The Influence Of Child Beauty Pageants

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“Lets Call Her ‘Miss America’!”(Nussbaum). Beginning as early as the 1920s, beauty pageants presented girls and young women wearing various attires and showcasing their talent (Nussbaum). Judges, then and now, are looking for the “complete package”: the young lady that exudes the most confidence, beauty, and knowledge (Nussbaum). Since then, the child beauty pageant business is one of the most popular in pageantry and has evolved into a “multi-billion dollar industry” that has led to numerous reality shows and documentaries (Cartwright). These shows have not only revealed the dramatic makeup, big hair, and beautiful dresses; they also have uncovered the not so glitzy lifestyle of its young contestants that has included the pressure put on …show more content…
While Breedwell admits that pageants helped her gain confidence, she still feels it was too much pressure to be perfect (Canning, Hoffman). Parents also insist that judges judge the complete person (“Debate”). However, this statement is questionable because most competitions are looking only for the physical attributes. Thus, teaching children that beauty is only physical and that people, and sometimes their parents, will only like them for their physical appearance. Relying on the parents for support also cripples young pageant participant’s self-esteem. These parents tend to live vicariously through their children. In an interview with A&E Network Sabra Johnson, a young veteran pageant contestant, repeatedly looked at her mother for reassurance when answering questions …show more content…
By discovering new extracurricular activities, the girls are presented with new opportunities. These opportunities can inspire the girls to pursue an occupation outside of modeling and other pageantry related careers. By making these slight adjustments, girls can become self-sufficient and no longer rely on others for reassurance. Instead of being defined by their appearance, their self-worth will be less superficial. Breedwell says, “the most important in doing pageants is doing them for the right reasons. You have to know what you want to do with your life and focus on those skills you want to build on” Overall the key is to find the right balance. Even though there are benefits to competing in pageants at young age, such as confidence and everlasting experiences and memories, I still choose to stand in my convictions that pageantry has detrimental effects on young girls. Most girls will not find the right balance, and they are more than likely to suffer from self-esteem issues. I also think that education is too big of a sacrifice for pageants. Without it, the girls are limited to one career choice. Lastly, social skills are greatly effected; therefore, leading the girls to be ineffective

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