What are your thoughts on beauty pagenents and children?

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Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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The issues of self esteem and self-worth begin in toddlerhood. "....participation in activities that focus on physical appearance at an early age can influence teen and/or adult self-esteem, body image and self-worth."

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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"I honestly think we all walk around being judged on how we look and dress. "

No, my point there being that those judgements are not being made public.

"I'm simply stating that everyone with a little girl wants her to wear pretty dresses, and look nice in public."

Actually, I could personally give a shit what my daughter wears in public as long as it is age appropriate. Seriously, as long as she is comfortable and happy, I don't honestly care that much. It's not the end of the world if the isn't wearing pretty dresses.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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But Cecilia, that child with the crossed eyes and buck teeth would never be able to come close to WINNING one of those pageants, that's the point that Jen was making (I believe - feel free to correct me Jen).

"It isn't about what the judges say, it's about how it makes the little girl feel."

So how would it make the little girl feel if she was being judged for the way she LOOKS and hasn't a hope of winning? That ugly lady with the pretty dress, she isn't getting up on stage and being judged for the way she looks.

And I don't believe ANYONE said you *shouldn't* do it because it isn't bonding time, they said that is not a reason *to* do it.

"Going shopping with your daughter is also off limit by this respect... I mean shoot you're taking her to buy clothes, that in all honesty, you approve of and find cute. "

Please tell me how this is anything like a beauty pageant where you are being compared to all the beautiful, perfect little girls in the room and judged by others for that? That's right, it isn't.

"I would think her to still be the most beautiful and most PERFECT child ever born even if no one else agrees. "

And that's lovely that you think your child is the most beautiful one there. You can do that any day of the week when you go shopping, where she isn't on parade for public judgement on how she looks. But how will SHE feel when she is told she isn't pretty enough, and can't even compare herself to the other girls?

Dove - posted on 01/06/2013

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I am 100% against 'beauty' pageants. I think 'judging' people based on looks is sick.

I'm all in favor of talent shows and such if the kids are into it though. 'Showing off' what they can do is fine. Looks shouldn't define people though. One person isn't 'better' than another just because some think that person is prettier.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2013

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"I think its good for kids to get in it and be there own self "

See, a lot of the time, I don't think they ARE their own self at all! They are putting on an act.

Personally, I have no time for pageants. They aren't hugely popular here in Australia anyway. But even if they were, i just don't see anything positive in teaching a child that beauty is everything (and sure, you can tell me that there is a talent part, or a dance, or whatever it might be, but if they aren't all cutesy, they aren't going to get over the line, it's ALL about how they look). To see parents organising fake teeth, fake hair, fake tans, copious amounts of makeup. How is that promoting any sort of message that a child is beautiful just the way they are? I can't see how it promotes any positive self image at all.

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Suckie - posted on 04/24/2013

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i think its horrible. if, when they are older they want to get into pagents or fashion well so be it. But dressing a child up and parading them around in front of judges is sexist and degrading to women .It shows that beauty is a major issue and makes people self concious and that these young girls have to fit into what society accepts ( perfect hair , stick thin etc) . Its sickening . Put your child into something constructive like music lessons or a sport .Let them be children for Goodness sakes

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2013

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"you never have the urge to dress her up? "

No, she's not a doll. If she wants to dress up, she will, but I have no urge at all. She is her own person and will choose her own style. I have never really considered it my place to impose an ideal on her when it comes to how she expresses herself.

"Which i guess would take me back to my very first statement, I find it to be okay if it is done with taste. (and we'll add, discretion and a certain age)"

And I wonder exactly how people could manage that taste and discretion in the world of pageant mothers? I just don't think it is truly possible without affecting your child in some way.

Cecilia - posted on 01/08/2013

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no it isn't the end of the world if they don't wear dresses, but you never have the urge to dress her up?


I think for a moment i got caught up in it and being told that I am seeking to have my image of a perfect girl that i was defending how "I" would do it. Not on how it's typically done. Yes i can see how fake teeth,hair, tans and all the makeup can confuse a child on what pretty means. Seeking perfection later in life, even to an unobtainable standard.

Which i guess would take me back to my very first statement, I find it to be okay if it is done with taste. (and we'll add, discretion and a certain age)

Cecilia - posted on 01/08/2013

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i guess when i read the question i always read it as small children(not teens so much). I assume most children who start as toddlers don't stop there, right? That's where the issues kick in.

I guess because for me, it would never go past the age of 3. At that point it's just cutsie wootsie toddlers waving and being cute. So yea when it's taken beyond that point, it has serious chances of doing much more harm than good.

