ENG 2030 M/W
It’s 3:30 p.m. and Britney Campbell is returning home from school. While the rest of the neighborhood kids are changing into their play clothes or grabbing an afternoon snack, Britney is filling a plastic bag with ice in preparation for her bimonthly Botox injections. Britney is 8-years-old, and her mother has been administering the injections in her San Francisco home since she entered her daughter into the pageant circuit more than a year ago. The mother, Kerry Campbell, was asked by ABC’s Good Morning America why she feels this procedure is necessary and she responded, “Pageants mothers were just telling me about the lines on her face and how, you know a lot of the moms there, they’re giving their kids Botox. And it’s pretty much like the thing. I’m not the only one that does it” (Moss 7) Instances such as these are an outgrowth of that apotheosis of stage mother narcissism and child exploitation known as child beauty pageants. These shameless exhibitions treat small girls (and some boys) as if they were highly groomed pedigree dogs at a kennel show instead of children. Many parents enter their children in beauty pageants under the false notation that their child will be rewarded with confidence and self esteem, however, today’s pageants often foster poor body image, force children to mature at a rapid pace, and contribute to the sexualization of young girls. In order to understand the effects of child pageants, one must understand where they originated. Beauty pageants were developed in 1921 by an Atlantic City hotel owner, as a marketing tool to coerce city's tourists to remain in town longer. A local news reporter started the infamous term, still used today by saying, "lets call her 'Miss America!" Pageants were introduced into the lives of Americans and became a major event, although they were discontinued from 1929-1932 due to the Great Depression. Because of the flourishing popularity...
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