Are beauty pageants relevant today?

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Are Beauty Pageants Relevant Today?

Ahead of the Miss America beauty pageant, AOL.com is looking at contemporary views of beauty and how they are shaping the next generation of Americans.

Beauty pageants, we all love them! Or is it that we all hate them? Maybe it's a love-hate thing like the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show?

This Sunday marks the 95th annual Miss America pageant. In its early days the national contest sought to find an unmarried, young woman without child who was "strong, red blooded, and able to shoulder the responsibilities of homemaking and motherhood."

SEE MORE SPECIAL COVERAGE: How does beauty affect the workplace?

So maybe not really all that applicable anymore? And somewhat surprising that feminists didn't show up in protest until the late 1960s.

Now, it's true pageants have come a long way, today most of them mention the contestants career aspirations and her college major.

The Miss America Pageant is a "scholarship pageant", but even if you get money to complete your doctorate, are beauty pageants really relevant today?

Think about it, we'll give you money for higher education if you can walk in heels, look good in a swimsuit, perform a talent, and rock in a ball gown.

Click through to see more from last year's Miss America pageant:

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Miss America 2015 - Miss New York Kira Kazantsev - 9/14/2014
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The question portion by the way only counts for 5%, good thing too because as you probably remember those haven't always gone so well.

TLC's Toddler's and Tiaras shined a light on the bizarre world of beauty pageants for children. Some countries like France are working to outlaw the pint-sized-pageants altogether claiming they sexualize children.

Despite falling TV numbers last year for the Miss America pageant it was still ranked #4 in non-sports programming for the week, was the #1 Twitter trend and held 6 of the top 10 trending spots during the show last year.

So people are obviously watching, clearly they're entertained, but is parading around beautiful and talented women under the guise of higher learning kind of a cheap tactic? Let us know after you tune in.

More special coverage of beauty in America:
Men increasingly feeling pressure to be beautiful
Beauty in sports: Why looks shouldn't come first for female athletes
Hollywood can't decide what the ideal body looks like

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