Some parents see a lot of “potential” in their child. Some parents would even go to great lengths just to make the rest of the planet know about it. Some kids, at such a young age, turn into piano prodigies, math wizards, and skilled athletes. There are many ways that a child can achieve.
A beauty pageant is a competition that gives utmost importance to a person’s physical attractiveness. While there may be other factors like personality and talent, one thing is for certain: there are supposed to be no ugly beauty queens. Now, replace all those supposedly beautiful contestants with little girls and we will have a children’s beauty pageant.
Critics of children’s beauty pageants point out that these “friendly” competitions do more harm than good to their contestants.
Why? Because they perpetuate a false, commercial, and irrelevant Concept of Beauty
Little girls have a very vague concept of beauty, and it is in their younger years that where their minds are most impressionable. As a parent, it is your responsibility to let your child know, feel, and believe that whatever she was blessed with is something that she should be proud of.
Proponents of children’s beauty contests argue that these competitions inculcate a deep sense of identity among children, and that it is a good thing. However, these pageants cannot be classified with conventional character-building activities like athletics and academics. One can train harder to run faster; one can study more to score better, but what about improving one’s physical appearance?
That is the problem.
To rank better in pageants, many parents have subjected their young ones to cosmetic procedures that were not designed for children. To cite one striking example, in TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras, we got to watch a 4-year-old girl writhe in pain while her eyebrows were plucked, in order to improve her chances of winning. In worse cases, parents let their innocent children’s bodies be surgically enhanced, just to improve the way they look.
Sure, we can blame these parents for what they did. However, for just one second, let’s try to look at the bigger picture.
Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps – LZ Granderson, CNN
In a recent CNN article entitled “Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps”, L.Z. Granderson said, “I guess I… didn’t realize there’s been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel.”
The article discussed the ongoing trend of parents dressing up their little kids like real-life Barbie dolls. He went on to discuss a new wave of daring commercial RTW derriere made especially for kids: Abercrombie™’s thongs, Bratz™ Padded brassieres, and Wal-Mart pink panties with “Who Needs Credit Cards” printed on front.
Granderson pointed out that this culture of obsession with beauty is something that we should be alarmed about. While it is perfectly understandable that parents should teach their children proper grooming, parents still have to remember where to draw the line.
You may not be the type of parent who would send a child to a beauty pageant. But then, you might actually be doing something that’s tantamount to it. Remember that your children are special in their own way. As a parent, it’s your job to let them discover it – and not to tell them what it is.
Photo courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/zuhair_ahmad