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Pros & Cons of Child Beauty Pageants

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Althea Ansah

on 18 June 2013

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Transcript of Pros & Cons of Child Beauty Pageants

The Brighter Side
Child pageants have some cons in it that proves pageants can be harmful for the contestants from time to time, but it's not all that bad. There are some pros about pageants that will have a positive and helpful impact on the young girls who enter. Even though this brighter side of child beauty pageants seems a bit slight, it will have an effect on the contestants and how they act in their future.
Pros & Cons of Child Beauty Pageants
The Dark Truth
Who could explain to those young immature girls that true beauty comes from the inside, that their talents and personalities are more important than attractiveness and outside beauty? They shouldn't be focused on beauty and full glitz at a young age, but truly the influence of child beauty pageants will have extremely harmful effects on the contestants' bodies & brains and these effects of pageants may haunt the contestants' lives forever.
High Expenses
Child pageants are the most expensive competitions ever. Full glitz pageants are the most expensive child pageants, with the cost of the custom-made dresses alone costing over $12,000! But that's just the beginning; preparation before a pageant will cost much more money, including the use of hair stylists, makeup artists, professional choreographers, singing instructors, gym coaches, props, head shots and extra accessories to complement an outfit. With all of those expenses for prep and a few entry fees, the cost will end up over $8,000! Child pageants will place a major financial strain on families members, eventually leading them into debt.
Beauty pageants. It's all about the elaborate dresses, stiff competition, and young women who want to be named beautiful. Starting in the 1920's just as a tourist attraction for Atlantic City, the "Bathing Beauties" adult beauty pageant evolved over the years into national competitions where young women are judged not only on attractiveness, but on their talents, poise, speaking skills and personality. The one woman who has all of these will be crowned the title of Miss America. Pageants however, aren't only for adults. This is the beginning of child beauty pageants.
Keep Their Tiaras Off Our Toddlers!
A couple of years after JonBenet Ramsay's death, child beauty pageants became an inevitable debate about the true purpose of its competitions. For example, some parents believe that young girls shouldn't enter pageants and the competitions should be banned; they're thinking that pageants will teach their daughters that the only things to succeed in life are attractiveness + physical appearance and that wearing inappropriate stripper outfits along with being flirtatious in front of the judges to win a competition is something they should be doing at a young age. Other parents have a different opinion on the situation. They believe that their little girls will gain life skills and self-confidence when entering pageants. They'll also learn how to stand in front of a crowd to gain social skills that will help them in their future to be proper individuals. Because of these tough critiques, parents are questioning whether this type of pageant should be banned.
Overall History
The Start of Child Beauty Pageants
The first child beauty pageant, titled Little Miss America, started in the 1960's. It was inspired by the "Bathing Beauties" adult beauty pageant in the 1920's, so this pageant was popular in major cities of America. This pageant began in Palisades Amusement Park of New Jersey also as a tourist attraction. Young girls between the ages of 13 and 17 entered, but as the number of contestants increased dramatically, there were age divisions added along with girls under the age of 10 entering. Several years later, over 25,000 child beauty pageants evolved across the U.S. and girls at the ages of 2 & above enter pageants.
The only thing that young girls dream of is to be a fashion icon, to be famous & popular. They don't mind being Cinderella or a princess for a day. Child beauty pageants give them the opportunity to be famous & beautiful. With all of the glitz & glamor, cash prizes and major publicity, what girl wouldn't want all of this? Although, there was one girl who tragically payed the price for her small dream coming true. JonBenet Ramsay was an ordinary girl who had a dream of being a fashion icon. Her dream came true when she became famously known as a child beauty queen for winning several pageants. She was only 6 years old however, when she was brutally murdered. The event of her murder flashed on every news channel as everyone discovered the darker side of child pageants and the terrible death of an innocent little girl. JonBenet's bright dream of being a fashion icon turned into a deadly nightmare.
Dream Gone Deadly
Physical Health at Serious Risk
Child pageants also has a negative impact on a child's physical health and body. Children are extremely fragile human beings that needs to be cared for and loved. When they enter pageants however, it's a whole other story. The contestants will do anything to win a competition; they would even push themselves to the limit and do harm to their bodies in the process. They would start using cosmetics, skin care products, and medications to improve their looks & appearance, and they would consume energy drinks to be wide awake & energetic during a pageant, but these things are harming their fragile bodies instead. To control their weight, the girls would go on extreme diets, eating little to no food, or regurgitating food once eaten. Doctors refer to this condition as anorexia nervosa, a serious eating disorder which can be dangerous and even deadly for young girls.
Building Self-Confidence
Child pageants have negative impacts on a child's mental health & emotions. For example, pageants focus mainly on attractiveness + physical appearance as primary features to win a pageant, which contestants may believe are the only things to succeed in life. It means that they'll pay more attention to beauty. Also, they would start to compare themselves with other girls causing resentment, jealousy and narcissism; emotions that they shouldn't feel at a young age. How someone experiences a pageant, if she wins or loses, may corrupt her mind with negative feelings of herself or other contestants. For example, if she wins several pageants, she may turn into a vain and spoiled brat, focusing more on her looks and beauty which will leave no room for her personality or studies. In contrast, if she doesn't win any pageants, she'll feel disappointed and unattractive, causing repercussions in her future, leading to a depression.
Gaining Life Skills & Talent
Damage To Mental Health
Learn How To Handle Disappointment
The Reality of Child Beauty Pageants
Child pageants give young girls a boost in self-confidence. In pageants, judges don't look for beauty in the contestants alone. They also look for their talents and personalities, which the girls will develop to win. They learn how to stand up in front of a stage and to present their selves by performing their special talents so they will also gain social skills. Child pageants are perfect for girls who are shy and have stage fright because backstage, there are professionals who support every contestants as they move on through the stages of the competition. Their job is to make sure that the girls are on stage with a positive attitude and a smile on their faces. Building self-confidence into young girls is one of the major objectives in the beauty pageant industry, and the main reason why some parents enter their daughters.
From giving young girls a boost of self-confidence or an eating disorder, and turning her into a well-rounded individual or a spoiled & vain brat, child beauty pageants are harmful and helpful at the same time. Even though this inevitable debate about the true purpose of pageants is still present, realizing the reality of this type of pageant is very important. The truth is that pageants for kids is both pro and con, neither one of them. Parents and officials still have their beliefs about the situation, on why this pageant is good or bad; they are just wrong on taking sides. Overall, young girls may need to rethink their dream of being a fashion icon. Otherwise, those girls would have to learn the reality of child beauty pageants the hard way.
Child pageants will teach girls important life skills and talent. In pageants, the girls are judged in several categories in the competition, not only in the beauty part. They need to stand and walk in front of a crowd, create the perfect smile, develop their talent, and speak with clarity & definition during the interview stage. All of these tasks will improve their social, communication and proper speaking skills. These skills that the girls gain from child pageants will turn them into well rounded and capable individuals in the future.
Young girls who enter pageants will learn that winning isn't everything. In any competition, not everyone is going to win; some don't win at all. The most successful contestant will take a loss and turn it into determination to do better at the next competition. Being sincerely happy for the winner will show generosity and proper sportsmanship.This trait mark a confident individual, who will be a winner in life. The winner of a pageant learns that winning isn't important; that being a gracious winner by complimenting the runner-ups shows proper sportsmanship as well.
Althea Ansah
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