Day 218 Question 218:
What are your thoughts on children’s beauty pageants?
I will be honest and say that children’s beauty pageants absolutely disgust me. I don’t look down on the children or blame them for anything. The only thing that is represented when it comes to these beauty pageants is bad parenting. I cannot wrap my brain around how a parent could exploit their child in such a way. I do not know what these pageants entail but what I want to know is what is being taught to these young girls. If you look at these young girls they have layers of makeup caked on their faces and their hair teased and hair sprayed so high that they can barely hold their head up straight. Many of these young girls wear false eyelashes and fake nails…I have even read stories of a mother that injected her young daughter with botox. Why would any parent want this for their child?
Lately, there has been all kinds of talk about this little girl nicknamed Honey Boo Boo Child. She first became known in the public eye when she was on a show called Toddlers and Tiaras (which shows how desperate we are for entertainment). This little girl was drinking concoctions of Mountain Dew and Red Bull that were given to her by her own mother. This little girl was sassy and defiant and her family found it to be all very amusing. Because of her behaviors on the Toddlers and Tiaras show, she was given her own reality show. Seriously????? This is what entertainment has come down to. We find it entertaining to watch trashy people (sorry but that is the truth) destroy a child’s life. This child does not understand how unhealthy this lifestyle is. Her parents are using her to make a quick buck. This ride to fame is only going to be a short one for Honey Boo Boo Child….then what???? I just find the whole thing to be absolutely disgusting.
I may be being harsh but I am such a nurturer and I believe it is vital to teach children about natural beauty. Yes, I believe that people should take pride in the way that they look but I don’t think it is healthy to give children a warped perception of beauty. I don’t think any child should be forced into high heels and nylons and layers of makeup when they are that young. We are already living in a society where a majority of young girls and women have a self-image complex….pageants like this are going to make the problem even worse. As a society, we need to start being a little more realistic when it comes to outside appearance. The average woman is between a size 12-14….which is not HUGE like society portrays. I have watched several episodes of America’s Next Top Model and the plus-size models that they feature are about a size 8 or 10 and their weight is continually criticized. REALLY????? How did we ever get to this place and why would we teach our young children that outside beauty is of the utmost importance. Looks eventually fade (and will fade even quicker the more plastic you become)….so what is there to fall back on?
I don’t have all of the answers in life….hell I don’t really have any….I merely have opinions. I believe people can do whatever they choose but when it comes to pageants, I think it is important to go into it with an open and healthy mindset. I am actually unsure of what the point of this contests really is….young girls and women are crowned as the most beautiful in their state or their country or even the world but who really decides what beauty is?? I have heard many people comment about someone being beautiful and I would disagree with them. I do know that there is more than just looks in this competitions but dressing up a child like they were a doll and caking makeup on their faces is just not natural. I believe that a parent that does this is taking away a childhood that is much needed. I sometimes believe that parents are living vicariously through their children…pushing them into a life that they never had. Life should not be a competition but it is in all aspects…sports, politics, beauty, school, etc. Everyone wants to be better than everyone else. I don’t know if I want children but if I do have them I would do everything to teach them that people are equal and that winning does not equal success. Life is the journey not the outcome. In high school we all had different clicks and so many people longed to be part of the “popular” crowd. Well, if you have made your way out of high school you have learned very quickly that that entire crowd has now bearing on your life and their status in high school is most likely not following them into their adult lives. Status and winning is only important in a moment but it is the experience that should be made to value.
Custody at Risk After ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ Star Wears Controversial Outfit
The woman who dressed her young daughter as Dolly Parton – complete with a padded bra and sculpting underwear – for a child beauty pageant that aired on TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” could lose custody of the girl after her estranged husband claimed she sexually exploited their daughter by allowing her to dress so provocatively.
Little Maddy Verst’s appearance in the costume on an episode of the controversial TLC program sparked a firestorm of criticism against her mother, Lindsay.
Her father, Bill Verst, has asked a Kentucky court to grant him sole custody of his daughter, who is now 6.
During a court proceeding Saturday, a judge threw reporters out of the courtroom, closed the hearing and placed a gag order on mother Lindsay Jackson. The judge also imposed a ban on any pageant activity for Maddy or her mother for the duration of the trial.
A court-appointed psychologist has sided with Maddy’s father, condemning the Parton costume and recommending that a judge make Verst the girl’s sole custodial parent.
Jackson said the costume was never meant to be sexual and that she shouldn’t be at risk of losing her daughter.
If the judge grants Verst’s petition because Maddy did pageants with her mother, “then that opens the door for any parent to challenge anybody on any activity that a kid does, period,” Jackson told FOXNews.com.
Jackson dressed her daughter herself in the Dolly Parton costume, telling the TLC show’s cameras, “When she wears the fake boobs and the fake butt, it’s just like an added extra bonus and it’s really funny when she comes out on stage and everybody thinks it’s hysterical.”
