Beauty concerned about their physical appearance. Body image

Beauty
is defined as a combination of qualities such as shape, color or form that
please people aesthetically. The world of beauty pageants gives people an idea
of what real beauty is. The image is distorted because people claim to only see
it in women that are thin, poised and inviting. Everyone that doesn’t in those
categories are seen as unattractive. So people, women in general, compete with
each other in contests that judge them by their beauty and talent. Beauty
Pageants date back to as early as 1839 but beauty pageants really took off in
1921. The owner of an Atlantic City hotel struck upon the idea to help boost
tourism. The idea took off almost immediately now about 100,000 beauty pageants
are being ran each year with almost 2.5 million girls participating. Beauty Pageant
are now common place both domestically and internationally. I think that children
should not compete in beauty pageants because the competition can affect their psyche
and cause problems such as eating disorders, self-esteem issues, and depression.

As
child beauty pageants became more common, the push for young girls to enter
became more common. The competition became harder and the pressure to win big
increased. Many people think that by entering in their young girls in to beauty
pageants, it helps to increase the child’s confidence, learn the value of
discipline, and lean on family support. A former child beauty queen, Mari
Wilensky claimed that although the pageants were time-consuming, they helped
her coop with her eating disorder. “Being able to perform, that was kind of my
stress-coping strategy.” Wilensky claimed. She also said that by competing
beauty pageants that it helped her stay healthy and grounded. In another case,
a young girl suffered from bullying from her classmates because of her Asperger’s
Syndrome. By being unable to connect with her classmates, she found her passion
for beauty pageants. She reestablished her self confidence and went on to win
many titles.

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There
are three major reasons why I am against child beauty pageants. Pageants can cause
emotional and physical problem on girl adolescents.  Beauty pageants have been associated with low self-esteem and depression, eating
disorders and hyper sexualization.

Beauty
Pageants have shaped how young people, in particular young girls see
themselves. The images that beauty pageants have branded makes young people
concerned about their physical appearance. Body image appear to be of greater
concern to individuals who participated in childhood beauty pageants than
individual did not. A 2005 study in Eating Disorder found that there is a
significant association between childhood beauty-pageant participation and
increased body dissatisfaction.  Child beauty
pageant contestants are pressured to achieve perfection, attractiveness and a
drive to win. Two disorders were very prevalent in this study, Anorexia nervosa
and Bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder which characterized
by low weight, the fear of gaining weight and a strong desire to be thin
resulting in food restriction. Bulimia
nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging. I think that beauty pageants cause
contestants to become someone that they are not comfortable with. I think they
try to mold themselves into this idea of perfection at any cost. Beauty
pageants equate beauty with being thin, thus causing contestants to result to
eating disorders to comply.

Young girls who
compete in beauty pageants may experience low self-esteem and depression as
adults because they feel like they should maintain should be tall, thin, and
conventionally beautiful in order to have successful lives. Nicole Hunter, a former child beauty
contestant and writer of “Effects of Beauty Pageants,” wrote about how she
doesn’t know how to feel attractive without make up on. She continued on to say
that since the age of four, her mom would make her put on makeup. Her loss of
her sense of her natural beauty caused her self-esteem and self-image to be
damaged. Another former child beauty queen Brooke Breedwell spoke out against child
beauty pageants saying that competing caused her to get a drive for an “unrealistic
standard of perfection”. That eventually ruined her self-esteem and caused
other problems. With the fall of self-esteem, many other emotional problems start
to happen. According to a report by Women’s News in 2016, about 6% of beauty
pageant contestants have suffered from depression.

The
competition that is associated with child beauty pageants drives child that are
under age to adult-like behavior. I think that the encouragement of wearing
high heels, makeup, false eyelashes and revealing clothing is something that no
child should be subjected to. These pageants treat children like adults and
judge them based on adult criteria. Child began to dress like an adult and then
they began to be behave like adults. In the United States, legal adulthood and
consent starts at 18 years of age. Events such as beauty pageants force
children to grow up too fast. When a child is forced to miss their childhood, they
are subject to many avoidable problems and do not grow up to be well rounded in
adulthood.  For example, Jon Benet Ramsey
who participated in child glitz beauty pageants was murdered in December 1996,
at the age of six, and was found in her home the day after Christmas. The story
of her death traveled all over the country. There was much speculation that
child glitz beauty pageants are “too sexy” or “pornography” was renewed more
recently with the popularity of television shows like Toddlers & Tiaras.

Toddlers
and Tiaras is an American reality television series that aired on TLC from
December 12, 2008 to October 16, 2013. The show followed around different
contestants while they were competing in child beauty pageants. It was basically
the process of competing from beginning to end. Toddlers and Tiaras caused a
lot of negative reactions over the costumes of some of the contestants. Young
girls were seen in all types of inappropriate costumes from Julia Roberts’ hooker
costume to Madonna’s gold dress with stuffed bra cups. The series shed a light
unto what happens in child beauty pageants.

In
conclusion, I think child beauty pageants are more explosive and harmful then
they are helpful. Although in some cases, beauty pageants serve as a “stress
reliver” while teaching discipline, increasing the child’s confidence, and bettering
family support, in most cases child beauty pageants become toxic. Child beauty
pageants have been strongly associated with eating disorders, low self-esteem,
and depression. With that being said, I don’t think that competing is worth it.