Are pageants akin to child abuse?
I was flipping channels the other night and came across a show about a children's beauty pageant. I was transfixed. It was a visual assault of teased hair, garrish makeup, and every pastel shade of sateen known to man. Little girls pranced, preened, sashayed, and slinked across the stage and if they weren't old enough to walk on themselves mom or dad helped. Yes, there were babes in arms being dangled in front of the perpetually smiling judges.
Do I judge these parents? You bet! It was horrible. A lot of parents who put their children in these contests say they're trying to instill confidence and poise in their children, but I'm gobsmacked that they can't think of any other ways of doing that. How about sports? Or a dance class? Or almost any extra-curricular activity offered through their school? I don't understand how these parents don't have a problem with the hours of primping their children have to do. And I always wondered why they all have such eerily perfect smiles and, after watching a video on You Tube, discovered that many use "flippers", which are inserts that give them perfect teeth. No awkward front gaps for these tykes!
One mom said that when people ask why she doesn't let her daughter be a little girl she tells them she is, she's letting her be a little princess. What's wrong with letting her wear the frilly dress in her own home and putting on lipstick to play dress up? There must be something appealing to this mom about seeing her daughter compete for a trophy taller than she is.
I've never heard of them in Canada but can't assume they don't happen here. What do you think? Can they help a child in their development or do they cause more harm than good? Would you ever enter your child in one?
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