Beauty Pageants

Levels of Beauty Pageants

Beauty pageants are usually held annually as one of the activities for a fiesta (inauguration day) of a town, a city, or a province. A competition where they select 3 among the 12 candidates or usually 5 among the 15 candidates or more as the fairest and brightest.

Barangay beauty pageants

Beauty pageants in the Philippines are but popular and have become part of the people’s culture. These are held from the lowest level called barangay up to the national level. Beauty pageants that are held in barangays are usually done to raise fund to finance some projects. Hence, the wealthiest among the candidates will have a greater chance of winning because a portion of the criteria is dedicated to how much fund the candidate was able to raise through solicitations she had.

Beauty pageants are modern counterparts of the traditional Santa Cruzan or Flores De Mayo pageant where the main basis of winning is the amount of money the candidate has collected or donated which then later goes to church projects after the counting.

City or town beauty pageants

In cities or municipal town wide pageants, the gown, swimwear, and footwear of a candidate is provided by the city or municipal town. These pageants are held to search for an ambassador. The role and responsibility of the winner is to appear during programs and activities, and to entertain visitors while promoting her place as a good place for investment. At this level, intelligence is deemed important than beauty here. Candidate’s ability to do the right pageant walk doesn’t really matter that much at this level.

Provincial beauty pageants

Province-wide pageant contests have the same purpose as the citywide or town-wide beauty pageants. The difference is that, the prizes at stake are higher than the latter. Anyone can join these pageants even if you are not the title holder of your city or town as long as you are selected by the screening committee.

Provincial beauty pageants require intelligence, ramp skill ability, and beauty. The absence of one of the factors may have a great impact on the probability of winning the pageant contest.

National beauty pageants

Most national pageants are not actually run by the government but by private individuals or companies. The candidates are hotel billeted for 1 to 2 months for the different activities. Everything is shouldered by the organizer and the sponsors. The winners are sent to their different affiliated international pageants which can be identified on the name of the titles the pageant is giving to the winners.

Beauty Pageants Criteria

Here is a sample criteria I have composed. Beauty pageants judging criteria is important since it determines who would you like to be a deserving winner. It realizes and defines your “would be” official representative of the company, state, or country the pageant title is serving. The criteria will also affect the conduct of the show while the scoring system will materialized it. There are four scoring systems I have discussed on last part of this article and feel free to choose whichever you want.

Sample criteria in beauty pageants:


10 points                              height

15 points                              beauty of face

15 points                              skin and complexion

10 points                              figure

10 points                              intelligence

After the screening, all of the candidates will be on equal grounds since the scores will be back to zero. Thought height is still present as one of my consideration, there will be a re-measurement.


10 points                              height                                               measurement

20 points                              beauty of face                                   no make-up

10 points                              body proportion                               swimwear

15 points                              skin and complexion                       swimwear

10 points                              discipline and breeding                 practices and activities

It would always be advisable to have a pre-judging and have a set of finalists. It is the organizers and the committees who meet the girls everyday and can tell who really performs very well and have a natural beauty. With that, you are also helping the pageant night judges to have the right pick and would make the pageant night result credible. Not having a pre-judging may give way to undesired results. Once the girls are out on the stage, they are all equally beautiful because of their make-ups and because of the lighting effects.


10 points                              figure & catwalk                               swimsuit competition

10 points                              poise & bearing                                gown competition

15 points                              intelligence                                       question and answer portion

The pre-pageant scores will be added to the pageant night scores to determine the final winners right away. There will be no more back to zero. But if you would like to have another phase of the pageant for that, it is alright but then, it will surely extend your targeted time to finish the show.

Beauty pageant judging criteria of Binibining Pilipinas

For reference, here is the beauty pageant judging criteria of Binibining Pilipinas.

