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Controversy on child beauty pageants

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    Child beauty pageants have been around for a long time. Children started competing in beauty pageants in the 1960’s. (Nussbaum) Children are judged on beauty, talent, and outfit of choice. Little girls or boys from infancy all the way up to preteen are judged in all of those categories.They base everything off of kids who have the barbie doll look , Fake hair, spray on tan, and heavy make up. At pageants the clock moves quickly causing parents to skip the nap and go straight for pure sugar and caffeine for their tots. Parents also squander all of their money on these pageants, and go bankrupt which can make a child see money as just another thing. Glitz pageants can build kids up when they are young only to knock them down when they become older. Glitz beauty pageants are harmful to young children and should be banned.

    Parents break the bank so that their child can get ahead in the competition. Some get mad and say hurtful things when their child doesn’t perform up to their standards. Some might even say they could have done it better making you realize who really wants to do the pageants. These comments can break a child’s confidence down completely. There is evidence of this on Tlc’s show Toddlers and Tiaras. It is not exactly fair to a child who’s parents exploit them. There is a notion called the princess by proxy , which is where a parent lives vicariously through their child and will do anything to put them in the lime light. ( Cartwright) Parents say their little girl loves it , but the child’s face usually says otherwise. Children should not be made to feel like their looks are the only thing that matter in life.

    There are parents who say they do pageants for a child’s self-esteem, confidence, and poise. Some even go as far as throwing it out that they want them to make it as a model or somewhere in hollywood. Kids rarely make it and can grow up to have mental and physical health problems. Girls who do not get noticed for their beauty or out grow being cute in their older years are usually the ones who struggle in life. They have set backs and have been known to develop eating disorders as well as body image disapproval. They are in for a downfall if their parents do not show them that pageants are simply just a bigger way of playing dress up. Children should be taught that beauty is not everything.(Agadoni) Today society is based on how people look, but people also wants brains and skills to come with it. No one can get by with just a pretty face and many children are in for a rude awakening if they are not opened up to this reality.

    There have been news on young beauty pageant kids. There was a little girl who’s mom got the rap for dressing her provocatively in a Dolly Parton outfit. Another was a little girl who was wearing a madonna outfit with the pointy boobs. One other little girl was dressed up to be Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, her mother said she was cute.Which is what most mothers say about their daughters skimpy outfits. They say sex sells, but toddlers and children have no place in that at all. Their parents parade them around in daisy duke costumes and skimpy bikinis and wonder why there are sick people in the world. The parents make their children do spray tans to make them have adark color because it is healthier looking.Whatever that means if they really wanted a healthy child they would not have them in pageants.Their parents are exploiting them and basically giving them out as free kiddie porn for pedophiles. Young girls are taught how to get attention in the worst way possible. It is the opinion of most that pageants or at least clothes sexualizing children should be banned.(Agadoni) Children need to keep their innocence as long as they can.When you shelter them from evil then you can then teach them better values in life like education.

    There is no doubt that pageants cost an arm and a leg. Some parents drop hundreds to thousands of dollars on their child’s pageant career. Most parents do not see half of that money back. To enter the pageant the cost is between $50 to $500 dollars. The pageants usually have different categories and each extra category costs $20 or $30.(Sandberg) Parents will end up spending a few hundred to a couple thousand on a child’s beauty dress. I have seen on toddlers and tiaras where mothers said they live with parents ,or they have squander their savings , maxed out credit cards, and have several loans. Money apparently is no object in this game and children will be the ones to suffer. A woman, Laura Rose, was a former child pageant competitor.

    She was interviewed and had said that her mother borrowed and borrowed from friends and family member to pay for pageants. In the interview she said that sometimes all she had to eat was Pepperidge Farm cookies . Also says that her mother sends her those cookies to this day because she thinks she likes them, but in reality it brings back bad memories.(Sandberg) Children definitely suffer when the parent isn’t being responsible. Children should be protected from the form of abuse that are in beauty pageants.

    They should be more into what is going on at preschool instead of taking another child down at a pageant. Children are young, noble and need to be protected from evil influenced by society. ( Essa) Getting kids involved in real activities and school will give kids confidence and a social life. Uncorrupted education will result in adults who have good morals and more focused on the greater good. (Essa) Parents who spend quality time with their kids will build their child up to be successful without turning them into superficial adults later on in life. This will have a end result of having a healthier and happier child who will successfully be able to have good relationships with others through life.


    1. Eva L. Essa – Introduction to Early Childhood Education Chapter 5
    2. Laura Agadoni ,How do child beauty pageants affect a child’s development?-
    3. Kareen Nussbaum, Children and beauty Pageants –
    4. Nick Nauert , Martina Cartwright ,Child beauty pageants may be more about parents,october 29,2012-
    5. you tube- Toddlers and Tiaras, may 21,2009-
    6. you tube- Toddlers and Tiaras,january 30,2013-
    7. you tube- controversy on child beauty pageants-news,january 11,2014-
    8. you tube- pageant mom defends hooker costume,september 8,2011-
    9. you tube-custody battle racy outfit dolly parton,august 20,2012-
    10. Erica Sandberg, Toddlers and Tiaras -The debt – The costs of child beauty pageants,July 21,2011 –

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