Does competing in beauty pageants adversely affect a child’s development? Pageants are a way of forcing a child to act as an adult – smearing make-up on a child and making her dress up like an adults to “supposedly” build confidence but instead giving that child the wrong message. They are basically beginning to lose their childhood. Overtime, children get very competitive and at that point in their minds all they think about is winning, not about the true purpose of a beauty pageant. Beauty pageants have a negative influence on young children.
A child’s life is supposed to revolve around academics and their social life in school, not about competing in back to back to back pageants. It is too much stress for a child to bare. Then later on, a child will acquire negative attitudes and inappropriate behavior. “Elementary school children are not aware of themselves as sexual beings”, say Rebecca A. Eder, Ann Digirolamo, and Suzanne Thompson. A child is not suppose to begin to describe themselves in that way or manner, but unfortunately this is what beauty pageants do to young little girls – develop a child too quickly. In addition, they have experiences that are abnormal for their developmental stage.
A 6-year-old beauty queen is put at risk for problems in most major areas of development: cognitive development, peer relationships, adult relationships and self-concept. ” A young girl would not have time for friends because they will be too busy to acquire any. Having friends is an important part of a child’s life because they help promote a child’s sense of adventure so they can be open to trying out new things. Make-up, acrylic nails, spray tans, false lashes, small dresses, heels. What? Is this what a mere child must face at such a young age?
This is just destroying a child’s mental health. “At best, such pageants put little girls at risk for delays in most major areas of development”, says Rebecca A. Eder. Children do not have that state of mind yet — the mentality to just focus on winning all the time and they are the being pushed into thinking that way but not purposely. After a beauty pageant is over and the child has not received any awards, she then begins to feel a sense of failure and feel unworthy about herself.
This child clearly has been taught the wrong meaning of pageants and this will bring in all the stress and anxiety a child is not even capable of handling. One of the reasons why so many girls lack self-esteem is that we live in a culture that values women for how they look more than what they can do. ” Children will grow up believing that life is mainly about physical appeal. “A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood” — Rachel Carson.
Are beauty pageants really one of the first few things a child should be participating in during their first childhood years? I child should be outside playing with their friends, exploring the world all on their own and learning from mistakes. These are a child’s first steps; this is what makes them grow into a dependent young teen or adult. Parents are the ones who push their child into competing in pageants; this is where a child’s ability to think on their own is diminished. As many know, there are different categories in a beauty pageant a child may come under.
Most of the time a child is placed in a certain category by the sponsors of the pageants and in other cases a parent is able to place their child in any category they please. Should 4-year-olds be beauty queens? This position is giving a child too much power and, of course, this child does not know how to handle that. This child may not even completely understand the importance and meaning of the title, so what’s the point? Besides the fact the pageants do indeed boost someone’s confidence young girl doesn’t need that.
Pageant parents insist that competing in beauty contests is no different from playing a sport, which also requires time and money and puts intense pressure on young competitors. Like young athletes, little beauty queens learn discipline, feel great pride in their accomplishments, and form lasting friendships”, says Justin O’Neill. This statement is partially true. Both activities do teach a child discipline and give a child a sense of accomplishment and pride but sports are something a child can find interest in because there are a wide variety of things they can participate in.
As stated before children are pushed into participating in beauty pageants by parents not because they pleased. Further into the fact that a child is now forced into something she didn’t even know existed; the child is being focused to thinking a way she isn’t used to. Winning the tiara and the cash prize is the mind set at which a parents has their child at. This is not health for a child. The popular TLC show “Toddlers and Tiaras” shows the true side of a young girl participating in pageants on and off the stage; showing the world that pageants do, in fact, affect the behavior of a child.
MaKenzie is one of the stars on the show, also known as a little diva by the way she would act off stage. She is an example of a child who has been corrupted by the fashion world. She loves herself; mirrors are her best friends. MaKenzie is just one of the many girls who think the are the best because they compete in pageants. Another one of these girls would be little Eden Wood. She has even made records and other novelty items because she feels her popularity. Most of the people of America beg to differ though. They think thats too much of her.
Its one thing to participate in the pageants, alright fine we can live with that, but having to take it to the next level and going to the mall to sign autographs for the six or seven fans you have. Basically its just being show-offs and its rude. What can a child learn by being a professional/serial beauty pageant contestant? Well, encouraging the sense of competition is okay, having a hobby to be dedicated to is okay, spending time with mom is great, but when you become a winning machine, a 1st place chaser or a tiara collector, serious psychological problems are just around the corner.
These contests promote physical beauty as a main value, complimented of course by the „special talent” and „warm hearts”. A child, especially a female that is going to pay so much attention to her looks and that knows she is being watched for it, is very likely to develop eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Also, paranoid features can occur as a response to the „no other girl is your friend here” speech, regarding the relationships between the participants (both mothers and daughters), usually all smiles and hugs at the surface but opposition can be sensed at a deeper level.
And this brings another problem to my mind, dissimulation as a form of interraction, which can be used outside contests too and become a habit. Also, seeing screaming crowds, rivers of tears at all times and having to put on an act and playing a role could lead to learning hysteric behaviors. Anxiety is no stranger for these girls either. If at first sight they seem to learn how to be prepared for stressful situation, think of this: what if the girl does not really want to participate and does this only to please her mother? What if she can’t actually dance or sing, but she has to do that anyway?
