Growing up as a little girl, I remember fantasizing myself as a princess. I would spend hours undergoing a fairly god mother transformation. I would put on fake nails, heels, makeup, and put a sparkly dress on. I felt like the world was my kingdom. My mother would look at me and Just smile and tell me that I was the most beautiful girl In the world. The encouragement my mother gave me as a young child helped me out with my self-esteem.
As I grew up I realized that fantasizing myself to a fictional hearted would have to end, I grew out of wanting to be a perfect Barbie and learned that we all have imperfections that make us unique. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with a lot of young girls; some of the young girls are put into child pageants to keep on dreaming of becoming a princess or becoming the new next top model. But are the beauty pageants helping the children keep living there childhood dream or Is It Just holding them back from reality? As the competition gets tougher, the crowns get bigger.
With a new generation of spoiled undisciplined kids and parents hat will go to the extremes to do anything for their child to look and feel beautiful. Paul Peterson, the president and founder of A Minor Consideration feels that beauty pageants sexuality young girls rather than help them built self-esteem. “This is feeding the sex industry; there is a tremendous trade within Juvenile modeling. ” Many others agree with Peterson, like the French government. The French government Is trying to ban beauty pageants for young girls because they also believe that they promote “hyper-exultation’s” and harms the child.
Karri Klein Ritter for the Los Angles Times, believes that there is more harmful things for a child then a beauty pageant and disagrees with the French for trying to ban beauty pageants. “Are there no greater threats to the children and women of France than a few silly pageants? ” Child beauty contestant mother and owner of Universal Royalty and Baby Beauty Pageants, Annette Hill believe that beauty pageants are an opportunity for their child to play Cinderella and participate In an “extra curriculum activity”.
In today’s world the children industry is the fastest-growing segment in the beauty agent market, the pageant industry is drawing an estimated 3 million children, mostly girls, ranging from six months to 16 years of age who are competing to win a crown and money. Is alleged to believe, that once the child begins to participate in the pageants they start to become accustomed to the lifestyle and some of the kids are Just In It because of the attention It brings them or because they’re being forced by their parents.
Childhood behavioral health psychologist Dry. Mike Bishop believes that participating in pageants in such a young age could damage their self-esteem. Toddlers are not old enough to make an informed decision as to whether they should compete. Nor are they able to separate the completion from reality, which can make participation even more damaging to their self-esteem. ” (McKay, 1) When a Natural pageants allow the child to wear makeup, but it has to be toned down and their clothing is not allowed to be flashy nor to low-cut or short.
The purpose of the natural pageant is to have the children look like their age and let their personality charm the Judges. But, considering that most children like playing dress up, and are giggly influence by fictional characters and the media, they usually will choose glitz pageants. Once they have entered the pageant they have to pay a pageant they have to pay an entry fee ranging from $10 to $200 depending on the pageant (Somerville, 2). Besides the obligated fee the parents still have to consider the expenses of travel, makeup, hair extensions, nails, and flippers.
The overall goal for the contestants is to compete and hopefully win the title of ultimate grand supreme. The ultimate grand supreme winner is usually the contestant who WOW’s the Judges with their props, performance, and costumes. Parents could spend enough to finance their kids’ college tuition. One mother tells a researcher: “l know people who spent so much on pageants, they lost their trailers” (Crime,l). That is not always the case; some parents are cleverer about putting their child in a pageant without going over budget. People who have lower-incomes tend to participate in events with low entry fees.
Sociologist Hillary Level concluded in a study, that “mothers of lower-income and education enter their children in pageants because they want their children to learn the proper skills necessary to move up the social scale. Parents with higher incomes and education beyond high school often Justify pageants by explaining that competition is essential for their children to become successful. ” With all the makeup, eyelash extensions, flippers and tanning when do the parents step in and realized that they are equalizing their child? Historically and legally, our system defers to parents to make the right decision for their child,” commented sociologist Hilary Level Friedman, after finding out the French Senate has approved a bill that proposes Jail time and a fine for parents and organizations that sponsors or encourages anyone 16 and under to participate in a pageant. In the United States they have no laws on how a pageant must be managed, beauty pageants are allowed to come up with their own guidelines for their participants. Fair Labor standards act. 938 does not take place in any pageants because the children are not considered to be working although, the children earn money and prizes for their performance, and practice for hours per week “Due to the definition of child pageants not being defined as “work”, there are no laws in place nationally to protect these young children from exploitation. ” (Gunter, 1) Many child psychologists feel hat the pageants are more for the fulfillment of the parents rather than the happiness and healthy development of their children. It’s not odd for parents to try and live out their dream through their kids.
Parents of pageant children disagree, and feel that pageants help their kids gain confidence in front of large crowds and give them poise rather than hurt their self-esteem. Pageants do benefit some children, not all children will win pageants, or want to compete in them. One can only imagine the stress the children go through while participating in a beauty pageant, which focuses on their looks. The children could grow-into being self- conscious about their weight and start to develop disorders, and develop social phobia if they don’t feel they are pretty enough, or even adapt intolerable attitudes in a serious situation.