Beauty of Face: 50%                   (self-introduction)

Figure: 30%                                 (swimsuit segment)

Poise and Personality: 10%         (gown competition)

Intelligence: 10%                         (interview portion)

Universal judging criteria in beauty pageants


A pageant is a parade and celebration of beauty with a set of candidates and a set of beauty pageant criteria as basis for selection. In prestigious one, with hundreds of applicants, you will find the official candidates equally beautiful making the choosing of winners difficult if we are just going to base the selection on their physical appearance. Beauty then is not the only criteria that set winners apart from the crowd. Their personality plays a vital role then.

Personality matters. Most beauty pageant selection committee would deem this one as an important factor. They would not like that their chosen winner to represent their institution would be someone with a beautiful face and nothing more. They want someone who can talk. Someone who is respectable because she respects herself and that reciprocates respect from others. Someone who can carry herself very well and dress herself very well too. Someone who has a good reputation in the public including the reputation of her family and relatives believe it or not. Someone who has discipline and knows responsibility. And someone who is mature enough regardless of her age. The committee do not like a little girl, they need a lady, a woman.


A beauty pageant is not just about being yourself. That is easily spoken when you have won already. A pageant is a show according to beauty queen maker Jonas Antonio Gaffud of Aces and Queens. He continued

“…it is a show, so you have to show something.” And from that, you need confidence.”

Gabriela Isler, Miss Universe 2013 once told,

“If you have confidence, you can show your personality. You can have a beautiful face, and beautiful hair, but if you’re not confident, you cannot show your personality. If you do not believe in yourself, nobody will believe in you. So, be confident and enjoy the moment because it’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Ariella Arida, Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner-up also affirms,

“Beauty pageant is not about being perfect. It is about confidence. It is about bringing out the best in oneself and being who you are.”

Same is true with the statement of Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago,

“Beauty pageant is not about face and figure. Usually the ones who make it are not necessarily the prettiest, but the most confident.”

With these statements from beauty queens and premier pageant trainer, a great personality then may not be notice or it would useless if you do not have the confidence to show it.


Beauty pageant intelligence has something to do with knowing yourself. It also encompasses maturity of your thinking and how socially responsible you are basing on your answers. Intelligence also includes your language skills i.e. fluency, pronunciation and expression. Intelligence may also contribute to one’s confidence. Knowing your answer in each and every question may give you the confidence to win the pageant. You cannot be totally confident without knowing to yourself that you can answer any question that will be asked to you.

Beauty of Face

A beautiful face gives you oftentimes a temporary advantage over the other candidates. You get easily notice if you have one. It can even help you to be the judges’ bet. But more than a pretty face, beauty pageant is not all about it. You better have more than that to get it onto the top. Without personality, confidence, intelligence, and a competitive figure, winning the contest may not be within your reach.


The absence of one of these major criteria in beauty pageants will not complete a confident and winning candidate. In prestigious pageants, figure has a lot more points than poise (gown competition) and is graded during the swimsuit competition. An unflattering figure is one of the most common reason why a candidate was not able to join the final cut despite being able to hurdle and join the semi-final round.

Scoring systems interpreting the criteria being used in beauty pageants

For me, these are the four common ways to interpret or score a pageant criteria.

I call the first one as the International Standard System. The system removes the highest and lowest scores of the candidate respectively and average what is left to avoid bias.

The second was the International Standard System with Pure Ranking. The same system with the first one. However, it is not the total scores that you sum and average but the ranks of the candidate without the highest and lowest ranks a candidate garnered from the judges. This is the fairest scoring system for me.

The third was the Local Averaging System we often used here in our local pageants. We just sum and average the scores and that’s it. The result may easily be manipulated by a judge who favors a candidate by scoring the candidate she prefers way far higher than the other girls. And hence, will surely affect the general and final scores and averages. That is not possible in any of the two International Systems I have mention.

The fourth one I have discussed to her was the Local Averaging System with Pure Ranking. On this scoring system, you average the rankings of a candidate from the different judges after you have sum the candidates’ scores respectively on a judge’s scoring sheet.

These four scoring systems do not have much differences when it comes to their validity provided no one among the judges favors a candidate or scores a candidate way too low or too high in the Local Averaging Systems.

