perfect ringlets and your makeup is flawless, you look like a Barbie doll. You are wearing a gorgeous
dress that is cinched to your body and barely does up at the back. It's your turn. The curtains drop and a
roar hums over four-thousand people. Welcome to a beauty pageant. By definition, a beauty contest is a
competition in which young women are judged on how they look, and the winner becomes a beauty
queen. Some people try to convince the community that it is just an innocent quest for physical beauty.
As the majority of us see it, this parade of young female bodies is not entertaining at all. Every year
beauty pageants show off over 100,000 children under the age of twelve.
“There is no chance for a mistake.” stated by Annette Hill at her own beauty pageant. Usually
the mothers are the controlling authority over the competitors. The inexperienced mothers seem more
please with any award the child receives at the pageant and less critical of the child's mistakes on stage
contrary to the experienced moms, who seem more disappointed than their child to receive a lower-
classed award than imagined.
William Pinsof, a clinical psychologist and president of the Family Institute of Northwestern
University said, “Being a little Barbie doll says your body has to be a certain way and your hair has to
be a certain way. In girls particularly, this can unleash a whole complex of destructive self-experiences
that can lead to eating disorders and all kind of body distortions in terms of body image.” Travelling,
stress and competition are everyday aspects of an adult's life, but at the age of eight, stress about body
ideals, modelling, and trophies should not come into existence. Most stage mothers claim that their
child wanted to enter the pageant on her own. Does an eight-year-old girl know whats best for her? In
1996 seven-year-old Jessica Duboff died when her parents allowed her to fly a plane across the country
because she liked it. Should parents rely on their children to know whats best for them?
Beauty Pageants are one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Throughout the
research, pageants have proved to be both negative and positive influence depending on their
surroundings. Pageants that regulate make-up usage, sexuality and competition are recognized to be a
great experiences for children. For example, Beatriz Gill, a child pageant director and a former child
participant, does not allow make-up or snug costumes in her pageants. Beatriz is on of many that have a
positive outlook on pageants, she believes pageants helped her become confident and self-assured. On
the other hand, many of the pageants researched did allow excessive make-up, hair and clothing. Some
had exceptional qualities like offering awards for all participants. Pageants have a long road before
achieving a safe environment for children without introducing them to competition, sexuality and
disappointment too early in life.