Picture yourself when you were 5 or 6 years old. What kinds of things were you doing? Maybe you were playing with a doll? Or playing on a playground? Or even helping mum in the kitchen. Now imagine your 5 year old self prancing around on a stage wearing a skimpy bathing suit, or a scratchy, uncomfortable dress.
Imagine getting a spray tan, getting your eyebrows waxed, having to shave your legs every night in the bath. All of this, just to be “beautiful”. I bet you wouldn’t have liked that very much.
Yet, each year, young children are forced into a competition which is solely based on the beauty and physicality, rather than personality, values and talent. Do we really want these young girls to think that they need to look like perfection to be accepted into today’s society?
Child beauty pageants teach young girls that their value comes from their appearance alone and that to be “beautiful” they need make up smothered on their faces, skimpy outfits, spray tans and often that they need to endure physical pain to achieve it.
While parents that participate in the pageants defend themselves by saying the pageants are confidence- building, I believe there are many other ways to teach a child confidence and self esteem than to compete in a contest of who is the most beautiful. I can’t think of anything worse for a young girls confidence than to tell her that she is not good enough and that somebody is more beautiful than her.
Another one of the arguments from parents for the pageants is that the children have fun doing it. Yes the children may enjoy getting dressed up and wearing a pretty dress, because what young girl doesn’t want to feel like a princess? But there is a difference between dress ups and the extent that the parents go to in making their daughters beautiful.
I cannot imagine one little girl enjoying getting a spray tan, eyebrows waxed, legs shaved, teeth whitened, makeup smothered across their...