Beauty Pageants Research Paper

Submitted By natalie553
Words: 1529
Pages: 7

Natalie Hatfield

ENGL 1020

Professor Todd

March 26th, 2014

Exploratory Paper

The Effects of Beauty Pageants on Kids

The term “Beauty Pageant” is a common term in the beauty industry these days. The publicity for these glamor competitions has been on the rise and has been causing some controversial debates. Although most people believe pageants are strictly for adults, child pageants are the new craze, attracting millions. According to Schultz and Pleshette, “Children are the fastest-growing segment of the beauty pageant market, with annual children's competitions attracting an estimated 3 million children, mostly girls, ages six months to 16 years, who compete for crowns and cash.” (1). Doctors, media, families, magazines, etc, have all been discussing the true advantages and disadvantages of the these kiddie pageants. My question surrounding the debate is this; what kind of relationship is kept between the child and the parents regarding these pageants? Do they see the emotional distress start to take over the child and choose not to speak up? Are they more interested in the money and the fame rather than the well being of their child? Or do they truly want what is best for their child? These types of controversial questions seem to be the surrounding buzz concerning beauty pageants. The concept of “beauty competitions” has been around for quite some time, even as far back as the Greeks. Although there were never any official “glamor competitions,” a legend states that the goddesses would compete with each other and compare one another’s beauty and elegance. The competition took place between Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena, while a meager mortal man made his decision. After deliberating for hours and listening to each of the goddesses bribes, he chose the goddess Aphrodite, who promise the hand of the most gorgeous mortal woman of all, Helen of Troy. It’s said that after his decision, he unknowingly began the Trojan War. As the years went on, many other displays of beauty took place throughout the country among women. People were starting to become more and more open to the idea and in 1921 the first Miss America pageant took place, thus beginning the on going tradition. Although beauty pageants seem to be harmless and fun for young girls, recent debates surrounding the topic have brought about some questionable issues. After the hit show, “Toddlers and Tiara’s” first aired, people have been questioning the treatment of these little pageant queens. People should be aware of these issues for multiple reasons. No one wants to see a little girl forced onto a runway wearing painful hair pieces, pounds of makeup, and crazed parents pushing them on stage no matter what the girls have to say about it. We need to stand up to these parents and administrations in order to guarantee not only a fun, but safe experience for these little ones. For some, the beauty pageant world is a disgrace. People believe that the children are “over sexualized” and that the parents have not a care in the world about the well being of their child. In a recent article concerning beauty pageants, Laura Agadoni goes on to talk about the financial aspect of beauty pageants and how parents are spending crazy amounts of money on the pageant necessities. She states, “ Beauty pageants are expensive, and some parents use money that could be spent on education or maybe family vacations on pageants. The average cost of a pageant dress is $1,000, and some cost as much as $5,000, according to a "Good Morning America" report.”(2). After winning certain cash prizes in these competitions, parents pocket the money and use it on more pageant supplies instead of putting it towards a college fund or something that will benefit their child later on. As always, pageants will always receive criticism on the treatment of the young girls participating, however; others firmly believe that these competitions are the best thing for their kids in terms of self