Apr 12, 2012

Beauty pageants for kids

There is nothing wholesome and fair about beauty pageants for children as the contestants do not start out on a level playing field. You can have naturally beautiful children with natural charm and parents who can afford the best costumes and makeup and hairdressers and these kids will just win year after year. It is a contest based mostly on glamour and sets some kids up for an inferiority complex and feelings of not being good enough. It is not that the judges are unfair; certain kids are just prettier, have more money spent on their talent and looks, and it would be likewise unfair as these children enter the contest year after year and the winner is not the child who visually wins hands down. What is wholly unfair is that the not so pretty child might be a scientist in the making and this child is rejected. She is not encouraged for her smarts. Kids who win contests remind the kids who do not win contests that they are better than them. This plays out on the school grounds and other arenas. Whatever the contest, I am against competitions for children where their visual appearance rather than their acumen and knowledge satisfy the requirements.

Wrong message sent to the child

Where a child wins a contest based on ball gowns, makeup and looks, it sends the wrong message to the child. The child’s self esteem will suffer. The child is too young to think and analyze as beauty pageants are mostly things the mothers are interested in and want for their children. Pitting children against one another to win some frivolous prize is just wrong. Here are some things you might not have thought about.

• A four year old contestant has hardly graduated from diapers when she is surrounded by a makeup artist, a hairdresser, a dress designer and then has to step on a stage to charm the audience. Her face is plastered with makeup, her eyebrows are plucked, the lipstick is thick and red, her hair is in a bouffant and this little girl is made up to look like a little tramp – all to show family and friends and other people what a pretty child they have.

• The girl with the mole on her lip or the not so fancy hairstyle gets rejected. She agonizes over her looks and even though she is cleverer than the girl who wins the competition, the message she gets is that she will only win a contest if she enters a competition that is about mathematics and not looks.

• Another big problem with beauty pageants is that young children have a clean slate, have no experience about stalkers and pedophiles, and can’t make a decision about what is best for them. They have a mistaken view of reality. Life is all about beautiful clothes, and imitating adults. Maybe the parents don’t mind if strange men ogle their children? Or one of these men suddenly appear at the child’s school? Children are innocent and need responsible parents. They should play with other children; having fun, going to the park, running with the dog. A four year old child in a provocative outfit is a target for a pedophile who has evil on his mind.


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