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The Ugly Faces Behind Beauty Pageants

1632 words - 7 pages

A certain idea of beauty has become very prominent in today’s American society. Parents having children have grown up with this fundamental idea of beauty in their minds. As a result, their children must endure the same stipulations and scrutiny. Children are forced by their parents to comply with the strict views of society. They must be smart, beautiful, and perfect in all ways. Parents put these pressures on their children by forcing them to play sports, take intense course loads, and prioritize their lives, based on the views of their parents. Parents do this in an attempt to give their children the best chance that they can to succeed. Ultimately, parents make decisions like these in their child’s best interest. Pageant parents micromanage every action and every word. While they may believe that constant evaluation and domination of their child’s life is beneficial, its actually damaging. These parents put their children at risk for societal, physical, and emotional harm. The intense actions of pageant parents are detrimental to the safety of their children.
Parents who support pageants are not trying to be bad parents. They are just misguided. The pageant world will change a child and everything that they do. Parents love and care for their children. They want their children to succeed, and that blinds them. Supporters of pageants do not acknowledge the severe effects that these contests can have on a child. They may be oblivious to the immediate and long term effects. Pageants can influence the way a contestant lives their entire life, not just their pageant performances. Though these parents may agree with pageants they do not agree with the harming of children. In this respect, if parents realized the dangers of pageants, they would no longer support them.
When the words “physical harm” are uttered, the mind visualizes some kind of terrible and dangerous situation. Maybe they imagine a robber holding a store clerk at gunpoint or an abusive husband hitting his wife. However, it doesn’t have to be so extreme to be harmful. The definition of physical harm in the Washington State Legislature is defined as “any physical pain, injury, illness, or an impairment of physical condition”(27). By the terms of this definition, any source of pain that one person causes another physically is harmful. The young children that are subjected to beauty pageants suffer this every day. They are forced to bear the stinging of spray tans, the application of acrylic nails, the addition of fake eyelashes, and the tightening of constraining glitz dresses. The parents take these instances of physical harm as daily inconveniences and necessities for their children. One parent on the popular television show Toddlers and Tiaras was filmed telling her daughter that “It hurts to be beautiful”(Wolfe 432) when she winced at the stinging of her spray tan. Not only did she ignore the pain of her daughter, but also she laughed at it and poked fun of the “weakness” of her...

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