Author’s Note: In this piece I was looking through debate topics and found the one about if beauty pageants are harmful to children who compete in them and I wanted to write a response.
Fake eyelashes, fake tan, fake nails, eyebrow waxes, manicures, wigs, pounds of makeup, costumes. This is what a typical beauty pageant consists of. Around 3 million kids, between the ages of 6 months and 16 years, compete in them each year. The question is on how these pageants are affecting the kids who chose, or are forced, into them and if the results are truly worth the risks.
These girls, these little girls, strut across the stage in short skirts and revealing dresses. Sweetheart, you’re four. At your age I had a pair of overalls, old sneakers, and a Dora the Explorer T-shirt. My mom was lucky if she could run a comb through my hair in the morning. These girls sit still as they pile on pounds and pounds of makeup, usually against their will.
Tears and temper tantrums are common occurrences for the pageant princesses. Can’t say I blame them, though. What I find perhaps the most ridiculous of all is how people involved in these events are convinced they are being judged on personality. How can you be judged in personality when all you do is walk down a stage and smile like a trained circus monkey?
I don’t have a problem with pageants--at a certain age. Once they are old enough, and they actually choose to place themselves in a pageant whatever happens from there is on them. With kids, though, more often than not, I am finding that these have little to do with the kids and more to do with pathetic mothers living their sad lives through their four year old daughters. The fame and the fortune that comes with it is merely a bonus.
A wild animal charging a predator armed with...a spray tan gun. A makeup brush. A ruffle-tastic princess dress. These wild animals are more or less the reason pageant moms have their reputations permanently stereotyped as “The Pageant Moms.” Their job? Plan ahead. Before every pageant buy fake titles overseas to boost child’s credentials. Sure, because everyone sympathizes with someone who cheats their way to the top. Next, before every competition, feed child caffeinated beverages and several Pixy Stix candy, better known as "pageant crack," to keep their energy levels high. Right, because giving them drugs would be illegal, makes sense. Note to self: never let child take naps or even small breaks during pageants. Yes because, god forbid, it might mess up their hair and makeup. Finally, yell at them for poor performance, lack of enthusiasm or a flawed appearance. Okay, um, mom, are you kidding me? You need to take a seat and seriously rethink your life. You’re yelling at your daughter, YOUR daughter, because she wasn’t pretty enough to win a stupid, plastic crown?
When it really comes down to it, what are pageants teaching us? That physical appearance is what is most important? That life is only worth living if your society’s cookie-cutter version of “perfect?” If you want to join one, fine, that’s on you. But forcing your kid into something that they don’t want to do? That’s pretty low.