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Innocence At Risk Essay

1946 words - 8 pages

Innocence at Risk
Beauty pageants have been around since the 1920’s and child beauty pageants began in the 1960’s. There are different age divisions which are from 0-18 years old. Children are encouraged by their parents to participate in these competitions that are supposed to increase self-esteem, public speaking skills, and confidence. In reality these competitions cause great harm to these innocent children and do the exact opposite. Parents don’t realize that their risking their child’s health. Children under the age of eighteen should not be allowed to compete in beauty pageants. Such competition of youngsters causes negative consequences that are physical, social, psychological, and sexual health.
To begin with, beauty pageants cause physical consequences in young participants. These children undergo hours of rehearsal. They don’t have regular child activities. Once they start participating in these competitions their life changes. These small girls have to go through several physical changes. One is to be spray tanned with a chemical called DHA. The FDA recommends avoiding contact between the DHA and the mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose and mouth. In fact merely inhaling the chemical can cause coughing, dizziness, fainting or rashes (Lieberman 755). Even with these warning adults continue to spray tan their children so they can have a chance to win these competitions. In the show “Toddlers and Tiara’s” the mother was told by a coach that in order for her daughter to have even a slight chance of winning she had to be spray tanned. The first thing that judges look at is the physical appearance of the participants so this causes parents and kids to be conscious in their physique. The girl has to fit perfectly into the costly outfit and if she increases weight even just a slight the outfit doesn’t look as perfect as it should. The parent’s solution is to make their daughter go on a diet. This can cause a negative impact on the child’s health. Nicole Hunter, participated in beauty pageants when she was young, had strict diets because she needed to look slim. She stated “I have always taken pride in being thin and have always been conscious of what I eat. I was so conscious that starting at the age of sixteen I began to suffer from anorexia nervosa” (Hunter). These children travel distances to attend these pageants, sometimes they don’t rest enough. When a kid is growing they need sufficient rest. Diets and lack of sleep causes great harm in the development of a child. The participants tend to have anxiety and nervous breakdowns. These pageants put unnecessary stress on young girls (Eubanks). This in time gets worse and these children as adults suffer from anxiety and serious mood swings. Brook Breedwell is a live example. Her childhood was spent in beauty competitions. As a girl she suffered from stress and anxiety while striving for an unrealistic standard of perfection (Lieberman 740). A small girl should not be experiencing...

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