A beauty contest or beauty pageant, is a public contest to decide which person is the most beautiful. Usually, the entrants are young females, but there are some contests for men. Each contests has its own rules as to who may enter, and what the prizes are. A person who enters a beauty contest or pageant is called a contestant.
The usual reason for holding such contests is to create publicity for the organisation which runs the contest. The contests are often shown on television and reported (with photographs) in newspapers. The first local event was probably in the United States in the late 19th century. 1880 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware has been claimed.
With most contests the criteria for judging is physical appearance, plus some judgement of personality. "Beauty Queen" is a term often used to describe the winners. Usually the winner acts as a publicity representative for the year following the contest. Examples are:
There are many local events round the world.