Contests promote wrong values
Beauty pageants are held every year. Competitors slap on thick layers of make-up, and what they wear is just too revealing - all of which is definitely unnecessary.
The competitions concentrate most on the contestants' looks and bodies, and least on their knowledge and character.
TV stations make the competitors wear skimpy swimsuits to boost ratings, because they know the audience likes 'sexy' bodies.
With all the pressure on girls to be 'pretty' and have a great body, how can teenagers not be influenced? They now all think that if they have the right outfits, the right make-up and lose a few pounds, they will be as attractive as magazine cover girls.
Some girls spend all their pocket money on designer clothes and make-up. They follow extreme diets, skip meals, eat only a particular type of food, or deliberately vomit after eating.
This kind of behaviour is risky and harmful to our health.
These problems are serious, and I think the media is to blame.
Teenagers should realise that health is beauty, and should not be self-conscious about their looks and bodies. It is inner qualities that make you beautiful.
Beauty pageants should be discouraged, and women should not be put 'on show'. Looks are not everything. God gives us beautiful, natural bodies - we should learn to accept and love them.
The media should be responsible in reporting, use models of all shapes and sizes, and produce programmes which promote inner beauty.
Karen is a student at Maryknoll Convent School