Child Pageants

Good Essays

In modern day society, people often tune into TLC’s hit show Toddlers in Tiaras. Most see it as a harmless pastime for the children, but child beauty pageants are far from harmless. In recent years, child beauty pageants have become increasingly popular all over the U.S, making it a 5 billion dollar industry. Almost 5,000 pageants are held with 250,000 children participating with the majority of the contestants under the age of twelve (“Child beauty Pageants”). Unfortunately, what most viewers do not realize is that many contestants will suffer from sexual abuse and eating disorders by the time they are teenagers. With that being said, beauty pageants have a negative impact on female adolescents. First, child beauty pageants can have major …show more content…

The majority of children pageants will be found with teased hair, makeup caked on their faces, and in outfits far more mature their ages. A prime example being JonBenet Ramsey, “Here she was dancing, singing, smiling, flirting. Shirley Temple redux. But where Shirley at least was allowed to be a little girl, JonBenet was made up, coiffed, and dressed to look far older than her age, which was six at the time.” (Reed) JonBenet Ramsey, a former child beauty queen, had her childhood stolen from her, literally and figuratively. While not all children participating in pageants will not have their life taken from them at a young age, they do have major elements of their childhood taken from them. For example, as child everyone had one close friend, that is where most children learn the important values of friendship. Rebecca Eder states on her article "Is Winning a Pageant Worth a Lost Childhood?", “Learning how to be a good friend lays the foundation for a child's ability to develop intimacy, trust and empathy. Given the intense competition among beauty pageant contestants, it is unlikely that contestants will befriend each other”. By putting children in competitive competitions, they will not learn these skill as well, or as early on in life. That could lead to various problems later on in life while trying to make friends. As well as a lack of social development, children are also being …show more content…

As mentioned previously, child beauty queens are often found with makeup, and outfits that are to seductive for young children. As well as this, children may also be posed in semi-sexulaized positions for photoshoots. Due to this, many child predators are using that as an excuse, as Elizabeth Day writes, "We do know that predators or paedophiles continually tend to justify their interest in children by saying children are sexual beings. That children are now given a channel to become little Lolitas, to be portrayed as older, to almost become mini adults--these are all trends that give legitimacy to that kind of thinking" (Day). Because of some of the clothing that parents are allowing their children to wear, predictors are using it as an excuse for their interest in young children. Unfortunately, in worst case scenario, the public may end up with a case like Jonbenet Ramsey’s. In an article, Billy Reed mentions Jonbenet Ramsey, a six year old beauty queen who was found sexually assaulted and murdered in the basement of her home in 1996 (Reed). Many have claimed that her assault had a connection to the pageants. While it is a likely possibility, the case remains closed to this day, so no one will know. Even while still alive, Jonbenet did not have a childhood. She often participated in competitions that forced children children to

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