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Beauty Pageants: Right Or Wrong? Essay

2016 words - 8 pages

"Welcome to the world of spray tans, Tammy Faye makeup, big-hair wigs and swimsuit competitions. Miss America? Not exactly." (themomblog.ocregister.com) This is the reality to some children under the age of six in America. This is not the way childhood should be viewed or lived like. There are many different types of beauty pageants in today’s society. The ages range from three weeks old to eighteen years old. Beauty pageants make up a good part in our life, because we are always judging on looks and not what’s on the inside. Media outlets are continuously on these topics, also. “Television is peppered with reality shows that feature pint-sized beauty queens decked out in pricy gowns, full make up, and big hair.” (psychologytoday.com) We are completely overexposed to what is wrong, rather than what is right. A childhood is something precious and should not be taken away from a child.
Putting young boys and girls into pageants sets an unrealistic body image in their heads. When kids see the way models and other beauty queen’s look, they think they have to be super skinny, tan, and tall to be considered pretty. “Such contests may give children the perception that being pretty is the only option for popularity and success.” (bsu.edu) Girls seem to develop an act that one psychologist calls the “Princess Syndrome”, which is so far fetched it is a fairytale. Pageant parents go even further with the pictures they have taken of their kids. They hire professional people to retouch, brighten, and even change the child’s facial features in pictures to make them more desirable. In the TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras, kids have asked questions like, “How come I didn’t win?” and “What does that girl have that I don’t?” What does one tell a little girl who doesn’t win? They aren’t pretty enough? Winning titles is completely based on opinion; the judges have nothing that says they can judge little girls besides the pageant director hiring them. Everyone has a different perception on what is considered beautiful. There aren’t set standards on what makes one pretty and what doesn’t make one pretty. This just makes an unrealistic expectation that if they aren’t thin, physically beautiful, or even perfect, then the judges will pick someone who is, in their eyes, beautiful. A small study made by psychologists in 2008 found that former beauty contestants have higher body dissatisfaction than people who weren’t in pageants. “Being a little Barbie doll says your body has to be a certain way and your hair has to be a certain way. In girls particularly, this can unleash a whole complex of destructive self-experiences that can lead to eating disorders and all kinds of body distortions in terms of body image.” (Minorcon.org/pageants) Pageants set unrealistic standards.
Putting children into pageants sexualizes them into people they really aren’t. Adults come to pageants even if they don’t have kids participating, because they are usually free...

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