The Problems and Pleasures of Pageants Beauty pageants have been questioned on whether or not their truly innocent. In some cases, the smiles are more likely than not phony. On the other hand, the abundance of memories and skills gained from these extravaganzas can create a positive effect on the child. On the negative side, pageants are found to be full of drama from both the parents and from the stress of the requirements, including eating disorders. They also lead to bad sportsmanship and the parent’s desperate attempts to win, even at the risk of their own children.
According to The Merriam Webster Dictionary (1899), the definition of a beauty contest, also called a pageant, is “an assemblage of girls or women at which judges select the most beautiful. ” In other words, if one is the most beautiful, she, or sometimes even he, will be the most successful. This may be true physically, but the personality of certain parents or contestants prove otherwise. As you can see here, this mother is injecting her 8-year old child with Botox, a toxin used to make the face fuller in order to make certain features pop out or remove wrinkles.
This toxin alone is dangerous to an adult, let alone a young girl. This Botox, if administered into the wrong place, would drip down her throat and kill her. Unfortunately, there are several parents who are desperate enough to win that will do treatments such as this. Other treatments include but are not limited to waxing, spray tanning or natural tanning, and heavy applications of make-up. Several of these so-called strategies to win are unhealthy for the contestant. An often occurrence at child pageants is feeding them high doses of sugar and caffeine.
Often, they serve pixie sticks which are called “pageant crack. ” Here we have young Alana, age 6. Her mother, known as “The Coupon Queen,” believes it’s perfectly fine to give her young daughter what she calls “Go-go” Juice. She defends this by saying “there are far worse things. I could be giving her alcohol. ” She also claimed that plenty of mothers use caffeine and sugar in order to keep their toddlers awake and energized. Excuses like this are unacceptable. No child should be given large amounts of caffeine and sugar, if any at all.
Parents are setting them at risk for obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and several other diseases caused by bad health choices like this. On the other extreme, there are eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. This is Cleo Glyde, a model who is now a healthy size 12. She used to struggle with eating disorders, which are very common amongst the fashion world. Cigarettes and willpower were her only two friends against food. She eventually became a stick, much like the rest of the models, all because of peer pressure to be skinny rather than her normal self.
She did an interview for Marie Claire, a high fashion company. She went on to explain the different things she had witnessed, such as the Brazilian woman who collapsed like herself in a fashion show and a beautiful girl who starved herself to nothing but bones, her beauty withering down as her skin became paler and dark circles grew under her eyes. The cold world of fashion is no different than the world of beauty pageants. The same effects can happen, and can be devastating. What makes child beauty pageants even sadder is the fact that the children can’t have a true childhood.
They must spend their time practicing their moves, fixing their make-up and hair, practicing their smile, and trying on different dresses and outfits to parade around. They’re treated more like dolls rather than they are children. Everyone is admiring them while they walk about on stage, but those children dream about climbing trees and playing hide-and-seek with their other friends. There is, however, a lighter side to the pageant world. Children can believe that they are performing skits in a play and can have a wonderful time prancing about on the stage before them.
Alliances and friendships are formed between the contestants and pageant moms. In fact, the definition could be considered misleading. Children do not need only beauty, but also talent, poise, confidence, and even communication skills. Truth be told, not everyone develops bad habits such as eating disorders and bad sportsmanship, or at least don’t pursue it. Former Miss Michigan Kirsten Haglund developed an eating disorder at the age of 15 because of the demands to stay thin. She was in denial at first, but after she had received help, she overcame her obsession and now visits high schools to talk about eating disorders.
To add on, according to statistics, only 6% of girls who compete in competitions suffer from depression. Although psychological disorders seem to occur often in the world of beauty, it’s not a guaranteed thing. Winning a competition does not mean winning from pure beauty. Almost all pageants use some form of a talent competition or an intelligence test, even for the younger ones. Miss South Carolina 2007 lost because she could not answer the question she was given. Meanwhile, on a different website, quotes from the beauty queens showed their not-so-perfect side of them. While one considered knitting a sport, another called Bob Barker “Mr.
Parker. ” Most of them seemed to create their own words, such as “challengement” and “instrumentation. ” These are not negative things, necessarily. None of these Miss USA contestants won, making it true that intelligence is needed in order to win the contest. Several misconceptions are made about these parades of glitter and hairspray. Most negatives a person thinks of when asked about pageants are the extremes being shown on television, just as television does. The show Toddlers and Tiaras display the extreme mothers who will do anything to win, even if that means teaching the child bad behaviors.
Fortunately, the majority of pageant parents know how to balance the shows and the regular life of a child. In order to be able to speak to an audience and use good communication skills, a child must have practice, which is used in these competitions. Whether considering a career in business, acting, or even staying at home to take care of the children, a woman needs a voice to be heard. The pageants for young children and adults assist in gaining the confidence and social manners one needs in order to be taken seriously. The characteristics gained can only be measured with the side effects that come with them.
The facts of a beauty pageant are the same as rumors: some hold their ground and turn out to be factual, while others crumble away as every lie does. To put a child in a contest is up to the parent, but it is highly recommended that they be cautious of the feelings of the child. As for the expositions of the young adult, they may choose themselves what they want to do; however, they cannot depend on beauty alone in order to gain wealth. Whether considered innocent or pure evil, pageants will still have a place on the world. Works Cited Beauty pageants do more good than harm. (2011). Retrieved from http://www. ebate. org/debates/beauty-pageants-do-more-good-than-harm/1/ Glyde, C. (06 A). Marie Claire. Retrieved from http://www. marieclaire. com/health-fitness/news/anorexia-model Harden, S. (2012, March 28). Statistic brain. Retrieved from http://www. statisticbrain. com/beauty-pageant-statistics/ The family factor:child beauty pageants- the misconceptions. (2011, 04 17). Retrieved from http://www. thefamilyfactor. com/2011/04/child-beauty-pageants-misconceptions. html Grosaru, L. (2011, May 30). Debatepedia. Retrieved from http://debatepedia. idebate. org/en/index. php/Debate:_Child_beauty_pageants
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