Back in January, 88 beauty queens from around the globe graced the stage at FIU Arena in Miami to compete for the title of Miss Universe. By now, the spectacle of these events is well known – the stunning evening gowns, the elaborate traditional costumes, the skimpy bikinis – as are the familiar questions concerning feminism and the portrayal of women. Increasingly, however, one question concerning the rules of the competition continues to gain traction: Should contestants be allowed to have plastic surgery?
While contestants are discouraged from altering their own natural beauty, officially the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants do not have any regulations against plastic surgery. And with the minute changes that modern cosmetic enhancements can offer, such a rule would be almost impossible to enforce anyway.
Still, many people have argued that women who have undergone surgical enhancement should be barred from competing in the Miss Universe pageant. In a competition where so much is based on physical appearance, isn’t plastic surgery an unfair advantage? What’s the difference, say, between a beauty queen getting plastic surgery and an NFL player taking performance-enhancing drugs?
For some, however, the situation isn’t so cut-and-dry. In fact, the current Miss Universe, Paulina Vega of Colombia, gave an interview just days before winning the pageant, wherein she advocated for some degree of leniency on this issue.
After saying that she had not undergone any cosmetic procedures herself, Vega explained that she doesn’t see anything wrong with plastic surgery as long as contestants don’t overuse it.
It’s worth noting that surgical enhancements aren’t always an advantage to contestants. Botched cosmetic surgery can cause damage to the body and all but ruin a contestant’s chance at winning the crown. Moreover, beauty pageant judges have particular tastes, and some of them have been known to dock points from a contestant who has had noticeable work done.
Ultimately though, it all comes down to the audience. As Alex Kuczynski, a New York Times reporter and author of Beauty Junkies, points out, there’s no interest in a competition featuring only natural beauties. According to Kuczynski the people who watch beauty pageants only care about looking at the most beautiful women out there.
At the end of the day, the Miss Universe pageant isn’t just a competition; it’s also a TV show. And while plastic surgery may call into question the legitimacy of the competitive aspect of the pageant, it undoubtedly helps the spectacle of it.
If you or someone you know would like more information about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!