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 costumes picked out for them, do the routines that were taught to them and have heavy makeup applied on them while they sit. These young girls are learning to depend on decisions and opinions of others to measure up to their own self. They are scared of judges and are in a position where someone else is to decide their physical beauty. Pageants often disrupt family life, and leaves little to no time for girls to be their age or to seek other activities.
Honest opponents spend several weekends away from their homes, and the price tag on pageants can cause financial struggles among family members. Enrollment fees can cost hundreds of dollars, cute little outfits for the contestants are in the thousands, not including the expenses of coaching, makeup, hotel and travel that will put a big hole in someone’s pocket. Expenditures can cause parents to be overwhelmed with tension. Pageant children may be favored over their other siblings, creating for them an emotional hurt for their family relationship.
Investments in beauty pageants diminishes time to spend with friends, to sleep or exercise. Children need time to appreciate their childhood and have the strength to go after other passions they may have in life, or simply to have time to be themselves. Education is equally important if not more important, which is often underestimated and thrown away in hopes of grabbing a contract for modeling. The world of pageants are of a physical orient, admiring a cute face over brilliance, or earning money over learning knowledge. What is alarming and harmful is the skimpy apparel that pageant contestants wear.
The sexualization and comprehension of these young girls is very unsuitable, the task to corrupt and weaken the female gender, and sets them in harm’s way. Mothers allow their daughters to wear several erotic costumes that range anywhere from a half-naked Cleopatra to a cowgirl in a roughly absent round-up wardrobe. Very tiny midriffs with small tops and fitted boots that go over the knee, advertise virtuous little girls of sex appeal, not to mention they are only a few years away from puberty and they as children have no knowledge about it.
Clothes are chosen for participants by mothers and coaches, which is very overwhelming. They also come up with evocative dance methods with blowing kisses to shaking butts and giving winks that are meant to touch the critics and people, which does not make sense to the sane people of America. Rendering little girls in this type of sexual light is outrageous and can be outright harmful. Dressing young girls up in adult makeup and clothes attracts sexual predators, setting them in harm’s way and becoming a victim to all kinds of pedophiles.
Another looked down upon condition of pageants are the situations of molestation and rapes, the tragic results of connecting helpless, innocent, sexualized young ones and outsiders. There has been a dark shadow surrounding beauty pageants since the unsolved brutal murder of Jon Benet P. Ramsey back in 1996 in her Colorado home that spread like wild fire through the media. Jon Benet was an outstanding and well-known six year old girl who was active in pageants and who perished on the day after Christmas. An alarming ransom note found in the family home was requiring $118,000 in
exchange for their daughter’s life, but the merciless strangled body of Jon Benet P. Ramsey had already been found by her father John Ramsey behind the basement door. He recently admitted to his regret of allowing his daughter to compete in these so called beauty pageants and learned that it is not a great idea to put your children on public display. Bringing attention to young girls necessarily ties the attention and tense motivations of pedophiles, and demonstrating them in indicative apparel only escalates the exposure. An accepted allegation is that participants in pageants can gain scholarships and win money.
Some corroborate that pageants help to frame children’s public speaking and determination. Creating unique friendships is another idea for parents to think about when enrolling their girls. Finally, mothers believe that pageants are a type of sport like cheerleading or football, due to the fact that it contains commitment that pageants call for and training both physically and mentally. There are altercations in consideration of these children’s pageants, pageant administrators and mothers that are engaged with these competitions are found to be irrational and are quickly degraded.
It is true that participants can win scholarships and money, yet it is not a rational reason, considering, the amount of the competitions are usually equal if not more than the price of the possible awards. Beauty pageants for children do not involve public speaking, if they did, it’s very seldom. Who has ever seen little girls speak out to the public? Pageants can actually damage a young girls’ spirit of determination if she does not win. Research has found evidence that girl’s in pageants can have a feeling of uncertainty and a need to get an opinion from others.
The way these girls gain any type of confidence is determined from qualities on the outside, but sincere confidence comes from the inner part of one’s self. In pageants, girls apparently find friendships, yet they either find fake friends or none at all. Most pageant girls are corrupted by comparisons, gossip and competitions, in most cases they get it from the mothers. Pageants are not a sport because beauty isn’t a skill nor is it a talent that can be reinforced with determination or practice.
Children are vulnerable to the decisions of judges, and factors in a pageant competition are most likely going to be hurtful, since they are being judged by a personal decision. Sports such as soccer or swimming deals with having the quickest pace or playing to the best of their ability. Athletes can advance themselves through practice and conditioning. Beauty pageant judges are subjective of the person’s personality and appearance. Titles that are judged include “Best Personality,” “Prettiest Eyes,” “Most Beautiful,” and other known beauty pageant titles.
Children who lose in beauty pageants can be overwhelmed by being judged on their physical appearance rather than a correctable talent. In conclusion, beauty pageants are a segment of society today. Very few individuals assume that pageants are profitable for everyone who is sophisticated, and may occur, at a single glimpse, to be captivating and flattering, yet there are countless others who believe beauty pageants are one of the most dangerous activities a child can be entered into. When investigated on a larger scale, the negativity and uncertainty that children realize becomes progressively noticeable and sooner than later unforgivable.