The High Cost Of Beauty Pageants
Tens of thousands of dollars can get you a 12 months of faculty, a brand new automobile or even a down payment on a house. Or you would use that cash to enter a significant beauty pageant, like the Miss USA pageant, set to take place Sunday. Contestants usually spend an quantity that is greater than the money prize awarded to the pageant’s winner: reportedly somewhere in the 5-figure vary for nationwide pageants, and presumably a lot much less for state and native titles.
Kim Gravel, star of Lifetime’s “Kim of Queens” (which can silk base lace frontals return for a second season this fall), proprietor of The Pageant Place costume and coaching service and the 1991 Miss Georgia America, stated pageant dresses alone can run from “$700 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,” mentioned Gravel. “There’s a pageant each week.”
Lisa Barefield, advertising and marketing director for Henri’s Cloud 9 in Minerva, Ohio, which is dressing 4 girls competing in the 2014 Miss USA pageant, mentioned she’s seen customized dresses cost $8,000 to $10,000 each “for the big pageants.”
Approximately 2.5 million ladies compete in more than 100,000 beauty pageants each year in the U.S. in line with Statistic Mind, and not less than 72 p.c of contestants silk base lace frontals rent a pageant coach like Gravel, often at a cost of $a hundred or extra an hour, generally three periods per week, in keeping with Gravel—and a protracted record of different expenses. Then there’s hair and make-up (about $250 an hour), a spray tan ($75), and a wig or extensions ($200).
Pageants also cost an entry payment that can range from $300 to $500, Gravel said, though some pageants can price as much as $1,000 to enter.
Barefield mentioned clients typically need further outfits past an evening gown — for the opening number, interview portion, rehearsals, swimsuit competition, and public appearances. And all have to be accessorized with sneakers and jewelry.
“It can undoubtedly add up,” stated Barefield.
Rachel Slawson, 19, the current Miss Provo USA 2015 and a Miss Utah USA 2014 contestant, spends a bit less than a lot of pageant contestants. She plans to spend $600 to $700 at Salt Lake City-primarily based store Ypsilon for her gown to compete in the 2015 pageant.
“To me, it is not a lot about the cost of the costume as it’s how I really feel in it,” she stated.
Last season, Slawson stated, she spent only $one hundred for a Nephi Garcia gown as a result of the designer gave her a low cost as promotion for his model. She’s additionally sponsored by make-up artist Jannet Delgaldo, Pureza Salon, Medi Spa and Xtend Barre Provo, which provides her beauty providers and an area to train in change for promotion on social media to her 2,500+ followers. All the remainder of her bills, together with journey prices and the entry price, she pays for on her personal.
“My first pageant I invested very little effort and cash,” she stated. “This yr I’ve taken it extra severely. I want to win. I need to be Miss Utah USA.”
Gravel stated younger women enter pageants not simply to earn scholarship cash, as she did, but in addition as a result of they imagine a win will assist propel them into the highlight. Actress Ali Landry, for instance, was Miss USA 1996 and singer Britney Spears competed in native pageants in her native Kentwood, Louisiana.
“It’s profitable on so many various levels and that’s why it’s so aggressive now,” she said. “It’s in regards to the launching pad.”
Pageants have also modified over the years, from what contestants wear—swimsuits, Gravel said, use to be far more modest, for instance — to a decrease price of entry, as paradoxical as that sounds.
“It was more expensive again within the day,” she said, because there wasn’t a “dress shop on each corner,” forcing women to pay designers for custom-made dresses. Now the choices are endless, as a result of a proliferation of formal-wear outlets and imports from nations like China.
“The accessibility is extra prevalent so it drives the associated fee down,” Gravel mentioned.
While health has always been part of pageants, Gravel said, expectations have gone up. Many women, feeling they should be in good bodily shape, and hire dear personal trainers or go for plastic surgical procedure. Gravel believes that is unwell-suggested.