The importance of knowing the criteria in beauty pageants is discussed in How to Win a Pageant.

Beauty Pageants Sample Programs

In the elimination part of this beauty pageant program, the candidates will be judged according to the following criteria: Prejudging (face value and voice), swimwear (figure and complexion), and gown (elegance, poise, grace).

The candidates will be scored 1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest in each of the categories mentioned above. The scores of the candidates on these categories will be summed up and averaged.

Beauty Pageant Program I

Production & Introduction

Reading of the Mechanics

Introduction of the panel of judges


Awarding of first set of minor awards


Awarding of the last set of minor awards

Intermission number

Only five candidates with the lowest average will then proceed to the final round with two categories called

The Pageant Questions and Answers Portion

to test their beauty and poise under pressure and

The Final Look

to parade again in their swimwear

This beauty pageant program follows the standard scoring. The candidates’ scores in the previous round will be back to zero. The same type of scoring will be applied; one being the highest and 5 being the lowest.

Judges will use fractions of a point in scoring to avoid having tie in the results.


Beauty Pageant Program II

I. Prelude


National Anthem

II. Opening

Audio-Video Presentation I

Production Number

III. Acknowledgement

Committee and Sponsors

Introduction of the Panel of Judges

Criteria for Judging

IV. Announcement of Semi-Finalist

V. Swimsuit Segment

Swimsuit Fun shoot Audio-Video Presentation II

Swimsuit Competition

VI. Awarding

Awarding of Minor Awards.

Awarding of Best in Swimsuit

VII. Gown Segment

Gown Competition

VIII. Awarding

Awarding of Minor Awards

Awarding of Best in Gown

IX. Intermission Number

X. Announcement of top 5 Finalists

XI. Farewell Walk of the Past Winner

XII. Announcement of Winners

Beauty Pageants Problems

Beauty pageant problems are not really in nature cause by pageant itself but by some people around it that causes the problems.

If you are a beauty pageant candidate, you become exposed to the public and become a public figure. You are in a hot-seat when you become part of the entertainment industry. You lose your privacy and you become a topic – a buzz of conversation to people and eventually a target of the bad elements of the society.

Beauty pageant coaches have to protect their candidates from pageant problems and dangers that candidates may not know because of their young minds. Let us say they are young in the sense that they do not know how to avoid or what to do when encountering some beauty pageant problems.

This is one of the advantages of having a pageant coach who is somewhat known to the public and have established his name. Though influential people may have the power to do things they may like to, at least in some way these people may also consider who is the person behind those beauty pageant candidates they intend to abuse their powers.

However, before that happens and things get complicated, pageant coaches should have already advised their candidates to avoid such things and if it’s unavoidable, should have already prepared them on how to act on such scenarios.

Often, candidates are requested to give their personal contact numbers. I asked my pageant candidates to give my contact number instead of theirs. The trick is, they can easily explain the next day that all negotiations and offers or any communications they have to do must have to pass through their managers. Plus, the phone they are currently using are provided by the same as stated in their service agreement and contract. In this way, they are able to lessen some miscellaneous or unsolicited text messages because these bad elements are somewhat and oftentimes intimated with the process of formality. They too, fear being exposed to the public as perverts by persons who may have the power to do so.

One of the very common beauty pageant problems a candidate will encounter will be indecent proposals. It comes in different forms: by light intimate conversation, by intimidation, by offers in exchange of favors, and the most dangerous of them all – by force.

One way to avoid beauty pageant problems like indecent proposals is to never accept invitations especially if it is a house party, a coffee or a tea party. You should realize that oftentimes, these are baits intentionally done just for you or for the other pageant candidates. This is what I call “Delayed Indecent Proposals”. The person tries to get your trust first and make you comfortable in his own ways until he gets to the execution of his plans.

However, part of being a pageant candidate is to receive event invitations. Your pageant coach has enough knowledge about which one is not a bait. Your task however is to choose who among the pageant coaches can be trusted. Plus, your courage not to allow and entertain pageant dilemmas will surely help you stay away or out of the many common pageant problems.

