Child Beauty Pageants

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Cover Letter
I was very worried at first about writing this paper because I could not decide on a specific topic and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to write 3 to 4 pages on it. After writing the paper I probably would not include as much background information on the child beauty pageants so that I had more space left for the topic I was writing on. I also may have chosen an even more specific topic concerning these beauty pageants so that I would have been able to go into more detail about the psychological effects during and after children participate in the beauty pageants. I definitely could have continued to write on the topic that I chose had we not been given a limit on the number of pages.

I chose this topic because I wanted something that I believe society’s views has affected. We have already talked so much about violence in the media and entertainment so I wanted to choose something at the other end of the spectrum. I have always found this topic to be disturbing after watching a few episodes of TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras. I wanted to choose a topic that I felt passionate about so that I was able to put my all into the paper.

My other main concern for writing this paper is that I would not be able to find enough references to use. Especially one’s that I could use to out of our book that could specifically identify with the topic at hand. After I choose my topic and started researching and quickly found that this was not the case. There are many resources that share the same view as I and a lot more studies than I would have expected. Once again my only regret is that I ran out of pages. I would have liked to use more of these resources and been able to quote more of what they had to say. I would have liked to have more room to show how some of what was said by the authors in our book pertained to this subject.

I hope that you enjoy this paper and are able to relate to my views.

A child beauty pageant is defined as a beauty contest featuring contestants including and younger than 18 years of age. Divisions include but are not limited to talent, interview, sportswear, casual wear, swim wear, western wear, theme wear, outfit of choice, decade wear, and evening wear. These competitions typically include the child wearing makeup and elaborate hairstyles. These children are judged on things ranging from looks, poise and perfection to capability and confidence. Beauty pageants were started in Canada in 1921. They came from an idea that an Atlantic City hotel owner had that it would help boost tourism. Since then interest in these pageants has grown considerably. It has also become an increasingly lucrative business that grosses about a billion dollars a year. (Child Beauty Pageant) You would think with all of the fuss over these pageants that there would be laws set to regulate them, but surprisingly there are not. Except for laws that regulate child education these pageants have no governing over them. The contestants are not considered to be working (even though they are forced to practice hours upon hours weekly) so they are exempt from any child labor laws. (Child Beauty Pageant) There are many variations of rules for each pageant because they are all different. The one rule that seems to withstand throughout all is that you must provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate when entering. Why? Because so many mothers were registering older children in a younger age group so that their child could look more mature and sophisticated. (Nussbaum) So what exactly do these children go through to be able to participate? In addition to all of the practicing they must do, they must have their hair done (lasting almost two hours), makeup (an hour), fittings for dresses, traveling long rides in the car, all of the other time consuming tasks they must endure in order to “perfect” themselves, etc. All of this to spend about 90 seconds on stage, when did these kids stop being allowed to be kids? And what do...
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