Child Beauty Pageants

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Children's beauty pageants have been around for a long time. I admit that as someone raised in the North and on the West Coast, I never really encountered this phenomenon in my daily life. Recently, two different reality shows have popped up on TLC that exposes the viewer to the works of pageants. The shows are titled "Little Miss Perfect" and "Toddlers and Tiaras". As I'm the mother of a pre-teen daughter, I watched both of these shows with a horrified curiosity. I have certainly garnered some opinions.

One of the arguments against children's beauty pageantshas to do with pedophilia and that this may encourage that. I honestly don't believe that argument has much merit. What I'm most concerned about is the message that it sends to girls and the unhealthy relationships that it perpetuates between parent and child. Not to mention the fact that girl's as young as 3 and 4 are going on stage and shaking their butts and making kissy faces to the audience in skimpy costumes. While I don't believe that it encourages pedophilia, it certainly will give that child a warped sense of the importance of female sexuality.

There are many different types of pageants, but the ones that I've seen on the shows are the "Glitz" pageants. These types of pageants involve full hair, makeup, tanning, lashes and costumes that make a drag show look tame. Its one thing to apply some lip gloss and a few hot rollers. It's quite another to make your 5 year old resemble a Vegas show girl. There is absolutely no reason that all of that is necessary! What is the point? Is it to prove who can apply the most makeup or who can paint on the best tan? If there is going to be a pageant for children that involves beauty, at least it should involve the child's natural beauty and features. One of the arguments for pageants is that it promotes self confidence and that the children have fun doing it. I can't speak for the children, but children also have fun running outside, riding bikes and swimming....
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