The Advantages and Disadvantages of Child Beauty Pageants

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Juan Amador, 2587245
Professor Brentar
ENG 101 SEC 5
25 November 2012
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Child Beauty Pageants
In today’s world, there are quite a few things that bother us Americans. One controversial topic at-hand would be child beauty pageants. The article, “Playing at Sexy” written by Peggy Orenstein, goes into detail of the negative effects of showcasing one’s child in a pageant. Hilary Levey takes a different approach to child beauty pageants. She finds them to be just as helpful as children who take after school lessons in her scholarly article, “Pageant Princesses and Math Whizzes.” Both articles take two different takes on the child pageant world. In reality though, pageants can just be as damaging as helpful. Two of the major concerns are the cause of numerous health risks, and the many concerns of sexualizing young girls. Child beauty pageants have been referred to as a sport. Like any other sport, child beauty pageants should be strictly regulated with rules that include the child’s health and well-being.

When it comes to beauty pageants, there can be many significant health risks when preparing for a pageant. The number one health risk reported by Dr. Travis Stork on the show The Doctors is the use of hairspray. A chemical in hairspray, known as phthalates is not good for human inhalation. It is known to be a hormone disrupter which causes many problems. There is a connection between liver cancer and phthalates, Dr. Stork stated (“Should”). There is also a connection between phthalates and reproductive damage. We have to realize that these young children are not only inhaling what is being sprayed onto their own heads, but also what other parents are spraying on their own child’s head around them. This increases the amount of hairspray a child will inhale at a beauty pageant, making their risks for problems higher.

Another health concern Dr. Stork mentions is the problem with wearing elevated, high heels. Little...
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