Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Child Beauty Pageants - The Porcelain Dolls

Every little girl dreams of becoming a princess. Playing dress up and wearing a sparkly crown. I mean when I was about 6 years old my little brother, Martin used to be my doll who would be more than happy to let me apply makeup on him and wear my baby pink totoo. But when playing “dress up” involves pre-show prep of spray tanning, eyebrow waxing and applying thick layers of makeup to 3 year olds ,it’s no longer fun and games.

Me dressing up my little brother Martin :)

Mom injecting her daughter with Botox

Child beauty pageants have always been an issue of controversy. They began in 1960's consisting of modeling sportswear, evening attire, dance and talent. The average ages for participants in the pageants were 6 to 12 years old. The children are judged based on individuality in looks, capability, poise, perfection and confidence. As the judges call it, "the complete package".

Beauty pageants are a becoming a very populated industry. It is also one of the fastest growing businesses in America grossing over 5 billion dollars (Coleman, Phyllis). Pageants are anything but conservative anymore and have honestly gone to the extreme. For nearly three years, the hit TLC show Toddlers & Tiaras has captured the drama in the world of child beauty pageants and really opened my eyes as to what really goes on behind the scenes.

I love makeup but why on earth would any mother want to groom their innocent fresh faced little girl to resemble a provocative Vegas show girl? The age of the children participating now in these pageants range from 0 - 18 years old. That goes to show that obviously the very young ones are not in it for themselves much less even know what is really going on.

Since there is only one winner, that leaves the other contestants in the losing category. At the end of the pageant, many of the little girls leave the stage with nothing but sheer disappointment in themselves, smudged mascara and tears streaming down their faces. Is this fair? I mean besides these dolled up little showgirls been every pedophiles dream come true there have been recent reports that now parents are using Botox to aid in their success in winning beauty pageants. The same mother mentioned who injects her 8 year old states she also uses wax to remove unwanted hair on her daughter so she can have a “flawless appearance” when competing. One can’t help to wonder: How much body hair and wrinkles can one have at that age? Parents who resort to such elaborate techniques to win beauty pageants are teaching their children success must be obtained at any cost. The child pageant and dance circuits are competitive, demanding and stressful. Watch any reality dance or pageant show and see how children are placed under enormous pressure to perform flawlessly. They thus develop a drive towards the unattainable goal of physical perfection. "The Princess Syndrome" as I like to call it (unrealistic expectations to be thin and physically beautiful)

Recent footage on The Parents Television Council (PTC) which features a 3-year-old girl, Paisley, dressing as Julia Roberts' prostitute character in "Pretty Woman" complete with padded breasts and leather boots hit the airwaves. Viewers and pageant skeptics have been expressing horror at an industry that is now accused of "sexualizing" young girls. Mother, Wendy Dickey, defended her act of dressing up her daughter in that costume for the pageant stating that she made the skirt longer than what Julia Roberts wore in the film, and also said in her defense that the costume is less revealing than the outfits of gymnasts and swimmers.

Ripley's believe it or not..are they real? The answer :yes!Living dolls :(

Pageants aren't the "dress up" play we knew as little girls, they are a multi billion-dollar industry that is causing more body image disorders than anything else. I’m scared to think if these pre-mature, extreme techniques is what is required to win a plastic crown what will be next? 3 year old male bodybuilding competitions?
Pretty Woman dress up.Has it gone to far?

I found this photo rather amusing especially the mom in the middle.

Moms living through their dream through their daughters.
P.S: whats the first little girl got in her mouth?

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