Elise Choi, 16, Sai Kung Sung Tsun Catholic School Nowadays, beauty contests are being held everywhere in the world, including the least developed countries. Some people say the shows are harmful to society, but I disagree. There are many advantages, both for participants and audiences all over the world. Television companies fight to gain broadcasting rights for beauty contests. Why? Because such shows are one of the most common forms of entertainment for people. When watching beauty pageants, they are happier and unlikely to cause any trouble. They love to see beautiful girls who are smiling all the time. This visual enjoyment can have a positive impact on their lifestyle. The judges of beauty contests do not consider participants' appearance alone. For example, the Miss Hong Kong pageant is held every year. There are three main sections. Participants have to appear before the audience, debate on a topic and showcase their talents. Audiences can learn by watching the contests. In addition, beauty contests provide a platform for participants to gain valuable experience which can boost their confidence. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young girls to display their skills in front of a global television audience. Also, they need to do a lot of preparation before the show. Even if they lose, they would learn from the interviews and rehearsals. In the case of beauty contests, both the participants and viewers can benefit from a memorable experience. Matthew Murchie, 15, St Joseph's College Beauty contests are becoming more popular, attracting thousands of participants and millions of viewers around the world. These international competitions may bring in the dollars and enhance a country's image, but there are serious drawbacks. Such events affect both the moral standards and productivity of a society. While many beauty contests nowadays attempt to incorporate qualities such as intelligence and social awareness as judging criteria, all the winners are very attractive. Far from shifting the focus away from physical appearance, the 'crowning moment' merely reinforces people's belief that a woman's physical beauty is her most important quality. This is extremely harmful because young girls would get the wrong idea that beauty is everything. This could lead to a lot of problems among women, such as a lack of incentive for self-improvement and serious health issues like anorexia and bulimia. Another big problem with beauty contests is that they do not give a chance to 'plain-looking' girls. Unlike fields such as sports or education, beauty is not something that can be gained through training or hard work. This makes girls who are unattractive feel inferior, and they could suffer from low self-esteem or depression. With regard to beauty contests, there's no doubt the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits.