Child Beauty Pageants Are Pageants Essay

Child Beauty Pageants Are Pageants Essay

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It was the day after Christmas in 1996 when 6 year old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was murdered, she was found with a skull fracture and there was evidence of sexual molestation. The investigation is still unsolved and ongoing but it is thought that her prominence in the local pageant circuit made her an obvious target for child predators (Bio., 2011). Child beauty pageants are pageants in which the contestants are under the age of 16, many of the participants start performing when they’re as young as a few months old and continue doing pageants until adulthood. Underage beauty pageants have been around for over 50 years, and have now become a common hobby and are most commonly found in the South. While these competitions have gained popularity rapidly in the last twenty years or so they are still an event which rallies strong cries of protest from those who oppose them. Anyone from psychologists to female rights activists have shared their voice in objection to these events. Child beauty pageants are a way to capitalize on the hypersexualization of underage females and instills an equalization of beauty and worth in girls who are young and impressionable, often leading to psychological damage later in their lives. This could lead one to weigh in on the debate of whether or not child beauty pageants exploit underage girls, with a firm yes.
The children who regularly compete know nothing but pageants, one former child beauty queen Brooke Breedwell spoke about her childhood as a someone who frequented pageants, she said “my mum would pull me away from my friends and transform me from a tomboy into a beauty queen because she insisted I needed to practice every day.” (Hardingham Gill, 2012) Because of this often all-consuming act...


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...nt; is strongly associated with eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression; leads to fewer girls pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and causes diminished sexual health”’ (Henson, 2011) Years of constant competition is harmful to the psyche of anyone, let alone a young child.
Child beauty pageants are harmful and exploitive to the children participating in them. The psychological damage that results from these competitions and the nature of making beauty so important is dangerous to budding generations and continues medieval beliefs of male superiority. Like many other countries such as France (Rubin, 2013) and Ireland (O’Halloran, 2014) which have made laws against underage beauty pageants, America too should take a stand and ban child beauty pageants. These pageants are bad for children and for American culture and society.

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