Child Beauty Pageants: They need to stop

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You may have watched episodes on television about young girls contesting beauty pageants. And by “young” I mean from 3 to 12 years of age.

These are some of the most controversial shows in the history of television, as it is seen as the over-sexualisation of under-age girls, whilst others see it as a chance to give children their shot at modelling early.

Personally I am firmly in the former camp, not only because of its obvious equivalence to child pornography, but also because of all the ramifications of that on children and women’s roles in society.

Having begun in 1921 when the owner of a hotel in Atlantic City decided to boost tourism, the idea quickly spread across the USA until the 1964 had 35,000 contestants. This prompted age divisions to be installed the competition.

Now, there are about 250,000 pageants that rake in about $20 billion a year.

Girls participating in the shows are encouraged to be “sassy” and make expressions more commonly employed by slightly order girls. Everything is done to ensure that the girls draw as much attention as possible to themselves. They wear swimwear on stage and are judged by their poise, grace and excellence. We’re still talking about infants, here. Seriously. Some of the girls are shorter than the trophies themselves.

It is absolutely wrong for these young girls to be modelling swimwear and being caked with make-up in order to satisfy requirements set by adults. This gives the public the disgusting perspective of these girls as “attractive” or not so, which really should not be a discussion at that age.

It exposes the innocent young children to the revolting glare of sick paedophiles not only in their neighbourhood but across the entire world. This is a huge risk to the personal safety of the young girls, and is an appalling direction to point at child at.

But those are just the obvious issues.

The bigger discussion is never made: how does this affect the young girls’ psyches in the future?

Their early introduction to the concept of glamour and beauty and competitiveness reliant on appearances alone is definitely shocking. Why would you be teaching children that their looks are more important than anything else?

The mothers of the child models are very often ambitious, driven young women who want to ascertain triumph in these competitions. Hence, they drill their daughters to be the most serious at their art – being beautiful. They seek the highest-quality in everything and are as choosy as professional models.

Their attitudes are very often turned rude and bratty, and they gradually evolve into nasty, discourteous young women. This will definitely come back to haunt them in their professional and social lives. They may already start at a disadvantage in their childhoods are so much media attention is sure to garner the jealousy of their young class-mates. They will be seen as aloof and might also be ridiculed – causing possible psychological trauma.

These shows are also filmed in very biased ways – many of them make sure to show that the mothers are crazy, greedy women who are ready to do anything to hawk their children out for some cents. This is a further denigration of the image of women on the public scene. It leads men to fear that they’re wives would do something equally revolting to their children and can cause marital tension.

It also portrays the young girls as simple pretty faces with nothing else going for them ever, which is a damning verdict on the children’s lives and on women as a whole; if these girls can be dolls, then all girls should be. These shows are disgusting and contribute a lot towards the denigration of women.

And with the advents of social media and the spread of online marketing, the companies running these pageants simply had to cash in. Girls are now being rated by “likes” on Facebook, and their photos are shared across the internet for anyone to see. The outlay by parents is said to commonly reach up to $30,000. Some families have thrown themselves into debt or mortgaged their homes to get high-end clothing and specialists to make sure that their daughters are kitted out and trained absolutely perfectly.

Some of the darker arts practiced during these pageants are thoroughly nauseating.

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Children are made to smoke fake cigarettes, or wear fake breasts. Many of them are also given what is called “pageant crack”, a cocktail of sugar and high calories to make children as pumped up as possible to perform well on the runway.

The problems don’t stop there – young girls are also going through eating disorders in order to stay in shape for the competitions. Children’s diets are being regulated to make them look “prettier”. That’s outrageous.

The effect of these shows and pageants shouldn’t be taken as isolated incidents that’ll only affect the children who participate in them – even though they’re the priority. These pageants are also an affront to the prospects of beautiful young girls ever becoming more than mere dolls for the consumption and paedophiliac self-gratification of an irresponsible society.

They need to be stopped, and they need to be stopped as soon as possible.

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