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Beauty Pageants Feature Article

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Contention: Argues that the bizarre world of pageantry is fake and fictitious.

Headline: Sugar and Spice. But all things nice?

Tone: Logical, strong, polished yet slightly colloquial tone

Target Audience: Middle aged working mothers and families.

Body Paragraph

Argument: The mother’s are stupidly ignoring the virtues of motherhood as they place pressure and unwanted stress upon their young children.


Evidence, quotes from the show Toddlers and Tiaras provide credibiblity to the piece, providing real images of what the mother’s are like to the reader

Repetition: she lists all the names the mothers gave their children in order to further depict the prejudice judgement that if a name is strange and fake, the parents must be abnormal.

Attack: she denigrates the mothers to be oblivious to exploitive and damaging behaviour they are inflicting upon their children, this forms the reader to perceive pageants as an organisation filled with people who are ludicrous and insensible, therefore viewing pageants to be so too.

2) Argument: pageants will ruin the child’s future and lifestyle due to the cost and financial risks parents feel they have to take.


Appeal to the Hip Pocket nerve: She lists the high costs associating with pageants and mentions what the result would have been if that money was saved.

Repetition: Lists the numerous things that costs money within beauty pageants.

Appeal to family tradition: appeals to the assumption that families should live in a nice home, which has been taken away from children as their mothers spend all their money on pageants

Attack: Attacks the mothers on their ridiculous spending habits, also attacks the professional trainers within the industry for teaching the children to thrive on money in life.


3) Pageants teach girls the erroneous message that to achieve in today’s society you must look beautiful and win pageants.

Analysis of Sugar and Spice: But all things nice?

It’s being written all over the media as they consistently debate and dispute over whether beauty pageants are worthy of entering Australian shores. The Age published a recent Opinion piece on May 4, 2011 that argues that the bizarre world of pageantry is ridiculously fake and fictitious. Nina Funnel, the author of the article, uses such a strong, logical, polished yet slightly colloquial tone to portray and communicate her strong message and viewpoint of beauty pageants. Her clever expression and well phrased opinion comes across in the article’s headline ‘Sugar and Spice. But all things nice? The headline provides evidence of a commonly used cliché expression that has been altered to fit in with the contention. This is targeted to connect with the strong emotions and morals of the responsible middle aged mothers of Australia.

The author opens up by portraying the mother’s of beauty pageants to be stupidly ignoring the virtues of motherhood. She criticises their practises, providing quotes depicting the unwanted pressure they place upon their children. Funnel provides credible evidence by utilising quotes from the famous television show Toddlers and Tiaras. These quotes like “Flirt! You’re not flirting” and “Stand up straight, suck your tummy in!” grant credibility to the piece, providing the reader with real images of what the mothers are like in the world of pageantry. The author then uses repetition by listing the numerous names the mothers gave their children, including the varying spelling and incorrect grammar like ‘Kayleigh, kailee’ and ‘AshLynn and BreAnne’.

This use of repetition communicates the prejudice judgement of the oblivious mothers to the reader, which is therefore reinforcing the argument adding emphases to the issue and creating a sense of urgency. Nina Funnell also deliberately attacks and denigrates the mothers to be oblivious to the ‘exploitive’ and ‘damaging’ behaviour they are inflicting upon their children. She uses words like ‘stage mothers’ and begins the sentence with ‘Of course’, this is a deliberate attack which positions the reader to perceive the pageant mother’s to be ludicrous and therefore the pageants to be also.

Body Paragraph 2

Nina Funnel cleverly moves onto the detailed consequences and results of these beauty pageants upon children. She contends that pageants will ruin the child’s future and lifestyle due to the cost and financial risks parents feel they are complied to take. She really appeals to people’s financial concerns and hip pocket nerve as she lists the enormous costs associated with pageants, mentioning the costs of American “Glitz” outfits that ‘cost up to $10,000’ she also states one mother ‘has spent more than $15,000 that year alone on pageants’. This positions the reader to feel strong emotions and outrage at the consummative behaviour of ‘stage parents’ and concern to the effects this spending will have on the child’s future. Funnel also employs repetition when listing the numerous preparations that cause parents to dish out money, she lists the costs such as ‘waxing, colouring, painting, tanning and bleaching’. This provides the reader with clustering images of these costly practises, forming their consummative behaviour to arise and disagree with the choice of spending.

Nina Funnel then begins to further attack the pageant mothers on their spending behaviour stating they talk about taking “second pageant jobs” to ‘pay for the expensive and numerous competition fees’. Funnel also attacks the professional trainers of the industry using evidence in communicating the incorrect morals they inflict upon the children “I tell them to get with the smart boys… when they grow up, they’re going to be the rich ones, and you can be a trophy wife”. This effectively positions the reader to draw attention towards the underlying messages the pageants imply. The techniques highlight the righteous morals most people hold, as they criticise the valuing of beauty and money over all. Using professionals as evidence provides the argument a stronger credibility and results in a more emotional response in the reader.

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