William Pinions, a clinical psychologist and president of the Family Institute at Northwestern University said, “Being a little Barbie doll says your body has to be a certain way and your hair has to be a certain way. In girls particularly, this can unleash a whole complex of destructive self-experiences that can lead to eating disorders and all kinds of body distortions in terms of body mage. ” Traveling, stress and competition are everyday features of an adult’s life.
Since the number of children that are becoming victims of heinous crimes is rapidly growing, it doesn’t help that the parents are parading their child to go “around on- stage in outfits that are sometimes as little as Daisy Duke shorts and a belly shirt. ” (Gunter, 1) The provocative outfits the parents are putting on the child could provoke a sex offender to gain interest in the child which could lead to the sex offender posing as an agent/ manager and stalk the child down through the show. The scandal that happened with Jon Bent Ramsey is a situation that could happen to any of these kids.
Ramsey was a beauty queen in training; she was six years old when she was brutally beaten and killed in her basement. Images of her looking like “a painted baby, a sexualities toddler beauty queen” (Beardsley, 1) were broadcasted into the homes of many Americans. This brought attention and negative reaction towards child beauty pageants and how it sexualities children. “Ramset’s life and death seemed to illustrate all too well the consequences of parental manipulation and child exploitation. (Time, 7) A lot of parent’s way of thinking about beauty pageants is to see it as any other sport that children play in.
They practice Just like any other sports; they travel with their team, and compete to win prizes. Preparing for pageants usually require a lot of commitment, time and patience from the child. Unfortunately, not all kids are trill to sit still for a long period and fatherless have to practice for hours. On the hit TV show “Toddlers and Tiaras” the viewers are allowed to see the preparation the children and the parents go through while preparing for the pageant. Usually in the show the viewer watches some of the children become antsy and watch them throw temper tantrums if they become upset or want to play instead of practicing.
TODAY contributor Render Dawn interviewed Tom Organ, “Doodlers & Tiaras” producer he asked Organ about a past incident that happened on the show that had a lot of viewers talking, when a mother decided to wax her 5 year old daughter eyebrows. The question followed with “But didn’t it make you uncomfortable, or make you wonder if you should include it in the show? ” Dawn asked Organ. Organ’s replied to the incident with this statement, “We’ve all seen wings that are sometimes a little difficult to watch when it comes to how parents relate to their kids.
You can see a parent who is doing something that is making their child cry or unhappy that the parent think is the best thing for them ? making them brush their teeth, or telling them to go to bed. ” (Dawn, 1) There are viewers who view the show as cruel and unusual; and feel that the pageants could be defined as child abuse. The critics of Toddlers & Tiaras believe that the parents are objectifying their child to desire a glamorous life and believe that the only way to succeed in life s by their looks. Dry.
Nancy Irwin, a Los Angles-based psychotherapist, feels that the parents should not be placed as the “worst parents” because they don’t physically abuse their child. “These parents run a close second, however, as they are selfish… Beauty. ” (McKay, 1) Saba Johnson has been competing in pageants since she was four years old. Johnson has been awarded three hundred trophies throughout her pageant career; Saba aspires to land a major modeling contract. Johnson and her mother were “interviewed by A&E network she kept looking over at her mom for reassurance of her thoughts.
She never mentioned coming education; she solely relied on her appearance for her future” (Nassau, 2). If the child is focusing more on their looks rather than outshining in other areas that require using their brain, what will these children be able to accomplish. As one argument was made, in “Parents of Children on Talc’s ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’ Hurting Their Kids” childhood behavioral health psychologist Dry. Mike Bishop said, “Toddlers are not old enough to make an informed decision as to whether they should compete.
Nor are they able to separate the competition from reality, which can make participation even more imaging to their self-esteem. ” parents play an important role in their children’s success. We are thought in an early stage that “looks don’t matter, but what’s in the inside does”. The world is not a fairytale, but if you work hard and set a goal, anybody can accomplish their dream. There’s nothing wrong with being a kid and dressing up, but they should be able to play pretend without a skit. Children should be able to enjoy their youth and not be obligated to grow up so early.
If the parent is going to register their child in beauty pageants they should always consider the well-being of heir child. Child beauty pageants become the hot topic of conversation when the parents become out of control and will go to the extreme to make sure that their child wins these pageants; even if it is getting their child false teeth, tans, sexy cloths and covering them in tons of makeup. These type of parents usually will get caught up in winning that they will not notice how their actions affects the child and could possibly put the child in harm’s way.
Children now a days are in such a rush to grow up and interpreted the characters that are shown in TV, it doesn’t help that the arenas are teaching the child to use their looks in a provocative way that could trigger a sexual predator. Even though these contests allow the chance for these children to earn money for their education it comes at the cost of their pride, they become objectified. It’s hard to choose a side on this issue because the pros and cons weigh about the same.