Former beauty queen Krista Medlock's idea seeks to challenge the enduring premise of beauty pageants: that physical looks are the best litmus test to weigh a woman's beauty.
Though contestants in the "Depth of Beauty'' teen and miss pageants in Dallas will participate in evening gown competitions, the swimsuit parade is out. Motivational speaking is in, personal style is also a new category and contestants will model clothing that represents their personalities. Judges' interviews will gauge the women's intelligence and maturity. Before the pageant, they also attend workshops on positive self-image and financial planning.
But an inner-beauty competition has its critics. What about the girl who loses? "They might say, 'I'm not outwardly beautiful and now I'm not inwardly beautiful,''' says Lenore Wright, an assistant professor of philosophy at Baylor University's Honors College.
Other experts wonder if this pageant can succeed in an age when the business of beauty pervades society in everything from cosmetic surgery to the celebrities many adore.