Child Pageants make Young Girls look like Sex Objects The idea of child pageants creates much conflict and discouragement to others whom do not have children. Young girls whom participate in this activity are portrayed as sex objects just as women are as models because they are subjected to looking older and much more sensual. However, in some cases having children in child pageants creates social skills along with comfortability performing in front of others. The idea of little girls being entered into child pageants is intimidating to most people due to the fact that children are not supposed to look like adults until they are old enough.
Many people frown upon the whole concept of a child being exposed to older men and women having them wear makeup and flirtatious outfits. As older women are also involved in beauty pageants, they too go through extreme acts of body changes making it harder for parents to fathom. Restricting little girls from engaging in beauty pageants or contests protects them from dangerous people along with remaining pure with their self-worth, learning to live as a child and not a woman, and retaining a healthy emotional mind. As the beginning of the controversy with child pageants begins, it is most important to consider pageants in general.
Sarah Banet-Weiser in the book “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity,” that the Miss America pageant has been maligned and misunderstood and still accounts to be adored. (Banet-Weiser) This statement becomes irrelevant with the pageant world because they still want to further the industry even after a child was killed. Coming in contact with this event is almost rectifying in the fact that people would still to this day go through with sending their young daughters on stage in the inappropriate attire, and painting their faces full with makeup.
This action of pampering them falls into the sexualization of these children. Sexualization is a simple meaning of how young girls are made to look older and much more appealing as a woman than a young child. For a child pageants, otherwise known as “glitz pageants,” the typical preparation includes fake eyelashes, fake nails, hair extensions, teeth whitening, eyebrow waxing and grooming, heavy makeup, and more recently, breast and butt padding to enhance the look (Lindsey). The parents, affiliation, and coaches are made accountable for the decisions that are made.
Sexualization affects children in a way that will benefit them for using makeup and rejuvenating their bodies when they are older, but can also teach them at too young of an age. David Isaacs who wrote the article, “Much clamour about glamour,” states “On the positive side, Oprah Winfrey’s escape from poverty started with her participation in child beauty pageants” (Isaacs). The statement opens an outlook that involves many new emotions to such a big controversy. Another side of this, is that the little girls in the pageants are taught to wink, blow kisses, and strike many poses to try and give the judges a reason to score them higher.
Isaacs also depicts “Probably our greatest fear is that premature sexualization makes young children into targets for predatory adults” (Isaacs). Following this type of behavior, there are many other risks and dangerous situations that could outcome from exposing the young girls. Judith A. Boss who wrote “Analyzing Moral Issues,” states, “Radical feminists also claim that women and men are different, with men being objectifiers and women being sexually objectified. ” This means that women are made to be controlled by men which could also mean that if a man wants a woman, he is going to have her.
One tragedy of violence and devastation is the Jon Benet Ramsey case from 1996. It began on the night of December 26, 1996, when Patsy Ramsey put her to bed. The next morning her father awoke to a ransom note saying that he had to withdraw $118,000. He had to do this without saying a word to anyone, or his daughter would be killed. John Ramsey and his friend searched the house; therefore, they found his daughter’s body in the wine cellar of their basement. Jon Benet Ramsey had died of asphyxiation caused by strangulation.
According to The New York Times, Patsy strangled the little girl the night of Christmas because she went into a panic (Janofsky). This was a horrible incident that happened to an innocent child that was forced into the pageant world. The case remains unsolved today, but who is to say a pedophile did not kill her? Who is to say that her parents did not kill her because of any conflict they had with her in competition? These questions remain unanswered. Jon Benet Ramsey was not only killed, but sources say she was sexually assaulted by a pedophile.
In accordance with this case, there are many emotions that can be produced while participating in child pageants. The emotional characteristics this creates for a child is essential to their behaviors. Children who have to deal with such lifestyles do not realize what is actually going on and they are participating. Essentially at this age they would rather be at home playing with their stuffed animals or their dolls, but their parents are much more interested in seeing them glam up for a contest to earn money. At such young ages, these little girls do not get to experience what it is like to have friends and a childhood.
Although, they may actually enjoy putting on makeup and looking pretty because little girls often like to look like princesses. On the flip side, it is quite painful when taking off the makeup, and fixing their hair back to normal. These acts of potential terror or excitement could either cause resentment towards the parents, or will keep up with the pageants and contribute to them. Young girls should have the right to say no to being in pageants and participating because of the emotional and physical pain that they could endure.
David Isaacs said “let children be children,” is a good way to understand the concept of a child’s life and that their fate is to be set free and have no care in the world. This is taken too lightly when parents realize that they could earn money for their child winning a pageant. The only desire for a child to become interested in saying no is if they really had the education of what is about to happen to them. Taking this sort of opportunity away from a child could potentially save their lives, and their emotional being.