Child Beauty Pageants Analysis

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The first time I ever saw a child beauty pageant on television, I couldn't help but smile. The little five-year-olds were so adorable! They were all dressed up with their hair and makeup done: something I loved to do when I was young too. Like most other young children, I would wear poofy dresses or “high heels” whenever I had the opportunity. This seems exactly like what kids do for beauty pageants. The difference between me and them, however, is that I was not being judged by anyone. No one was watching me to make sure my dress perfectly complimented my figure or that I walked flawlessly in my heels that were way too big for me. I dressed up for fun while children in beauty pageants dress up to compete. But what does this seemingly harmless…show more content…
Soccer players practice running and kicking to bring their team to victory. Swimmers complete difficult workouts every day to train their bodies to move faster. These are all factors we can control and improve. In child beauty pageants, kids compete to win nonetheless. But how does losing have an impact on participants? “What’s that going to do for their confidence? A grown-up looked you over and decided you weren’t pretty or cute or charming enough to win” (Source B). Each of these aspects including prettiness, cuteness, and charmingness are characteristics that are uncontrollable. Plus, aren’t we supposed to be teaching children and teenagers to love themselves for the way they are? Why are they competing in a competition where losing sends the message that they should not love themselves for how they look because someone else has a more appealing face? This causes kids to believe that their image is more important than their disposition so they become fixed on aspects of themselves that cannot be changed. This fixation often leads to body dissatisfaction as well. 62% more child-beauty pageant participants are likely to struggle with body dissatisfaction than non-participants and “...participating in beauty pageants as a child may lead to associated risk factors of eating disorders” (Source A). As stated in Source B, losing pageants may create a lack of confidence in oneself, resulting in the higher rate of…show more content…
For example, “Young contestants like Karley endure a lot in the name of “beauty”: eyebrow waxes, wigs, heavy makeup, manicures, and partial dentures called “flippers” that fill in gaps left by missing front teeth” (Source E). Karley, a four-year-old, is already being led to believe that in order to be beautiful, she must “fix” her looks. Losing teeth is a normal part of childhood and this should not be considered “unattractive”. Pageants also encourage girls to “change their looks to fit narrow, invented standards of beauty” (Source E). By doing so, pageants provide unrealistic expectations for young women and make them feel sorry for themselves and wish for a “better appearance”. This is not the message we should be sending young women. We should be telling them that inner beauty is more important than how they appear on the outside. In order to get this message across, we will have to work toward abolishing absurd beauty standards and the strive for perfectionism which means eliminating child beauty pageants. By eliminating beauty pageants for children under the age if 18, we will be able to further push young women to strive for inner beauty rather than fixate on their appearances. Such beauty pageants are restricting youth from learning to accept themselves for how they are, and it is necessary that this comes to an end. Creating a space where women can have more confidence in themselves is significant

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