Beauty Pagents Essay

Heath Jenkins

The article ‘Kid beauty pageants are creepy’, from The Herald Sun, Thursday the 7th 2010 from the Herald Sun is a piece by The Herald Sun’s reporter Cheryl Critchley. This article is a piece exposing the child beauty pageant world and what is really going on and happening to these kids.
It is contended by Critchley right from the opening title that ‘child beauty pageants are creepy’. Critchley is sure to give her contention right from the beginning in bold letters. This sets the tone of the article from the beginning informing the reader about the topic and her stance on the issue. The author is very careful in her choice of words in the title because it is often the difference between whether the reader is engaged enough to read further and find out about the issue or just pass it by.
Critchley’s article features a large section of the page taken up by a picture of a doll like toddler. This picture supports the author’s contention displaying a child being taken advantage of by their parents for the benefit of their enjoyment. The use of this picture is a deliberate choice by the author, the child is wearing clothes the is barley suitable for a teenager, her hair done up as if she is getting married and what appears to be her mother behind her, working on the child’s look.
The appeal to the reader’s sense of fear is a very powerful device used by the reader. The reader likens watching the show Toddlers in Tiaras to ‘watching a car crash’. This illustrates just how terrible she finds watching the toddlers being transformed into the ‘hot’ princess’ they are made out to be. Another example of the appeal to the reader’s sense of fear is when Critchley describes the girls all dressed up as a ‘pedophile’s paradise: a veritable smorgasbord of unsuspecting Lolitas’. This is enough to scare any parent away form the idea of a child beauty pageant, it indicates that the children are in possible danger and bait waiting to be taken away.
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Beauty Pagents Essay

You would like to believe that being pampered, made up and dressed up every day would be the dream of every young girl, but it’s often a nightmare. The child beauty pageant lifestyle is too stressful and negative on oneself. Many of the contestants are pushed to act as young adults rather than the kid that they are. These pageants are too competitive and demanding for such young kids, and they also interfere with their “play time”.

As child participants, many are too young to stand up for themselves. In beauty pageants, everything has to do with your outer beauty. Kids are being taught that their self-worth is in physical beauty only. How would you act if you were taught that if you aren’t beautiful enough for judges, you aren’t a winner? Many experts agree that participation in activities that focus on physical appearance at an early age can influence teen and/or adult self-esteem, body image and self-worth.

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Issues with self-identity after a child “retires” from the pageant scene in her teens are not uncommon. Struggles with perfection, dieting, eating disorders and body image can take their toll in adulthood (Cartwright). I believe that all children should have free time to play and just be a kid. They should be able to enjoy being their age, but when they are involved in pageants they spend most of their time practicing speeches, model walks and trying on their costumes.

Not only do they not have time to make friends at school or in their neighborhoods, but they are also taught them the, “no other girl is your friend here” speech, regarding the relationships between the participants (both mothers and daughters) (psychologycorner. com). That lesson can be helpful but hurtful if taken outside of the contest. Most contestants are too young to have a say in what their parents are putting them through. I’m sure some of the children do say something and are just ignored or persuaded to continue on anyway.

They should not be exposed to something that has clearly been proven to affect their mental and physical health. Adults need to be aware of the potential long-term impact super-competitive, beauty-driven pursuits can have on a young girl’s psyche (Cartwright). Most negative effects that the child experiences are from the parent pushing them too hard. In conclusion, child beauty pageants have more negative effects than positive. They are stressful, interfering, and can cause bad health issues. All of the glitz and glamor appears fun from the outside but once you’re in it, things seem to all go downhill.

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