Long Term Effects of Sexualizing Adolescents in Beauty Pageant

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  • Topic: Self-esteem, Roy Baumeister
  • Pages : 2 (777 words )
  • Download(s) : 333
  • Published : May 1, 2013
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Child beauty pageants may seem like harmless fun, but the actual effects it has on adolescents is not worth the public adoration. Some people believe that pageants do not have long lasting effects on them, and that, for children, pageants just give them the opportunity to play dress up. Even though children may not be affected immediately, the values that pageants instill are buried in their subconscious. By judging children at such young ages based solely off outward appearance, they grow up with a distorted psyche, which later affects them in their adult life. Since the media provides children with unrealistic standards of appearance, and pageants teach them that attractiveness is the key to success, many downsides follow, including poor body image, low self-esteem, and low self worth; all of which can result in eating disorders, depression, and a very messed up psyche from being sexualized so prematurely.

While some may say that it’s all just fun and games for the children, it effects them in the long run by being around that type of environment and mindset. However, former Miss Maryland, April Brilliant, is a strong believer that pageants are just like dress up for girls, rather than them being sexualized too early and shares her opinion with ABC News. “[Brilliant] says that critics misconstrue what the girls do when they take the stage. ‘I wouldn't say it's sexualized,’ she said. ‘I think that they're more just trying to be a model and it's more of a dance routine than anything.’” (Beauty Pageants Draw Children and Criticism). Her opinion is valued since she competed in pageants and claims no negative psychological effects.The difference between dress up and pageants, though, is that dress up is among friends just for fun, while in pageants, kids are winning money and prizes against other kids based off appearance alone.

In child beauty pageants, adolescents are judged among peers based off superficial measures. By having children at such a young age...
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