Children And Beauty Pageants Do Not Mix

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The world of beauty pageants is dramatic, heartbreaking, and downright hateful. Villines says “[c]hildren learn a host of unhealthy values, including the desire to defeat their competition at all costs”. (qtd. in “Beauty Pageants and Children: It’s Not Always Pretty” 6). A child should never have to go through the pressure that is put on them when entering a pageant nor should they learn to try to bring everyone down to get what they want. The pageant world can change a child for the worst. Unfortunately, it causes most of these children to become a sexual image at such a young age. Cartwright stated in her article about seeing pictures in French Vogue of, “a ten-year old model lying [o]n a sea animal print wearing a chest revealing gold dress, stilettos and heavy make-up”. (qtd. in “Child Beauty Pageants” 1). How could this child’s parents allow her to look so grown and sexy when she is just a baby? The answer to that is simple, the parents gain from it too.
When it comes to some of the parents in the beauty pageant world, they are worse than the children participating in the pageants. The parents are the ones that put the most pressure on the child. Villines states, “[s]ome parents put their kids on crash diets designed to help them gain energy and enthusiasm”. (4). A child has no need to diet unless they are obese. But it seems as if those parents don’t care, they just want their child to win. Villines also says, “that the real attraction of pageants is for parents who can gain social status, self-esteem, and money when their children participate”. (2). From the perspective of an outsider it’s as if most of the beauty pageant parents look at their children as objects to make money and fame off of, then their own flesh and blood. Children don’t need a manager they need a mom and dad. It doesn’t matter what type of personality or hobby a child has, every child needs unconditional love. If the parent is to worried about making money and gaining popularity off of the child, how is that showing love and affection? Then again on the other hand, not all parents are like that. Brianna, a fourteen year old beauty pageant contestant for three years now says, ‘[my parents] are happy if I win or lose but I think when I lose they're kind of upset because, they spent a lot of their money on the dresses and all the clothes and makeup and stuff’. So even if you’re a good pageant parent and support your children if they win or lose, the child is still under pressure.
Children in beauty pageants do not always consider education as a primary goal and not all the parents in force it either. Villines says it best when he states, “Academic achievement, empathy, social skills, athletic pursuits, and other age-appropriate activities may take a backseat in the world of pageants”. (6). The fact of education taking a backseat is uncalled for. All children need and deserve an education. Cartwright stated,...

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