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The Excessive Value Of Beauty Pageants

Tens of hundreds of dollars can get you a year of faculty, a new automotive or even a down payment on a house. Or you can use that money to enter a significant beauty pageant, like the Miss USA pageant, set to happen Sunday. Contestants typically spend an quantity that’s greater than the money prize awarded to the pageant’s winner: reportedly somewhere within the five-figure vary for national pageants, and presumably a lot less for state and local titles.

Kim Gravel, star of Lifetime’s “Kim of Queens” (which can return for a second season this fall), owner of The Pageant Place costume and teaching service and the 1991 Miss Georgia America, said pageant dresses alone can run from “$seven hundred to $1,000 when purchased off the rack, or as a lot as $5,000 for the severe competitor.”

“Now it’s an enormous business,” stated Gravel. “There’s a pageant each week.”
Lisa Barefield, advertising director for Henri’s Cloud 9 in Minerva, Ohio, which is dressing 4 ladies competing within the 2014 Miss USA pageant, stated she’s seen customized dresses cost $8,000 to $10,000 each “for the large pageants.”

Approximately 2.5 million women compete in more than 100,000 beauty pageants each year within the U.S. in line with Statistic Mind, and at the least 72 percent of contestants hire a pageant coach like Gravel, typically at a price of $100 or more an hour, sometimes three sessions per week, in accordance with Gravel—and a long record of other expenses. Then there’s hair and make-up (about $250 an hour), a spray tan ($75), and a wig or extensions ($200).

Pageants additionally cost an entry payment that may vary from $300 to $500, Gravel said, although some pageants can price as much as $1,000 to enter.

Barefield said customers usually need extra outfits past a night gown — for the opening number, interview portion, rehearsals, swimsuit competition, and public appearances. And all should be accessorized with sneakers and jewellery.

“It can definitely add up,” stated Barefield.
Rachel Slawson, 19, the current Miss Provo USA 2015 and a Miss Utah USA 2014 contestant, spends a bit lower than numerous pageant contestants. She plans brunette pixie haircut to spend $600 to $seven hundred at Salt Lake Metropolis-based shop Ypsilon for her dress to compete within the 2015 pageant.

“To me, it is not a lot about the cost of the gown as it’s how I feel in it,” she said.
Last season, Slawson mentioned, she spent solely $100 for a Nephi Garcia gown because the designer gave her a low cost as promotion for his brand. She’s additionally sponsored by makeup artist Jannet Delgaldo, Pureza Salon, Medi Spa and Xtend Barre Provo, which gives her magnificence companies and a space to exercise in change for promotion on social media to her 2,500+ followers. All the remainder of her expenses, including journey prices and the entry charge, she pays for on her own.

“My first pageant I invested little or no effort and money,” she mentioned. “This year I’ve taken it extra critically. I need to win. I wish to be Miss Utah USA.”

Gravel said younger ladies enter pageants not simply to earn scholarship money, as she did, but additionally because they imagine a win will help propel them into the spotlight. Actress Ali Landry, for example, was Miss USA 1996 and singer Britney Spears competed in native pageants in her native Kentwood, Louisiana.

“It’s profitable on so many different ranges and that’s why it’s so aggressive now,” she stated. “It’s concerning the launching pad.”

Pageants have also changed through the years, from what contestants wear—swimsuits, Gravel stated, use to be way more modest, for instance — to a lower cost of entry, as paradoxical as that sounds.

“It was dearer again within the day,” she stated, as a result of there wasn’t a “dress store on every nook,” forcing girls to pay designers for custom-made dresses. Now the choices are endless, because of a proliferation of formal-wear shops and imports from countries like China.

“The accessibility is more prevalent so it drives the price down,” Gravel stated.
Whereas fitness has at all times been part of pageants, Gravel mentioned, expectations have gone up. Many girls, feeling they must be in excellent bodily form, and hire dear private trainers or go for plastic surgical procedure. Gravel believes this is unwell-advised.

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