As a whole, American society tends to value beauty. Beauty is valued so much that parents decide to show off their beautiful little girls by entering them into children’s pageants. Unfortunately, many Americans are mislead on the results of pageantry and fail to notice the negative effects and potential danger it can put their daughters in.
The most popular type of beauty pageant is the high glitz pageant. These allow for any alterations to be made to the girls to make them prettier. Parents invest in special clothing, hairpieces, makeup artists, manicures, pedicures, tanning and even pageant coaches in order for their daughter to win. Without all of these enhancements, winning a pageant would be impossible, proving to the young girls that superficial beauty is far superior to natural beauty.
The picture below shows just how dramatic of a change these girls must undergo in order to be ready for a pageant.
Some parents take their daughter’s beauty to an all new level of importance. The video below tells the story of a San Francisco mother who injects her daughter with Botox in order to reduce her wrinkles.
Many people would agree that this video is appalling and yes, it would be easy to judge the mother and her decisions. But had the pageant world not put such a stress on her and her daughter to be perfect, Botox injections never would have been necessary.
Plenty of people find these children’s pageants shocking and they are not afraid to voice their opinions through Twitter.
One user comments,
Another user posted a video comparing the girls from Toddlers and Tiaras to a recent episode of American Horror Story.
In addition to the warped meaning of beauty these girls will learn from pageants, the girls learn that behaving in a sexual manner is acceptable. Former detective, Stacy Dittrich who specializes in sex crimes, claims that she is not necessarily against the nature of beauty pageants but recognizes the potential dangers of them being broadcasted on television. She states, “When I see pageants on TV, I think, these are the types of videos those pedophiles would watch. On TV, they are not only giving out the names of these children, but they also tell you what towns these little girls live in, it would not be difficult whatsoever for an obsessive pedophile to track these children down” (McKay).
Parents turn their daughters into miniature adults for the sake of winning a pageant. The clip below shows a mom who dressed her daughter as Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman as a means to win a pageant.
Winning a beauty pageant is not easy and sometimes extreme measures must be taken in order to win. These extreme measures put young girls not only in physical danger but can cause serious damage to their self esteem later in life. Today girls should be taught that there is much more to beauty than their physical appearance. These girls are the future and it is our job to ensure they grow up to be good representatives of our society.
ABC News. “Pageant Mom Gives Botox to 8-Year-Old, Defends Actions (2011)” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 12 May, 2011. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
Before and After Pageant Pictures: Madison More. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
HLN. “Pageant mom defends daughter’s hooker costume.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 8 Sept. 2011. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
(lightningafi). “Watching Toddlers and Tiaras…why the hell is an 18 month child having a spray tan…?” 1 Dec. 2014, 5:15 a.m. Tweet.
McKay, Hollie. “Parents of Children on TLC’s ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’ Hurting Their Kids, Critics Say.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 03 June 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
(whitneyy_jadee). “American Horror Story got their inspiration from Toddlers and Tiaras…” 12 Nov. 2014, 12:04 a.m. Tweet.