Pageant Parents Are To Blame For The Exploitation Of Their Children

1723 words - 7 pages

Pageant Parents are to Blame for the Exploitation of Their Children
Until the death of 6-year-old beauty queen Jonbenet Ramsey, the child pageant circuit was never fully recognized on a national scale. In the past 17 years, many shows have attempted to give the country a glimpse into the the life of a child beauty queen, however, they are quite over dramatic. Although some sources of media may mislead a viewer to believe the child pageant system is exploitive and sexualizes the young contestants, research shows the decisions of some parents are truly to blame, not the pageants themselves.
Although the pageant system can be a place to sprout new relationships, for many it does nothing but tear them down. Every parent wants their child to avoid the mistakes they, as parents, had made earlier in life in order to be the best they can be. Many pageant parents take this to the next level and use the child to live life again and pursue every opportunity they could have possibly missed as they were growing up. How is a child supposed to live their own life if they're forced to be a pawn in their parents game? Not only do pageants affect the parent-child relationship, it also affects the way children choose friends for the rest of their life. Heidi Gerkin, a former pageant star with titles such as America's Junior Miss, says that she has been more comfortable with having more male friends because of her previous experiences with deceiving friendships in the pageant systems. She says "Even now, whenever I meet somebody, I question whether they really like me" (Goode). The relationship the pageant systems affects the most is the relationship with oneself. It is very rare for a girl to claim she has never felt self-conscious, especially when she is involved in pageants. These girls are judged on everything physical about them. One pageant veteran described a pageant experience in which she won yet after the competition she was confronted by a judge who proceeded to tell her her ears were too large and she shouldn’t ever wear up again. She also admits that she has felt vulnerable and uncomfortable with her hair up in any way ever since (Goode). Pageant systems scar children in multiple ways. No, these scars arent as detrimental to their lives as many others, however they do hinder the rest of their lives.
Pageants can be a great place for mother-daughter bonding time, however many moms become bullies to their children. It is very common to witness mothers with upset children in any scene but in the pageant system, these mothers become the monsters in the closets of their children. These mothers get so focused on winning, they forget the most important part of any competition or sport, having fun. Dr. Phil conducted an interview with one of these types of mothers who was witnessed bleaching her young daughter and sons’ baby teeth, and dying her daughter’s eyelashes. When Dr. Phil asked the mother why she felt it was necessary to dye her daughter’s...

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