Child Beauty Pageants | Teen Ink

Child Beauty Pageants

March 18, 2013
By PhantomofBroadway GOLD, Cumberland, Rhode Island
PhantomofBroadway GOLD, Cumberland, Rhode Island
14 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
I may be small, but I've got giant plans to shine as brightly as the sun. -Astonishing, Little Women the Musical
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. -Macbeth

“It doesn’t matter if you can breathe. It matters if it looks good,” says the mother of a beauty pageant child. Child beauty pageants have recently become more popular, especially since the beginning of the TV show Toddlers and Tiaras. While many parents find nothing wrong with entering their children in pageants, it is the wrong thing to do. It’s not that I’m against all beauty pageants. I have a friend who participates in pageants. She was crowned Miss Massachusetts Teen Queen last year. However, children should not be entered in beauty pageants until they are old enough to make their own decisions. Kids 9 and under should not be allowed to participate in beauty pageants.
The object of child beauty pageants is to win money, a big crown, and occasionally other prizes like a bouncy house or a teddy bear. The parents coach their kids to win, no matter what the cost. The girls have “rivalries” with other girls who do pageants and they aren’t even 8 years old yet! They will literally seek out their competition to tell them that they’re ugly and say that they’re going to lose. Encouraging such competitive nature in little kids could carry over to when they’re older. Life isn’t about always winning, and people shouldn’t be telling their kids that. Some beauty pageant parents argue that sports will do the same thing to kids. Sports, however, are different. Sports encourage being a team player. The kid would be part of a group working toward a common goal. That’s not what beauty pageants do. If only older kids were allowed to do pageants, they would be more mature. There wouldn’t be as much insulting and viciousness among the girls. Beauty pageants wrongly teach little kids that the only way to be happy is to win.
Often, kids in pageants don’t want to be in pageants, but their parents will enter them in anyway. Entering them in is one thing, but some of the things parents force their children to do are far from acceptable. Parents are forcing their children to get spray tans even though their children are scared of the menacing machine. They put fake eyelashes on their kids, even when their kids start crying and tell them to stop. Some parents even go as far as having their daughter getting her eyebrows waxed. That is a painful process that many adults are fearful of doing. It’s almost a form of child abuse. They’re putting their kids through all of this physical pain and the kids ask them to stop. Parents are literally dragging their children to pageants each weekend. The parents claim to know what’s best for their little girl. What’s really best for their kids is to let their child pick what they want to do for fun. If the kids were older, they could really let the parents know whether they liked it or not. They could communicate their feelings without throwing tantrums and be taken more seriously by their parents. Kids shouldn’t be forced to do something like pageants that they don’t want to do.

Child beauty pageants have kids dressed up in age inappropriate clothing. Parents dress them up in costumes that are definitely too promiscuous for someone that age. A few examples from Toddlers and Tiaras are a girl dressed up as a prostitute from Pretty Women and a girl’s mother putting in fake breasts and fake butt padding for her Dolly Parton. Most costumes have cuts in the sides or in the back that reveal a lot of skin. This is teaching little kids that dressing this way is ok. They don’t feel uncomfortable in clothing like this, so they let their parents put them in it. When they’re older, they might wear clothing that is similar, although it’s not appropriate at that age either. If the kids doing pageants were older, they would feel uncomfortable in that clothing. They could refuse to dress in it. Also, these parents are exposing their girls to possible pedophilia. Competitions showing little girls prancing around in skimpy dresses are like heaven for pedophiles. Some little, innocent pageant girl could be the main focus of a pedophile’s dark fantasy. Parents should not be dressing their kids so proactively.
Child beauty pageants send inappropriate messages to young girls about how they should act in society. Child beauty pageant contestants are taught that if you look pretty, you win prizes and get love from mommy and daddy. These girls are put in huge frilly dresses, given fake hair pieces, caked in makeup, and are already getting spray tans. Their developing minds will determine that being pretty is the best thing to be in life. Older kids may understand the difference between what happens onstage and what happens offstage. However, little kids may interpret it as meaning beauty is the only thing that matters. A girl named Daisey Mae was on Toddlers and Tiaras. She was 8 years old and she said “Facial beauty is the most important thing in life.” That is exactly what I’m talking about. These girls grow up learning one skill: how to be pretty. Women spent over 72 years fighting to be seen and heard as more than just a pretty face. Over the past 10 years, there has been a 270% increase in the number of girls being hospitalized for eating disorders. Some of these girls are as young as 7 years old. Many of the girls with eating disorders have them because of body image. Beauty pageant girls are becoming anorexic just so they can be pretty and win trophies. Now, I know that some pageants these days have “talent” sections. However, upon observing talent sections on Toddlers and Tiaras, I can tell you that most of the girls’ talent is dancing. However, their “” is really just walking around onstage to music in yet another sparkly outfit. There isn’t much talent there. Pageants send the wrong message about beauty to little kids.
Child beauty pageants are not something that little kids should be participating in. I propose that kids 9 and under should not be allowed to do pageants. They are not only demeaning towards girls, but they also teach many erroneous lessons to little kids. If the only girls allowed to enter were older, I think the pageant world would greatly improve.

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This article has 2 comments.

miranda said...
on Feb. 25 2014 at 10:54 pm
thanks i will use this essay for school

on Jan. 27 2014 at 4:32 pm
vegetariangirl, Hamilton, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 92 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being normal is boring - Marilyn Monroe
You only live once -?
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit -Richard Bach

I totally agree with your article!! You have great support for it, as well!