A beauty pageant is a dream for many people; even some children at a young age have this desire. But in most cases, when it comes to children, they don't know what they are doing. Sometimes children wish becoming beauty pageants due to social influence or even pushed to it by their parents (Evans, Hackett, Magagula, & Pool, 2018). Parents have a lot of control on what their children get themselves into, that is why today I have decided to address parents so that they may understand the consequences of the much-envied walk on the runway.
Unhealthy values fostered by beauty pageants.
It is believed that the more a girl shows her skin, the prettier she is. Therefore girls clothes tend to be very short and more revealing. Inspired by designs meant for adults, designers also make pieces intended for children revealing their body parts. In such cases, girls become accustomed to walking around “naked”, and it sticks in their minds that it is not wrong. Therefore, their morals are degraded, and when they become of age, it even becomes worse. The idea that one has to reveal more of their bodies to be beautiful.
Sexualization of young girls in beauty pageants.
Children symbolize innocence in society. When they walk down the runway, they are exposed to all kinds of people (Ging, Kiely, Kitching, & Leane, 2018). The whole society has an obligation of ensuring its children are safe and protected from any harm or abuse. Using these children as beauty pageants may seem not harmful in any way but come to think of it, what if there are child molesters in the crowd? A child should be protected, and for sure, it does not include showing their skin and private parts to the crowd. Most parents are proud that their children will be famous, successful or even rich at a young age, which prevents them from thinking of what a beauty pageant symbolizes.
Impacts on future physical and mental health.
To walk on the runway may seem like a simple task to the outside world, which requires confidence. On the contrary, there is a lot of work and effort put into getting the result. One such effort is a child being the right size, which in most cases mean not being “fat”. To prevent them from gaining weight, the beauty pageants are put on a diet which they are supposed to follow strictly. As we all know, children require a lot of energy and nutrients in their body for growth. They deny them food in the name of not adding weight results to malnutrition in their bodies (Yan, M. Johnson, Harrell, Pulver, & Zhang, 2015). The body also adapts to not eating, and it becomes hard for the child to eat well even later in life. They end up being too skinny or worse become sick due to lack of essential nutrients in the body. Also, the children are influenced to think that gaining weight is a bad thing or the plus-size people are not beautiful.
We should not let our children grow with any mentality from the modelling world. It instils discipline problems, indecency, and disrespect. Therefore parents keeping your child safe means keeping them away from runways. Weighing the consequences, the risk of letting tour child be a beauty pageant is not worth it.
Evans, T., Hackett, A., Magagula, J., & Pool, S. (2018). What parents know: a call for realistic accounts of parenting young children. Re-Imagining Contested Communities. doi:10.1332/policypress/9781447333302.003.0015
Ging, D., Kiely, E., Kitching, K., & Leane, M. (2018). #Slane Girl, beauty pageants and padded bras: flashpoints in the sexualization of children debate in Irish media and political discourse. Feminist Media Studies, 19(3), 412-427. doi:10.1080/14680777.2018.1467943
Yan, F., M. Johnson, A., Harrell, A., Pulver, A., & Zhang, J. (2015). Perception or Reality of Body Weight: Which Matters the Most to Adolescents’ Emotional Well-being? Current Psychiatry Reviews, 11(2), 130-146. doi:10.2174/1573400511666150227231652