Beauty Pageants and Our Children

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Beauty Pageants and Our Children
Alost 3 million children, most of them girls, from the ages of 6 months and 17 years compete in beauty pageants annually in America. Competition can be local and national and they compete in categories such as swimwear, talent, costume of your choice, and eveningwear. This is an industry where mothers give her daughter energy drinks for a boost before pageants, 3-year-olds don fake fingernails, and parents regularly spend five thousand dollars on a child's pageant outfit (O’Neill 1). Beauty pageants have negative consequences on America’s youth contestants through the pressure to be “perfect,” media influences, and child sexualization, which results in exhaustion, eating disorders, and body image issues in their future.

In recent years, the child beauty pageant industry has exponentially grown in size and popularity. This growth is mainly due to television shows, such as Toddlers & Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo that may be entertaining but exploit little girls in the process. These reality shows expose the behind-the-scenes horrors of beauty pageants that most people were oblivious too before. These shows have also revealed the use of energy supplements to improve the contestants performance, age-inappropriate costumes, intense and painful beauty regimens. Alana Thompson, featured on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, is a seven-year-old beauty queen, nicknamed Honey Boo Boo, whose mother frequently gives her the infamous “Go-Go Juice”, a mix of Red Bull and Mountain Dew, before pageants. It is common knowledge that energy drinks are bad for one’s health, but every nutritionist in the world would agree that Red Bull for a seven-year-old is tremendously dangerous. Alana now has her own reality television show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Parents are not only harming their children’s health but also their moral. On one Toddlers & Tiaras episode, Paisley, merely 3-years-old, sported a costume based on the prostitute in...
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