Can Miss USA have plastic surgery? Yes. Apparently, there are no restrictions on the contestants who can get as many cosmetic procedures as they want. If anything, they encourage the practice, indirectly of course, according to the pageant insiders. Plastic surgery is very prevalent in the Miss USA and Universe pageants though a lot of people consider it cheating. Supposedly, there are more contestants who have gone under the knife than those who haven't.
Beauty pageants like Miss USA and Miss Universe are said to be all about the empowerment and upliftment of women but are they really about that? Do young girls at home watching the pageant on the show feel inspired by the tall gorgeous modelesque women strutting around in their beautiful gowns and flaunting their perfect bodies in swimsuits? Do such women instill confidence in them or do they make the girls insecure with their perfection and lead them to be hyper-aware about their every "flaws"?
The discourse regarding how pageants define beauty and whether it is empowering or not often boils down to the debate of whether the contestants of beauty pageants can have plastic surgery or not. Can she really be considered a beauty queen if she was not born with her beauty and acquired it later? Does it not give her an unfair advantage? Should she have cosmetic procedures? More importantly, can Miss USA have plastic surgery?
Can Miss USA Have Plastic Surgery?
Well, apparently they can. Miss USA can have as much plastic surgery as they want. It is said that the practice of going under the knife is a bit frowned upon but as long as that does not lead to disqualification from entering the pageant, right?
Miss USA can absolutely have plastic surgery.
Image Source: Us Weekly
It's very controversial, the debate whether contestants entering beauty pageants should or should not have plastic surgery. While lots of people argue that it's sort of cheating to modify the natural original features in order to look more desirable because it's like buying beauty which gets them an unfair advantage over other women in terms of appearance, there are others who counter that there should be no restrictions on cosmetic procedures because they are just like make-up, used to enhance the women's beauty and empowering to them.
Though the subject is much discussed in theory, when it comes to practicality, nobody knows if a Miss USA or a Miss Universe has gotten plastic surgery or not because everything's sunshine and rainbows and world peace and equality and end of hunger and poverty on the stage and nobody dares bring up a controversial topic like that to ruin the ambiance and spoil the mood.
So, it makes it easier for beauty queens to pretend that they have not outsourced their beauty with cosmetic procedures. And given that, surgical enhancements are the dirty secrets of the world of beauty pageantry which are often compared to steroid abuse in professional sports, it's in their best interest to hide it if they have gone under the knife. No Miss USA or Miss Universe would ever willingly admit to having plastic surgery because it's too scandalous.
The Controversy Surrounding Plastic Surgery in Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants!
Scandalous but not banned. Besides, the scandal element of plastic surgery is only for the public, for the insiders, it's basically a non-issue. Though it is often reported that the Miss Universe organization discourages contestants from getting surgical enhancements, those reports are always for the sake of the public to appease them. It does not seem like they discourage the practice of getting cosmetic surgery, rather they encourage it according to insiders, indirectly and subtly so they don't have to be held accountable for it, of course.
Beauty queens are encouraged to get plastic surgery indirectly by the pageant organizers.
Image Source: Refinery29
It is said that the prize package of the winners of the beauty pageant in several states includes free unlimited plastic surgery. So, chances are that all of the beauty queens who make it to Miss USA have enhanced their beauty. As per Ines Ligron, who is the ultimate insider of the Miss Universe organization, it's commonplace for women to get a rib or two removed to make their waist smaller, and breast augmentation, eyebrow lifting, or nose reshaping is also very common.
Plastic surgery seems very normal in beauty pageants no matter how scandalous the optics of it is in the public. In 1983, it caused quite a ruckus when Miss USA Debra Maffett was revealed to have gotten plastic surgery to change her nose and enhance her breasts after losing the Miss Texas title previously. Now, it might not cause the same outrage as before but you cannot deny that it would be controversial.
Also, another angle to think would be: Are beauty queens the perpetrators of impossible beauty standards or are they victims as well? The instance of Miss USA Maffett makes it look like she was the victim of it. But for young girls out there, they look more like the perpetrators. Maybe it's the institution to blame here because they defined beauty physically and quite narrowly. They only subscribe to a specific kind of beauty and they claim to be empowering but that's all for show.