Disteem And Negative Effects Of Child Beauty Pageants

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Beauty pageants have become a staple in American culture. Winners of pageants such as Miss America are icons, representations of the ideal woman, and positive role models for young girls. So society says. More recently, however, a new type of pageant has increased in popularity to the point of being considered a national phenomenon. These pageants are just as glitzy, and the competition is just as fierce; the only difference is that these contestants are the miniature model. They are child beauty queens. The world of child beauty pageants has become a source of fascination, as well as contention, in our society. Networks such as TLC and WE TV have produced hit reality shows featuring the munchkin-sized divas because it sells, but one cannot …show more content…
The University of Minnesota conducted a study in 2005 on the relationship between beauty pageant participation as children and eating disorders and poor body image. While a relationship between pageants and eating disorders could not be nailed down, poor selfesteem and negative body image were apparent. Those two things are known to be symptoms of eating disorders, so a correlation between pageants and eating disorders does exist in an indirect way. The results stated, “women who participated in childhood beauty pageants scored significantly higher on measures of body dissatisfaction, interpersonal distrust, and impulse dysregulation, than women who did not…” (Wonderlich 297). Essentially, the women who were mini beauty queens grew up to hate their bodies, missed out on meaningful relationships, and struggled with self-control. Pageants teach young girls that they are only beautiful when they have unnatural amounts of makeup on. It also teaches them that they need to compare themselves to other girls, and if they do not compare favorably then they have failed. It teaches them to expect perfection of themselves, but perfection does not exist in our world. Therefore, pageants are setting them up to fail in their own minds and in their future social

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