And what if she feels embarrassed? What if she would rather like to spend time with friends in her home town and not in some cheap hotel miles away from her house? Then I believe yes, anxiety and frustration are near these children at all times. These and many other psychological problems can emerge from having to be something that you are not at a very early age. And inner problems are not the only ones. Displaying such a mature look (these girls are five or six years old, yet their faces look like those of at least 16 years old) may attract unwanted public, such as pedophiles.
Paying the fee for your child’s picture to be posted on a website with heavy traffic is again, in my opinion, not the best choice to be made. Unfortunately, there have been cases of young pageant participants that have been victims in murder cases, so things are not as simple as one might think. Mothers of these children are usually trying to live their own dreams through their young daughters. I am talking about dreams that they either could not accomplish or accomplished in such way that they’ve become a way of life.
Playing dress-up with your daughter can be great, but why transform it into a full-time job? These contests usually take place on weekends, so the children that also go to school have no free time to invest into building healthy relationships, behaviors, attitudes or follow their own dreams. These parents, specifically mothers are the worst to compete with. Some pageantry moms and grandmothers are terrible losers. They blame everyone else when their kids don’t win, instead of using the experience as a learning tool for sportsmanship. Kids are smart, and they absorb everything.
They quickly pick up on the negatives of child beauty pageants. Or should I say on the negatives of bad behavior of some moms involved with child beauty pageants. As well, parents should not be living their dream of being the beauty queen, or sports star through their child. I tend to feel that the reason they act so intense with their children competing, is because they are living their dream vicariously. Parents, that is not fair to your child. Never force them into beauty pageants or anything competitive if they don’t want to become involved.
If they should lose interest in pageantry or sports, search for something else they are interested in and most importantly, don’t take it as a personal insult. The parents who put their children in beauty pageants put their children under an extreme amount of stress. The instil the idea that success=beauty at an early age for a young girl. The also instil the idea that ugly=failure. This causes the young girl to become obsessed with looks as she ages instead of things society needs, like intelligent women who can be leaders or advance society.
Childhood is very important to the development of a child into an adult, and there are not good values in child beauty pageants. These children often become vain and arrogant if they win, or depressed and have low self-esteem if they consistently lose. Making a child worry more about looks they their mental development makes stupid, ignorant kids. When you have to base your life on how you look instead of what you can do, you have to make a huge gamble, and it often leads to a child pursuing a dream job of being a model or actress.
Then, if they can’t get a job in either of these they often fall back into pornography and prostitution. Obviously, not all children who do beauty pageants follow this trend, and not all of them grow up to be dumb, but more of them than kids who kids who live normal lives do. The child doesn’t want to do it too, its normally the parent making the decision. This causes the child to think winning is a way to gain affection from their parent and losing is disappointing their parent. Watch any kid make a mistake during one of these pageants and they will immediately break down in tears.
It’s just not good for their emotional stability, mental capacity, or their future. From an opposite perspective many people seem to believe its as good as others think its bad. The contestants have to showcase themselves and walk on the ramp. Greater emphasis is laid on the looks, although intelligence and promptness play a key role to elect the winner. Training programs are also organized prior to the live telecast of shows. There are divisions for different rounds and children have to clear the subsequent rounds of talents and interviews. Children, decked up with different kinds of apparels, have to walk on the ramp.
Swimwear, sportswear, western wear, ethnic wear, theme wear, casual wear, decade wear, etc are some of looks adopted for child beauty pageants. They have to wear the typical makeup that involves glosses, lipsticks, foundations, mascara and eye shadows. I should not miss out the beauty pageant hairstyles for kids, that accentuates their hair and renders them a celebrity look. The hairdo includes styles with hair highlights and colors, being styled with the latest trends. All these activities are carried out systematically. Therefore, children become independent in the world of glamor.
At a young age, they become confident and accomplished. Such shows inculcate patience and perseverance, making them practical. Sometimes, beauty contests are part of academics, helping children to boost up their smartness and confidence. Winners are awarded scholarships and the shows organized for charity service develop a sense of responsibility in them. Preparing for the pageant requires time and patience, hair lasting around an hour and forty-five minutes, make-up around an hour. Different performances for every pageant require some participants to practice for about seven hours a week.
Stage mothers for the eight to ten age group in Universal Royalty, say it is worth all the trouble and effort since it instills happiness, poise in front of a crowd, confidence, pride and a sense of accomplishment. In this particular event, the eight to ten age group was the toughest competition in Universal Royalty because three of the girls were more experienced, one girl even having her mom coach other pageantry children. For example, Sabra Johnson, a ten year old experienced child contestant, one of the threatening ingredients in this competition has aspirations of landing a major modeling career and until then, modeling at the pageants.
Sabra started competing in pageants at the age of four and was awarded three hundred trophies. While the child was interviewed by A&E Network she kept looking over at her mom for reassurance of her thoughts. She never mentioned coming education; she solely relied on her appearance for her future. These pageants bring out the worst side of the girls who participate. They are as grown as can be without even being adults. These pageant children should not be flaunting themselves around all over stage being seen as “jail bait” to people watching which is roughly over ten thousand.
The children should be doing something to better themselves rather than getting dolled up and looking older than their age to show who is the prettiest. Pageants are a bad example for everyone and should not be a glamorous as they are seen.