The purpose of an adult beauty pageant is to promote community service and to provide educational opportunities through scholarships. Pageants are also said to encourage positive qualities in young participants, although recent studies show otherwise.
The slogan of the Miss America Pageant, "Style, Service, Scholarship and Success" is also a statement of its purpose. Winners serve for 1 year and receive a scholarship as part of the prize.
While parents of young children say pageants provide a way for children to make friends and to learn about healthy competition, studies have shown that the pageants have more to do with making parents feel important through a child's success, and can actually damage a child's self-esteem by putting such heavy emphasis on appearance.