress people who use specific criteria to select quality candidates for great accolades and earnings. Essentially, both beauty contests and escorting requires a woman to rely on her charm and looks for success. It’s really not so bad, though, when you consider that people are judged on these things every day, but with less obvious focus and not much less money at stake.