Child Beauty Pageants
by Rachel Whitaker, Associate Editor
Written by Rachel Whitaker, Associate Editor
Some folks in Australia are up in arms about a children's beauty pageant that is coming to their shores from the U.S. Children as young as one month old can compete in this event in July. According to news articles, "children don extravagant outfits and often have fake tans, full make-up and professional hair styling." "The participants are judged on facial beauty, overall appearance, personality and talent." (The girl in the picture, Eden Wood, is 5 years old.)
One opponent, a child psychologist, thinks these pageants border on child abuse and should be illegal. "How could it possibly be good for young women's self-esteem to be lined
up and compared to one another solely on the basis of their external
appearance?" he asked, adding that these types of events are linked with body image problems, eating disorders, and depression.
Another spokesperson for those who oppose the pageants said: "We don't want to see children judged on their beauty. All children are beautiful just as they are. And children should be allowed to look like children without being made up to look like adults."
On the other hand, some parents whose children have participated in pageants say it's no different from a music performance or a competitive sport. It's a fun event that helps kids practice being in front of an audience. "It also helps in their modelling, their deportment, their stage
presence, their confidence, which then travels over into everyday life—when they apply for a job or how they conduct themselves in their
jobs," said one parent.
What do you think? Should kids your age be participating in beauty pageants? Is judging people based on their looks the same as judging them based on their musical or athletic talent?