Often beauty pageants feature an “outfit of choice” portion where parents and their children can collaborate in deciding their desired ensemble. On the TLC hit series Toddler and Tiaras, a three-year-old child entered a glitz beauty pageant, and in the “outfit of choice” portion, she dressed as Julia Robert’s character from Pretty Woman (O’Neill 20-21). In other words, a mother dressed her three-year-old child as a prostitute in hopes of winning a pageant. Young girls all around the country compete in beauty pageants that, on the surface, seem like harmless fun, but the negative consequences of juvenile beauty pageants drastically outweigh the benefits. Modern-day beauty pageants are starting to be taken to the extreme, thus the children that participate are being denied the fun of a little friendly competition. Pageant parents are becoming a major contributor to this growing extremist attitude. Pageants are so expensive that the parents of the young contestants start to put pressure on their children to win the prize money in order to compensate for the outrageous costs that go along with competing. This extra pressure put on adolescents can be extremely harmful to their development. Juvenile beauty pageants cost outrageously expensive amounts, detrimentally effect the child’s development, and instill negative values into girls at an age that they are easily influenced; proponents of pageants claim that the competitions help to boost girls’ self-confidence, and while this is true for some, there is no telling how young girls are going to react to being put under constant scrutiny, and there are long-lasting effects of this emotional distress that can...
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... not always the case. There can be life-long negative effects from competing in pageants. In addition to the harming the contestants, the astronomical expenses that go along with competing affect the parents as well. Pageant parents are becoming major contributors to the rising epidemic of beauty pageant abuse. They put extra pressure on their children that takes the fun out of competing. Pageants may have started off as an innocent hobby, but in today’s world, they are slowly becoming more provocative and damaging to the girls that participate in them. It is clear that pageants should be regulated and not started at too early of an age. It is outrageous to think that people who are accustomed to the pageant world are not shocked by seeing a three-year-old child dressed as a prostitute, but today’s society should no longer stand for such exploitation of a young girl.
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