A beauty pageant or beauty contest is a competition that focuses on just that: The physical beauty of its contestants. Children's beauty pageants mainly focus on beauty, gowns, sportswear modelling, talent, and personal interviews, possible awards include titles, tiaras or crowns, sashes, savings bonds, and cash prizes.
I strongly believe that these contests reinforce the idea that girls should be valued primarily for their physical appearance, and that this puts tremendous pressure on girls to conform to usual beauty standards by spending time and money on fashion, cosmetics, hair styling and even cosmetic surgery. This also encourages some young girls to diet to the point of harming themselves and causing health affects including bulimia and anorexia.
Child psychotherapist Collett Smart, whose practice sees many young girls with eating disorders and with low self-esteem, believes that the government should enforce action to put a stop to beauty pageants from running, before young girls are mentally affected from the pressure of trying to look better than everyone else; she believes that these contests should be banned.
Body image is the number one problem of young girls. It’s cruel to judge little girls on their appearance, to say to a young girl, no, you're not pretty enough. By doing this we're setting them up for plastic surgery and Botox injections and as a society, we must not sit by and let that happen.
Melinda Tankard, who is organising the petition to ban child beauty pageants, said presenting children in such a way was identical to child abuse and that it’s just not healthy.
Beauty Pageants are abusive towards the child, imagine a young girl screaming begging her mum not to tear it off as she’s held down in the chair for a brow waxing. Putting a young girl through hours of hair dying, waxing, tanning, dieting and who knows what else just so she can look like “Cindy Crawford” is child neglect. How would you feel if your daughter, sister or friend was going through that?
A TV program called “Toddlers and Tiaras” also plays a major part on influencing young girls to participate in beauty pageants. They show the journey of young girls who are involved in the beauty pageants and their performances on the show. If you have seen clips from the show you will know that the young girl’s mothers are forcing these children to perform! One child stated she wanted to take a break and the mother ignored her and kept asking her, "Do you want to win?" This behavior shown from the parents is very wrong and they should not force their child to do something that they don’t wish to participate in.
Beauty Pageants are not something that I would want my children being involved in and I am sure you would all agree with me! They teach young girls of today that beauty is all about having the fake tan, makeup, fake eyelashes etc. when really you don’t know how pretty a girl is