Beauty pageants of children have grown in popularity over the previous decade, notably in the last few years. Today, shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo are very popular among population. These shows portray the glitzy side of beauty pageants. However, there are other disadvantages to children’s beauty pageants that are not broadcast on television. This paper is written with the sole intent of demonstrating how incorrect children’s beauty pageants are. Children would benefit enormously from a ban on children’s beauty pageants, or at the very least rigorous limits on what they can and cannot do in pageants.
Children’s perceptions of themselves can be negatively influenced by beauty pageants. Beauty pageants instill in children the belief that appearance and look are the most important things in the world. This can lead to low self-esteem in children who believe they aren’t attractive enough. This self-perception can lead to issues later in life, such as eating disorders, among youngsters who believe that having a flawless body is the most essential thing (Cruz, 194). When parents insist on excessive makeup, fake eyelashes, flippers (false teeth to cover missing teeth), and spray tans for pageants, it’s extremely difficult for youngsters to see themselves as attractive. There are also issues with how the kids are perceived on stage. All of the hair, cosmetics, and clothing that children wear make them appear to be not just miniature adults, but also sex objects. According to Cruz, females can lose points if their dress or dancing moves are not appropriate for their age; however, this is not always the case as some rules are neglected in during the stage.
Parents are harming their children’s health by allowing them to participate in beauty contests. Up to two weeks before the pageant, parents frequently restrict or closely supervise what their children eat. This may prevent the young girls from receiving all of the nutrients they require to thrive. Some parents put their children on unusual diets in order to help them lose weight and gain energy. Children on “crash diets” are not allowed to eat anything or almost nothing for several hours or even a day before the pageant in the hopes of losing weight swiftly. There are also special diets that allow youngsters to consume high-sugar foods and beverages in the aim of boosting their energy and excitement. There are other techniques for parents to ensure that their children have the energy to shine on stage during the day of the pageant. To keep children awake and aware throughout the pageant, caffeinated beverages, energy drinks, and Pixy Stixs, sometimes known as “pageant crack,” are frequently given to them in huge, hazardous quantities (Whitney, 453). As such, children’s health is in danger during such shows.
For these tiara babies, self-esteem difficulties and melancholy can linger far into adulthood. The lifestyle of child beauty pageant contestants has been shown to be one of stress and low self-esteem, which can lead to a variety of mental and physical illnesses as the youngsters grow up. While it is evident that child beauty pageants can be harmful to contestants, particularly those who begin competing at a young age, nothing is being done to address the issue. After competing in contests, some youngsters have conflicts with their classmates or siblings. Envy or jealousy might be problematic, especially if the youngster wears a title.
Psychological well-being of children can also be negatively influenced by participating in beauty competitions. A child may be encouraged to give it their all, but if they fail, they may believe that their best isn’t good enough. Even though these youngsters are very young, this could be a form of mental conditioning that they will keep with them for years. Disappointment experienced at an early age might become deeply ingrained in them. Failure and humiliation feelings can also be fostered in the child. Some parents believe that participating in this form of competition empowers their children, as it improves their confidence, speaking skills, interview skills, and capacity to make friends. Yet, in reality, children grow with insecurities that should not be at their age (Ging, 420). Kids frequently appear to prioritize pleasing their parents over anything else. The unspoken message from that is to prioritize the wants and desires of others over your own that later would result in serious psychological traumas.
To conclude, a youngster who is unable to make decisions for himself or herself should not be exploited, even for a pageant. The kids are overdressed and have far too much makeup on. These children are dressed up as dolls or miniature adults. As a result of participating in pageants as a child, they believe that appearance is everything and that it is the only thing that matters. Moreover, such beauty competitions seriously harm children’s both physical and mental health.
Cruz, Hanna Therese. “Beyond Crowns, Sashes, and Heels: Factors Associated with Self-esteem and Achievement Motivation among Local Beauty Pageant Candidates in the Philippines.” International Journal of Recent Advances in Multidisciplinary Topics 2.6 (2021): 193-199.
Ging, Debbie, et al. “# Slane Girl, beauty pageants and padded bras: flashpoints in the sexualisation of children debate in Irish media and political discourse.” Feminist Media Studies 19.3 (2019): 412-427.
Whitney, Jennifer Dawn. “Working Girls: Economies of Desire in the American Child Beauty Pageant.” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 12.3 (2019): 452-470.