Effects of Beauty Pageants

Positive effects of beauty pageants

More Gorgeous

I have never seen a woman who joined a beauty pageant and have seen her less gorgeous after it. Based on what I have observed for years, a teen, a lady, or a woman whatever you may call her would always look better on her physical appearance after seeing her joining a series of beauty pageant contests. You may believe me or not, I would not convince you for that. Maybe because they have perfected already and figure out what best compliment their body when it comes to fashion or clothing, hairstyle, and how they do their daily make-ups.

A confidence and personality that shines.

Girls who have been long in the pageant industry have an observable improvement when it comes to their language ability. Most, if not all of them can converse and can talk to anyone. They are strongly opinionated and will shine in any crowd they are in. They know how to carry themselves and they know how to deal with awkward situation like indecent proposals. They are gregarious people.

I think fitness matters now.

Not really all but some beauty pageant candidates have learn how to value good health. They learn to visit the gym to maintain their figure. They are conscious on what they eat. They join health activities like fun run and zumba.

Negative effects of beauty pageants

Our bragging starts from here.

Some girls; (I mean some) take it too much if they were able to join one. They take it that they are prettier than those who do not join pageants which I think is a hasty judgment. They feel so unreasonably confident about themselves and turn into being aloof and braggart. They can be proud of but they do not have to brag it.

They became more talkative.

They think that if they have the ability to talk well, they can talk anything they want to. Yes you may!? But your right to express ends when you bump on somebody’s feelings already. Talking a lot does not mean you are right. Sometimes, whatever the situation maybe, most of those who know the story have their own contentions already. Even if you would not talk, or the other way around, the real story does not change.

Their popularity has started.

Candidates might be known because of advertisements, news, or any social appearances where they get to be introduced or they do it by themselves. However, not because people heard about you and people know you by name do not also mean that people are glad to meet or know something about you. Some are not really interested and do not care to know anything about you.

They go party, party!

Beauty queens are not party girls. They are sociable because it is a part of their work or responsibility to attend significant gatherings. However, candidates who did not make it to be winners often lead to a lot of partying because of invitations from people who would love to be with them maybe for a date. I think it is one way to sugarcoat losing a pageant that everything fine now.

Losing Beauty Pageants

A beauty pageant is a competition for the candidates and a show for the director and the choreographer. Despite the difference, a candidate must have equal exposure to the other ladies to give respect to the idea of equal footing on the judges.

However, in any contests, there would be some who will be chosen as the finalists and in it, one will emerge as the grand winner. And the feeling of not making it to the finalists compared to the feeling of those who made up to the top 5 and eventually became winners is really quite different.

I have been a mentor of a number of candidates, and I will admit it that some were not able to make it even in the semi-final round. Different reactions and different escape to show one’s heavy feeling are but common during the end of the pageant. Some cried. Some are quiet. Some wore pretentious smile. Some felt like it’s not yet over. Whatever their means of accepting the results, as a trainer and their number one fan, I must respect their feelings and give them a time to reflect for a moment.

It will take time to get over of losing a pageant depending on the sacrifices and efforts one has laid for the contest. Some stopped for a semester; others have made a lot of effort in trimming down their figure; many prepared well to answer pageant interview questions, and others have joined the pageant because of social pressures and most, because of the benefits of joining a beauty pageant like the prizes at stake, the career opportunities that may arise, and the popularity and exposure one may gain.

Truly, it might have been a lost for that night and the following. But as time heals the wound of losing, you see the benefits of joining a beauty pageant. The friendship, the memories, the confidence, the self-esteem, the pride, the honor, and the lesson you have learned are immeasurable gains. And that is the reason why, you see the same ladies who join pageants because it is irresistible to decline another offer when one has a memory of it regardless of winning or losing the previous one.

This entry was posted in Beauty Pageants by .
Find out more of our pageant secrets!
Like Gau Callanta Jr., The author's FB Page to access beauty pageant questions and answers.