Instructor Adam Helmintoller
10 December 2013
Children Beauty Pageants
When you picture young children growing up, you imagine girls being interactive in gymnastics and dance and boys are playing rough in sports. But days in this time and era have girls becoming involved in beauty pageants. Parents are enrolling their children as young as six months old into pageants all around the United States. Obviously, parents are the ones to blame and children really don’t have a choice in the matter. Toddlers and Tiaras is a show on TLC that shows exactly what children have to go through. They have to sit through many sleepless hours of getting fake hair, nails and tans to end up becoming someone they don’t even know after a look in the mirror. What is that image teaching a child growing up in today’s society? To physically look beautiful and have the perfect, fake body image? Beauty pageants don’t need to be intense. If parents took the time to slow down and understand how serious they were acting, they would see how these children are stressed out. Parents seem to worry more about pageant life then to actually put their kids into school. After so many years psychological problems start to develop within the child which can end up being disruptive to family relationships and harm the natural course of the young ones’ childhood.
Beauty pageants often provide psychological problems that can develop as a condition later on in life, and contestants will grow up in a lifestyle in which they will learn external, damaging values. Pressures of competition, participants being stressed and knowing they will be judged can cause several emotional issues, and have even labeled pageants as child abuse. Research has found proof that children should not be exposed to pressures within pageants due to several risk factors. Self-esteem problems, anxiety and paranoia can develop in girls, who are exposed between two peaks. The pageant contestant defeated may suffer from confidence issues and self-doubt, while the winner may become stuck up and snobbish. Flowing from these psychological problems, several disorders will show later on in life. A physical foundation of beauty makes a perfect disaster for eating conditions such as anorexia, bulimia and depression. Alongside sashes and crowns, pageants can take away a more permanent part of a child, their mindset and beliefs. Girls who are at that age where they can pick up crucial messages and develop superficial values, learn subconsciously, that appearance is most important and pressuring others is acceptable. Children who are around mothers during the time of competition may pick up tendencies to be two-faced and judgmental by what they hear as gossip. Girls who feel superior could eventually lead to bullying. Makeup artists and mothers take desperate measures in qualifying pageant girls, commanding them to sit for hours while they go through teeth bleaching, waxes, spray tans, and layers upon layers of makeup. Imperfections are covered in favor of appearance. If a girl has lost a tooth she is to wear denture partials, which losing a tooth is one of the best memories of childhood. Cosmetic methods often lead toddlers into tantrums and in tears, but are unavoidable if they want the crown. After several hours of sprucing these girls up to look older than they are, they look more like life size dolls than human beings. Instead of being accepted for their unique qualities and talents, girls are compelled to match up to a certain outlandish idea of something called beauty. Pageants destroy dependency for young girls. In many instances parents will put their daughters into pageants before they can talk or even know what the word pageant means, which in that case decisions are made for them as well as the decision to compete. As they get older they learn to just surrender, since they were brought up in it and think they don’t have a say in the matter. They will wear the...
Cited: "About Us." Pull the Pin on Beauty Pageants for Children. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec 2013. .
Britton, Nikki. "My Niece was on Toddlers and Tiaras:A Rant Against the Pageant Lifestyle." . The Houston Chronicle, 9 Feb 2010. Web. 12 Dec 2013.
Chang, Juju. "JonBenet Ramsey’s Father Regrets Letting Her in Pageants, Says 'Toddlers and Tiaras ' is 'Bizarre '.." . N.p., 13 Mar 2012. Web. 12 Dec 2013. .
Please join StudyMode to read the full document