Beauty pageants have been around for quite sometime. They are a competition where girls go to show off their talent, costumes, and of course, their beauty. While this may seem somewhat accepted for older women, what happens when you throw children in these same competitions? Children beauty pageants have been growing at an alarming rate. Popular television shows, like Toddlers and Tiaras, are perpetuating the idea of these shallow competitions. While not all children are forced to do these shows, many are. How is this damaging these very young girls and what is the impact it will have on their adult life?
Supporters - Child Beauty Pageants
I've been studying child beauty pageants for over a decade and I do believe that shows like Toddlers & Tiaras have gone too far. Such young pageant contestants should not be featured on television.
Toddlers and Tears: A positive look at child beauty pageants
Despite all the brouhaha, an "American-style" child beauty pageant took place over the weekend in Melbourne, Australia. The pageant was not drama-free, but it wasn't the protesters who caused a fuss.
Child beauty pageants: A form of child abuse
Three parents who were interviewed put their children into pageants because they have birth defects. "Her plastic surgeon thinks its wonderful because he sees parents hide their children with a facial defect," according to one mother, whose daughter has a cleft palate. "We dont go for competition or for her to win. We go to meet other children and parents. We dont want her to think shes different, that she isnt beautiful."Beauty pageants are one of the fastest growing industries in theUnited States. The government should regulate such an extensive enterprise, toprovide safety, especially since it deals with children. The government protectsthe juvenile's health from smoking and drinking and provides education andsafety. Children have rights and laws guarding them against manipulative adults,aren't these pageants a marketing tool aimed at children? JonBenét Ramsey's deathinfluenced the public to believe that all pageants promote sexuality andmistreatment, but there are always two sides to every story. Throughout theresearch, pageants proved to be both a negative and positive influencedepending on their surroundings. Pageants that regulate make-up usage, sexuality andcompetition are recognized to be great experiences for children. Forexample, Beatriz Gill a child pageant director and a former child participant, doesnot allow make-up or snug costumes in her pageants. Beatriz is one of many thathave a positive outlook on pageants, she believes that pageants helped herbecome confident and self-assured. On the other hand, many of the pageantsresearched did allow excessive make-up, hair and clothing. Some hadexceptional qualities like offering awards for all participants. I believe thatpageants have a long road before achieving a safe environment for children withoutintroducing them to competition, sexuality and disappointment too early inlife.