The Price of Beauty
In today’s society it is believed that being of a certain color, a certain weight, and having specific characteristics is what makes someone beautiful. The movie “Little Miss Sunshine” directed by: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, is about a young girl named Olive who dreams of being in beauty pageants. In the first scenes of the movie it shows Olive mimicking the winner of the Miss America pageant in ah and amazement. Olive is invited to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in California by default, which leads her and her dysfunctional family on a great journey to California. Although the journey is filled with turmoil and loss, their main priority is to get Olive to the pageant. At first glance, Olive is not what one would think of when beauty comes to mind. She is pudgy, very tall for her age, with black rimmed coke bottle glasses, and a style only she can appreciate. By setting a specific model and certain standards The Little Miss Sunshine pageant is a symbol of commercialized American beauty. The pageant is a shallow representation of beauty in America. Children’s beauty pageants are filled with prosthetic teeth, fake and teased hair, makeup, and very risqué outfits. This is what America is portraying to society and even more to its young contestants as being beautiful. Anna L. Wonderlich of the University of Minnesota did a study on twenty two women, eleven had participated in childhood beauty pageants and eleven had not. “This study evaluated the association between childhood beauty pageants and adult disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, depression, and self-esteem. Childhood pageant participants scored higher on body dissatisfaction, interpersonal distrust, and impulse deregulation than non-participants, and showed a trend toward greater ineffectiveness.”(Wonderlich) Many of the young contestants are led to believe that if they fit into a specific mold rather than being themselves they will be beautiful. By being judged...
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