Not everybody thought it was hysterical, however. Some online commenters were quick to express their disgust for the costume and for the perceived sexualization of little girls on the show.
It’s not the first time a pageant mother has come under fire on the show.
Wendy Dickey was condemned for dressing her 3-year-old daughter, Paisley, in a racy costume that mimicked the outfit worn by Julia Roberts’ prostitute character from the movie “Pretty Woman.”
The costume consisted of a fitted, skin-baring white blouse, tight blue mini-skirt and thigh-high, shiny black boots. Paisley wore it all – complete with a blond wig, which Roberts’ prostitute character also wore – and critics and children’s advocates erupted in outrage.
The court proceedings in Maddy’s custody case resume Aug. 31.
I completely agree. Back when I subscribed to cable, I watched that program a couple of times, and was appalled. I really can’t believe that it’s still on TV; in my opinion, it’s on the verge of child abuse. It was beyond disturbing to see little girls with fake everything, and dressed in clothing that was well beyond their years. I don’t recall seeing any mother on that show that I’d be proud to call my mom.
I think the only way that channels like that will stop airing this trash is if we, as consumers, stop watching it.
What I don’t like about the critiques generated by the show, is that it sets up possibility for only two critiques: crazy children or terrible parents. It erases all of the societal reasons that these parents feel compelled to encourage their children’s participation, all of the ways that the world’s expectations of women, of mothers, of little girls and what kind of worth is available to them – and which is the most valuable. I believe that participating in judging and degrading the mothers for putting their children into these pageants actually encourages the culture that make the mothers believe this is the best choice for their little girls. That girls and women are subject to total judgement and must perform in one of the very few ways in which represent the “ideal female”. What REALLY might open up the possibilities is to challenge the current ways of valuing women and opening up new ways of being valuably female.
I do like your point about natural beauty, but if women are growing up in a world that does not encourage their natural beauty, how might they be effectively responsible in encouraging it as well? When Honey Boo Boo Child grows up and puts her own little girl in a pageant, whose fault is it? It’s an unending cycle unless we look at the bigger picture of a society that all women are immersed in.
The obsession over youth and beauty has really become America’s favorite past time. I’d love to see a more well-rounded approach to how women really look in the media so young girls can know that looks are only one small part of who they are. You made some great points in your post which is part of the solution! Thanks!
I’m obviously in the minority of Americas who truly think this activity is like an expression of a malignant borderline personality disorder by the parents because I don’t watch these idiotic and child exploitation shows. However, they remain on the air because they are getting sufficient ratings and support by sponsors in advertising revenue. I look at my three grand-daughters [my wife and I only had sons] and feel sad that most of society, at some point is going to view them as something to barter over or dictate to unless they find their own voices, inner strength, and resolve to never be in a subordinate position to anyone; male or female. I’m thankful that my sons are raising them on principle, courage and faith in themselves.
i’ve not seen the show and hope i never do. so sad for the children. i dispise the whole concept of adult beauty pagents as well.
I saw 10 minutes of this show and my mouth was open in shock the entire time. It is completely exploitative, the parents are irresponsible borderline abusive, and what this is doing mentally to a child huh don’t even get me started. These child pageants and pageants in general disgust me. I will never watch this trash ever…10 minutes of pure insanity and demented behavior is enough.
I agree about the poor mindset that these shows/pageants instill in young girls. I think that if they are to continue having pageants, then it should be less like the “grown up” girl pageants, and more tailored to what children are really like/about. WIth less stripper action. Anyway, there is going to be a competitive aspect to any extra-curricular that children engage in, whether sports, dance, music, theatre, etc. and it is up to the parents to make sure that their children have a healthy mindset about it. I think that is what people get so outraged about–the lack of that in these child pageants.
The girls are heartbroken when they lose, and the mothers tend to bash the other little girls and be upset with their own daughters instead of telling them to keep their chin up and try harder…I think the mothers do need a reality check, and they need to teach their girls the difference between the beauty of artifice and natural beauty (both have their own place, and absolutely artifice should not win over natural…in my mind anyhow).
Sorry about the long winded comment! Great post 🙂
Thank you! I completely agree. I’m appalled by these pageants and shows. Those parents (if you can call them that) are robbing their children of a proper childhood, and exploiting them. I mean, with all the sick people in the world, you’re gonna dress up your daughter and make her SEXY? Kids should not be wearing slutty clothes or make up! I just don’t get it. And to have their own reality show, dear Lord, this world is effed up.
I am equally disgusted by this “entertainment”. This is a large part of why I so rarely watch tv. After the Ramsey case I think all such childhood compettitions should be banned.
Appalling and never watched this shows 😉
I agree—disgusting the show and the parents who push children to do stupid stuff. I can just picture Chester Molester huddled close to his TV, slobbering down his chin.
Did I mention disgusting.
I am with you on this. The pagents really creep me out, and actually make me really angry. I think we need to put energy into what is going to empower and nourish our girls
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