1.1 Background of Issue
In this 21st century, it is not odd to see beauty pageant competitions all around the world. Atlantic City was the first to introduce beauty pageant in the 1920s. The world of pageantry was introduced when the business owner need a source of attraction for tourists after Labor Day. This business started with swimming suit competition and later added as the years passed by. In the 1950s, pageantry became famous when it was aired on television. However, in the 1970s, this competition received negative press due to the Feminist Act. The age limit for beauty pageant range from 0 to 18 and this has been going on for over 50 years (Williams, 2010).
Beauty pageant consists of five sections where all contestants have to perform in order to win. Those categories are talent, casual wear, long gown or evening dress, sportswear and question and answer section. The way contestants dress up usually depends on the type of pageant and system of competition. However, they are allowed to wear makeup, have different hairstyles and wear fitted outfits. According to proven statistics, approximately 5,000 child beauty pageants are held per year and about 250,000 child participate in this glittery, full of glam competition. Based on statistical records presented by Women’s News, 72% of 100,000 beauty pageants hire pageant coaches every year in the United States. shockingly, 6% of these beauty pageant contestants suffer from depression because of the pressure put upon the contestants (OCCUPYTHEORY, 2013). As Ioannou(2011) has pointed out, the percentage of girls hospitalized because of eating disorder has increased tremendously by 270% over the past 10 years. Even participants at the age of seven years old have been diagnosed with anorexia, which is related to body image. Shown statistics should be a warning to parents who enter their children in child beauty pageant. They are possibly endangering the child’s self worth.
1.2 Current Situation
As the number of child beauty pageant contestants rise up, it is normal that there are some issues and cases that are unpleasant. A few places are trying to ban the competition of child beauty pageant. For instance, the French government has banned beauty pageants for children under 16 years old. It is an effort to protect these little girls from being sexualized too early. Beauty contests for little girls could get their parents two years in prison and fines approximately $40,000 (Berry, Mitton, Higgins & O’Brien, 2013). Despite this argument, Danielle (2012) said that child beauty pageant could teach children to be confident in front of adults and strangers. This can take away the shyness of a child when she/he needs to perform in public later on.
1.3 Research Question
In this debate and controversies, both supporters and those who argue against the thought of child beauty pageants have increased an amount of argument to protect their interests. Taking into consideration of all the viewpoints of the...