Pageants instill negative values
Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 22:06
Picture this: You see a cute, spunky girl with blonde, coiffed hair, an overly made-up face with pink lipstick and blue eye shadow to match. She's wearing an itty-bitty bikini with red hot pumps and a bright, white smile on her face. She sashays sexily across the stage and pulls moves that a high-class stripper would envy. Then you find out that she's 7 years old.
In December 1996, 6-year-old beauty pageant star JonBenét Ramsey was kidnapped and murdered in her home Christmas day. Described by her parents as a "pint-sized sex kitten,", Ramsey's murder remains unsolved to this day. While there have been many false accusations and confessions, some people suspect that her beauty pageants and her sexualized outfits might have had something do with her murder.
Almost 14 years after Ramsey's murder, thousands of girls as young as 2 have continued to enter these heated competitions with their stage moms acting as their pimp-managers.
While watching TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras," I was disgusted and angered to see these innocent, young girls go through hours of sun tanning and airbrushing, hair and makeup, and sexy "dance" routines to prepare for an otherwise trivial contest to please their mothers. I was even more shocked when one little girl, wearing an extremely revealing bikini, posed provocatively in front of the cameras and declared, "I look gooooood!"
Although proponents of the pageant industry claim that these pageants "raise confidence and self-esteem" in their contestants, many fail to acknowledge that these pageants not only place an unhealthy emphasis on a girl's physical attributes, but that they also sexualize and exploit these "pint-sized sex kittens" for pure entertainment. TLC's show "Toddlers and Tiaras" has been met with so much disdain that hundreds of Facebook users have banned together to ban the "parade for pedophiles."
Though the opponents of "Toddlers and Tiaras" and baby pageants come off as extremely harsh in their criticism, the critics do make a point. With scantily clad little girls gyrating on stage, it is no wonder that child pageants could be viewed as every pedophile's dirty fantasy. Although parents of the pageant stars view these pageants as innocent, fun activities, many do not realize that there could possibly be some perverted person lurking in the background looking at their children in a not-so-innocent fashion.
Some people may say that these overpriced baby pageants are cute and that these pageants instill rigorous work ethic, a sense of responsibility and confidence in the minds of these young girls. You want to instill all these characteristics in a child? Then make her do chores around the house and reward her with allowance, and leave the lipstick, hair spray and sexed-up outfits in her mother's closet.