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Negative Effects Of Beauty Pegeants On Children

1313 words - 5 pages

Over that last 3 years, four-year-old Eden Wood has competed in child beauty pageants. Her parents have used more than 70,000 dollars for Eden to compete in these competitions; because of her winnings she has produced between 25,000- 30,000 dollars in prize money. She has yet to receive any of her prize money because her parents use it to invest in the pageant circuit. Eden loves pageants and competing in them, but her story leaves me speculating if she is too consumed in beauty pageants, and the negative effects they are having on her (Lieberman). Even though beauty pageants help promote personal development, confidence, and communication skills; pageants have negative social and psychological effects on children and teens. It causes early childhood stress and anxiety and parents are putting their kids through the pageants to make a profit off of them.
Children making money starting at the age of three reminds me of the children in third world countries that are forced by adults to work in factories. These children work for pennies a day, but unfortunately the children in these alleged pageants make large amounts of money that they never see. Pageant kids could most definitely use the money at another time in their lives to aide them through college or technical training. A pondering question when talking on this subject is; do any of the parents of these children have any college education? And if yes then; how much was their college expenses, and are they going to be saving for their children or make them pay for it later on when it could have been paid for possibly after one of the pageants.
A study done at the University of Minnesota evaluated the association between childhood beauty pageants and adult eating disorders, depression, body dissatisfaction, and self-esteem. Eleven women who were former pageant contestants and eleven non-pageants contestants were matched together. The childhood pageant women scored significantly higher on body dissatisfaction, interpersonal distrust, and low self-esteem. Both groups scored the same with adult eating disorders, and depression (Wonderlich). Studies show fewer kids participate in pageants compared to kids that play sports. The impact of pageants is greater on children due to widespread media exposure. The mass media makes beauty pageants seem like a fairy tale that physical beauty guarantees fortune, fame, and happiness. This is comparatively false; pageants tarnish the self-esteem of young girls who compete in them. The girls are put on strict diets, have to follow rigorous schedules, and have many body altering appointments to make them beautiful to the eye. I believe pageants make girls think they aren’t beautiful because they are having all these alterations done to them, and that if they don’t win they are told they are worthless. Some different body altering techniques include fake tans, teeth whitening’s, hair and eyelash extensions, and a false mouth piece (Wonderlich).
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