Dressing up and rummaging through my mums make-up stash was a fun and common occurrence for me as a child, but a beauty pageant at a toddlers age is not in the least way similar! Child beauty pageants are plaguing the modern world, sexualising children at an inappropriate age and establishing their idea of self-worth entirely on their appearance.
Pageants are as artificial as the concept of a flawless complexion imposed on society by airbrushed photos in magazines; and whilst parents have claimed that they are ‘building their daughter’s self esteem’, they could not be more wrong. I agree that make-up can add to your initial confidence, but how can one have that initial confidence if they have been raised to believe that they are only beautiful or successful, when plastered with foundation and streaky fake tan? Failure to obtain first place in a beauty competition alone is going to be detrimental enough to the self-esteem, and basing ones self-worth on their appearance from such a young age is a recipe for insecurity.
Child pageants are predominately attacked for sexualising children, and whilst one might argue these are innocent shows alike to theatre and performance in general, flaunting your body in a swimsuit at the young age of 6 is just ridiculous. Sexualising children in this manner is hardly helping with today’s issues of paedophilia, and raising them in the consumer-cosmetic culture of today is only going to add to the body conscious public, and result in a new generation of ‘Barbie doll’ girls.
Contrary to the infamous ‘Honey Boo Boo Child’, pageants may be competitive but they are not a sport, and encouraging a child to flaunt her body for money prizes borders on prostitution. It is crazy that parents pay up to £15,000 for something as artificial as a child pageant! A child’s confidence in their own natural beauty should be celebrated rather than the synthetic beauty paraded at these competitions.
Make-up and the concern for ones appearance are going to the bane of the rest of these children’s lives – so why impose it on them now?!
By Sophie Hutchins