In countries all around the world, beauty pageants are held as a long-standing tradition. Often, young women participate in these pageants. While pageants are said to present a sense of self-esteem and value for the participants, these competitions often cause damaging emotional issues for an already trying adolescent life. One young participant anonymously said, "I used to think I was pretty, but once I got on stage and didn't hear my name called the world came to an end and from then on, I've called myself ugly everyday" (Anonymous, 2010). When a girl feels as if she is being valued solely on her looks, she may change her personality and dietary habits to an unsafe level to continuously garner attention. The beauty pageant process is far from the safe harmonious competition it attempts to promote. As the rest of this essay suggest, damaging emotional scars often remain after the competitions are long gone, and pageants themselves harbor predatory dangers to young naïve girls.
The first kind of emotional damage young girls face is an overemphasis on physical appearance and a willingness to maintain beauty at any cost. When a female participates in a beauty pageant, she is taught to win by looking attractive. These young girls are conditioned to believe that the only way to look pretty is to starve themselves so that they can achieve a ‘perfect figure’. Although there are many different types of eating disorders in the world, the biggest one of all for beauty pageants is anorexia. Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents (Mirasol). Outside of eating disorders, anxiety and stress are common for participants. In a 2009 interview on Good Morning America, Brooke Breedwell, a pageant queen at the age of five, now twenty, explained there was a price to pay, "Pageants have put a lot of stress and anxiety on my life I feel the need to be perfect at everything, and I know that's not realistic. You can't be perfect...
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