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Child Beauty Pageants

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Autor:   •  October 3, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  548 Words (3 Pages)  •  3,882 Views

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Children should not participate in beauty pageants due to the vain personality they will develop from being taught to believe that the most important issue in life is to be prettier than every other young girl. Children are brought into the world knowing nothing, except for what is instilled in them by their guardians. It is unfortunate that this pure vision of life is then altered by the child's participation in beauty pageants.

Children who participate in beauty pageants never truly get a chance at having a real childhood. Instead, these children are brought up in the delusional world of glitz and glamour, controlled by their mothers (Murphy, n.y). Syd Brown, a child and adolescent psychologist from Maryland said: "What they are learning basically is that they have one characteristic which is of total primary importance, and that is their body and their attractiveness" (Murphy, n.y). From this, children could potentially mature into shallow individuals, going on to develop relationships based solely on physical attributes.

Ever since the unfortunate and sudden death of child pageant star JonBenet Ramsey in 1996, the pageant industry has been held under much scrutiny. After her brutal murder, the media began to look further into the child pageant industry (Maliakal, 2010). After JonBenet's body was found mutilated, Fox News repeatedly showed photos and videos of her dancing, singing, and flirting on the pageant stage (Reed, 2006). JonBenet was exploited through child beauty pageants by her mother, which led to her untimely death (Reed, 2006). Pageant mothers will stop at nothing to ensure that their child has been dolled up enough to crush the competition.

Childhood should be a time for spontaneity, excitement, and learning new things. It should not be focused on learning poise, being made up like a Barbie doll, or creating a mad dash to adulthood. Child beauty pageants are judged on the basis of superficial standards of overly made-up "children." Contestants are scored on talent, costumes, and overall aesthetics. Children who participate in pageants often mature with the belief that beauty and external appearance is all that matters. This can lead to severe eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia, in order to maintain the perfect body (Maliakal, 2010). Lucia Grosaru, a clinical psychologist, states, "paranoid features can occur as a response to the 'no other girl is your friend here' speech, regarding the relationships between the participants, usually all smiles and hugs at the surface but opposition can be sensed at a deeper level" (Grosaru, 2011).

The easy access of the Internet and televised media of such events has increased the number of sexual predators (Reed, 2006). Portraying a much older appearance on a young lady and plastering it on highly viewed Internet sites and/or television can lead to unwanted attention from pedophiles. Sexual predators

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