Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Issue of the month: Pageant Princesses or Pedophile Prey?

So as most of your probably know I do a 'Monthly Issue' on this blog, just something to spread awareness and blow off a little steam. Last month I done one on The Greyhound Racing Industry, If your an animal lover like me you should definitely read it, but I have to warn you that it's quite upsetting. Click here to read it.

This month I've decided to write about the children's Beauty Pageant industry, I know, Its been done so many times in the past! Yet it's still a growing industry and one that makes me really angry!

All little girls love the idea of playing dress-up, I myself loved dressing up in my older sisters clothes and prancing around pretending to be an adult with lipstick smears all over my face and thick multicoloured eye-shadow.. My mother found it hilarious, but if I was to leave the house with a spot of make-up on at the tender age of four or five there would have been absolute uproar! ‘Dress-up is something you do with your child at home, not in public!’ Is what my mother says, but if that’s true then why in the last few years have Children’s beauty pageants become so popular! They even have shows such as ‘Toddlers in Tiara’s’ and VH1’s ‘Little Beauties’ which are aired on TV for millions of people to see!
The Pageants I’m referring to are ‘glitz, Glitzy or full glitz pageants’ These pageants are ridiculously over the top and it’s said that ‘Everything goes!’ I browsed the net and done some research on the requirements of these children’s beauty pageants, and found some interesting stuff!
Parents more than usually hire beauty coaches for their children, these coaches cost up to $100 an hour and teach the children how to walk with poise and do ‘cutesy things’ such as blowing kisses to the judges.’ In some Beauty Pageants there is a talent section where most of the children will sing or do dance performances which in my opinion can be quite prerogative for a four year old to be doing! In most pageants it is a rule that if the child is Caucasian they must be spray tanned, preferably by a professional. Most of the little girls wear wigs, wiglets or hair pieces which on the day are usually applied by hairdressers, a full face of makeup is also applied by makeup artists or their mothers, this involves heavy eye-shadow, eyeliner, false lashes, lipstick and the rest. A lot of mothers purchase flippers for their daughters, these are fake teeth that can be put over their own to give them a perfect, dazzling smile, they can cost up to $300. Dresses are a big part of the total score, if the child is under ten she must wear a short dress with a full cupcake skirt, the dress is expected to be embellished with hundreds of swarofski Crystals. The colour of the dress also has to suit the childs complexion. Most pageant mothers get the dresses specially made whilst others pay $500 to over $1000 on second hand dresses. In a lot of these pageants there is also a ‘casual wear’ section and a ‘bathing suit’ section. Yes, children from the young age of four are prancing around a stage (and on national television thanks to shows such as toddlers & tiaras) in two piece diamond encrusted bathing suits. Mothers are known to shave their daughters legs, pluck/wax their eyebrows, there's even a case or two of mothers administering botox to their daughters young faces!

The rewards are usually cash prizes, Tiaras and trophies and in some pageants the children can win college scholarships.

I personally completely disagree with the Child beauty Pageant industry. Children are growing up fast enough these days, there’s no need for us to be caking them in spray tan, makeup and wigs and allowing them to trot around in front of an audience in swimwear  winking and blowing kisses. It’s also teaching children that ‘looks’ matter over personality as they are being judged on thing such as ‘prettiest smile’ and ‘most photogenic!’ It’s also said to set children up for problems such as bulimia, anorexia and depression in their teens.

 Another thing that really shocked me was how easy it was to gain access to pictures of these little girls and boys on beauty pageant sites, anyone in the world could be looking at pictures of these children dolled up and looking like little women. Not to mention the popular TV shows which are exposing these children to millions of people worldwide, how do you know there’s not a pedophile somewhere in the world getting satisfaction over these kids? Most likely, there are many! Back in 1996 a six year old pageant queen, JonBenet Ramsey, was found dead in the basement of her house, she had been sexually assaulted, had her skull fractured and was then strangled. Police still haven’t found the murderer but the case caused a lot of controversy around the children’s beauty pageant industry. Is this case alone not enough for mothers to want to keep their young daughters out of the spotlight and stop sexualising them at such a young age? Clearly not.

JonBenet Ramey, Murdered at 6 years old.

The most pathetic thing to me is how pushy some of the mothers are. If you watch any of the TV shows I’m sure you’ll agree with me! The parents stand behind the judges doing the dance moves so that their kids won’t mess up, they shout their kids names, give out to them if they don’t do a good job and even act bitchy and competitive towards the other children and their parents! Great example they’re giving their children, raising them to be jealous and competitive! In my opinion a lot of the mothers are former beauty queen has-beens or overweight women who want their children to live the lives they never had! (I’m terrible, I know, but that really is the impression I get from all of the shows!)  If they really want to enter their daughters in beauty pageants why can’t they just opt for the natural ones where the children can wear normal Sunday dresses and even jeans and are not allowed to wear makeup, wigs or fake teeth!

A caption from the 2006 film 'Little Miss Sunshine.'

What do you guys think of these Glitzy Children's Beauty Pageants? Do you agree with them? Or do you know any children that take part in them? I'm really interested in hearing your opinions so drop a comment!


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