“When they are a little bit overweight, that’s not gonna cut it. You don’t want to see a chubby child on stage. You have to have the barbie look.” a mom on Toddlers and Tiaras said. Now available to children, around 250,000 girls compete in beauty pageants each year. These pageants have had damaging consequences on them. Child beauty pageants need to be banned because they sexualize young girls, put too much pressure on them to win, and lead them to focus too much on beauty.
“It doesn’t matter if you can breathe. All that matters is if you look good”. Just Googling the search term “beauty pageants coming up,” will result in 2,710,000 results appearing in 1.18 seconds. Children are the fastest-growing segment of the beauty pageant market, with annual children's competitions attracting an estimated 3 million children, mostly girls, ages six months to 16 years, who compete for crowns and cash. Infants, carried onto the stage by their mothers, are commonplace. April Brilliant, reigning Mrs. Maryland and the director of Maryland-based Mystic Pageants, says pageants give little girls a chance to "play Cinderella." However, playing ‘Cinderella’ can cause children to develop insecurities or self-hatred if they don't
Beauty pageants have been apart of the American community for many years. They are a competition where people, young and old, go to show off their talents, costumes, and of course their beauty. While this may seem somewhat accepted for older men and women, what happens when you throw children in the same competitions? Children beauty pageants have been growing at an alarming rate. Popular television shows, like Toddlers and Tiaras, are perpetuating the idea of theses ‘shallow’ competitions. While not all children are forced to do this pageants, many are. This can damage young kids and have a major impact on their adult life. Young children beauty pageants are detrimental to participants’ psychological health, harm family relations and disrupt the natural course of childhood, and encourage a demeaning view of women.
A little girl’s psyche is extremely fragile; it cracks under the pressure of being perfect and is no match for the insanely high standards of the pageant world. A 2007 study conducted by the American Psychological Association found a link between the seemingly fun and harmless beauty pageants and the development of low self-esteem, eating disorders, and depression. In addition to being mentally damaging, pageants are also damaging to the wallets of parents. Families may spend thousands of dollars on artificial tanner, teeth whitening treatments and glitzy pageant attire. Beauty pageants send out a wrong, toxic message to young minds. “Pageant girls are taught from a very early age that what is most critically important is their physical appearance along with a superficial and erotized charm. They are presented in a hyper-sexualized manner.” (Hollandsworth 8). With the pressure to be perfect at an all time high as young girls are bombarded every day with images of unrealistically beautiful and thin women in today’s media, the effects of childhood beauty pageants are damaging and the practice should be banned entirely.
In America Over 250,000 children are entered into a beauty pageant annually and out of that number over 50% of those children wind up having issues in their teenage and adult years, 73% of parents who have kids in beauty pageants spend more money on the pageant instead of their kids' education. [ Women’s News 2016 ] Is this a serious issue? Yes, Child beauty pageants became part of the American society in the 1960’s. They were originally for teenagers 13-17 years old. [Kelly Kammer 2016] However child beauty pageants have become more and more popular and now children as little as toddlers participate in these pageants. Children who are entered in beauty pageants have a negative future ahead of them. Beauty pageants have created unrealistic expectations for young girls because these stereotypes contribute to eating disorder, depression , and low self esteem.
In America Over 250,000 children are entered into a beauty pageant annually and out of that number over 50% of those children wind up having issues in their teenage and adult years. Also 73% of parents who have kids in beauty pageants spend more money on the pageant instead of their kids' education. Is this a serious issue? Yes, Child beauty pageants became part of the American society in the 1960’s. They were originally for teenagers 13-17 years old. However child beauty pageants have become more and more popular and now children as little as toddlers participate in these pageants. Children who are entered in beauty pageants have a negative future ahead of them. Beauty pageants have created unrealistic expectations for young girls because these stereotypes contribute to low self esteem, depression, and eating disorders.
Each year, around three million children, ages 6 to 16, will compete in a beauty pageant. When a child enters to compete in a beauty pageant, it not only damages the child now, but as well as later in life. Also, the standards that these children are held to while competing in a beauty pageant is affecting their development.
Zinzi Williams explains the downsides of pageantry in “Do Pageant Children Behave Differently than Other Kids?” The central claim is that there are many psychological differences between children who compete in the world of pageantry and children who don’t. Williams states the minor claims that children who compete in beauty pageants put beauty ahead of schoolwork and play time. Her other minor claim is that beauty contests affect the way the children who compete view their bodies and there overall appearance. She states that statistic that if there are 20 girls competing in the pageant, that each contestant only has a 5% chance of winning, which is very slim! Williams explains that in her research she found that on WebMD, a medical website,
The world is a beautiful thing but society has corrupted it to the point only perfection can be appealing. Pageants display what society finds attractive. Contests held like this are only toxic for young minds because they only influence their views of beauty. Media has evolved this into the competitive game that’s seen today. Parents should stop participating their children in beauty pageants because they cause psychological problems, unrealistic standards, and social prejudice.
Most people have seen or heard of the reality television show Toddlers and Tiaras. The show is often what people first think of when people think of pageants,in fact, when it comes to the topic of beauty pageants, most of us will readily agree that they are looked down upon. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of whether beauty pageants should be banned. Whereas some are convinced that they should be banned, others, including myself, maintain that they should be allowed, considering, they build self confidence, foster girls ambitions and help develop critical thinking.
The world of child beauty pageants is similar to the twilight zone. It’s hard to believe that children as young as 2, have hair extensions, professional grade makeup, and spray tans. TLC’s hit television show “Toddlers & Tiara’s”, depicts the horrifying and true events of what actually goes on in these pageants. Nationally broadcasting the inherent sexualization of little girls for all to see has become completely desensitized. The lasting effects that preforming in beauty pageants has on girls who have been through years of competing is far greater than the trophies and tiara’s displayed on their shelves. Dressing toddlers in costumes, forcing them to dance and parade around on stage only to be judged on who is the prettiest by adults is sick and disturbed.
Beauty pageants have been around in America for decades; however, they have not gained notoriety until the show "Toddlers and Tiaras" aired on national television. The airing of "Toddlers and Tiaras" has brought child pageants to the attention of many Americans. Not many people were aware of what took place in beauty pageants, but ever since the show debuted in 2009 there has been an intense controversy about children as young as newborns being entered into pageants. Some people say that pageants raise self-esteem and teach responsibility, whereas others say that pageants are necessary and children should take advantage of their youth. Although pageants teach etiquette and communication skills, ultimately they carry a vastly high
One of the biggest issues related to beauty pageants is engaging children, especially young girls, taking part in these activities. America has about three million young girls between the ages of 6 months and 16 years taking part in beauty contests. Many people argue whether or not children should be participating in these pageants. The participants and their parents are obviously all for these children beauty pageants. However, there are many people against the idea.
One of the contestants in this year’s Miss USA pageant made national headlines last week even though she didn’t ultimately win the competition. Social media users praised Miss Indiana for having a “normal body,” rather than being a “complete twig” in her bikini. “I think the normality that everybody keeps talking about is just the fact that I’m relatable,” the contestant, whose real name is Mekayla Diehl, said in an interview with People Magazine. “I’m confident in my own skin. I didn’t obsess over being too skinny or not being tall enough.”
The TLC Show, “Toddlers and Tiaras,” is not an accurate representation of all that goes into preparing children for pageants. The show dramatizes the mostly the negative side of childhood beauty pageants. It depicts competitors that want to win strictly based on appearance. Despite the bad reputation that beauty pageants have, they equip young men and women with skills and opportunities such as chances to win scholarships, improving self-confidence and promoting social skills.