Cecilia - posted on 01/08/2013

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I guess if the goal is to win, you have a point. Although like i said i do believe most of them for small children give an award to each child. It might be something simple like prettiest hair, or best smile.. but it gives them something to smile and feel good about.

"So how would it make the little girl feel if she was being judged for the way she LOOKS and hasn't a hope of winning?"

I guess the way i see it might just be different. I know most the mother who do it don't see it the way I do either ( that is where the problem lies isn't it?) I've been on a baseball team with a horrible record. we spent two years not winning one game. We have very little chance of winning. We all showed up though. We had fun and would laugh at pizza hut afterwards. If you had fun, who cares if you lost. Isn't that an okay goal to have in life?

"And I don't believe ANYONE said you *shouldn't* do it because it isn't bonding time, they said that is not a reason *to* do it."

Quoting here---"Those saying that you can use them for "bonding" time with your children seem to be the ones trying to fulfill their ideal of the "perfect" girl."

Which also went into why i said going shopping is off limits, because in shopping they are creating their imagine of the perfect girl.

"where she isn't on parade for public judgement on how she looks."
I honestly think we all walk around being judged on how we look and dress. (and we're all guilty in some form of doing it to others) Is it the same as a pageant? No, of course it's not. I'm simply stating that everyone with a little girl wants her to wear pretty dresses, and look nice in public.

I always end up with girls who like truck shirts and lol dinosaur shirts... I accept that about them to a degree. My toddler and I went to the mall today she insisted on her dino shirt and a dino jacket with jeans. I allowed it without much thought. After maybe 4 people said "he is cute" it got to me. I went to the ear piercing place and asked about getting her ears done. Before we went through with it i had calmed down and backed down from getting it done. Not saying i don't want her ears done but i choose not to let society determine when to do it. Instead, i went to rite-aid in the mall, got her some hairbands and did some quick pigtails.

"But how will SHE feel when she is told she isn't pretty enough, and can't even compare herself to the other girls?"

That part i agree to. In my mind, and in her mind are two different things. We all just want the world to see our children the way we see them, beautiful.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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In addition to other comments, I invite you to consider the following points:

A study has shown that although many pageant parents attributed their daughters' higher self-esteem to pageantry, the high self-esteem was mostly true for girls who won the pageants. Girls who lost more than they won had lower levels of self-esteem.

http://www.belmontvision.com/articles/07...

"Many experts agree that participation in activities that focus on physical appearance at an early age can influence teen and/or adult self-esteem, body image and self-worth. Issues with self-identity after a child "retires" from the pageant scene in her teens are not uncommon. Struggles with perfection, dieting, eating disorders and body image can take their toll in adulthood."

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/food...

Why do you think there have been so MANY psychological and sociological studies on these issues? Because they can have harmful effects on MANY young children.

I give you yet another professional commentary highlighting the issues of sexualisation (which is rife), meltdowns and tantrums backstage, which teach poor morals and values, and the "winning at all costs" mentality.
http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/beauty-p...

And even an identitifed disorder of the parents called "Achievement by Proxy Distortion" which is where
the adult’s pride and satisfaction are achieved when supporting the child’s development and abilities.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/food...

I understand what you are trying to say, that you wouldn't allow your child to get caught up in that, BUT how do you know how she would ultimately fare in the self-image and self-worth stakes continually being compared to these girls and continually coming off the loser? Of course it has to take its toll eventually.

How do you think a football team's morale is if they lose game after game after game over the course of a season? I've seen it with my son's team during those troughs, and the boys get a little bit edgy and they feel down, the coach goes in and gives them a boost, they train some more, they do some workshops on skills acquisitions, and they have a chance to go in and win.

But that poor little girl who loses all the time in the pageant because she has crossed eyes and buck teeth, well she needs to get prettier to do anything about ever having a chance at a single win. Because that's what she was born with.

Cecilia - posted on 01/08/2013

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I would think a crossed eyed and buck tooth child was still beautiful. Who says she isn't? The only real debate i see against it is that you personally see a child as less than perfect to not be pretty enough to compete. Don't you think even the ugliest grown woman might feel pretty if you buy her a pretty dress and tell her she looks wonderful? Don't you like to be told that you're pretty? Don't you like to dress up sometimes and feel pretty?

It isn't about what the judges say, it's about how it makes the little girl feel. If she thought she was ugly and then she got prettiest smile award, that wouldn't help her see herself as pretty??(most award everyone with something at young ages)

As far as saying its wrong to use it as bonding time... really? so those women who have daughters in sports they played shouldn't bond over it? I shouldn't have my daughter play an instrument because i did it as a child and i find it to be bonding time? Don't we ALL try to nudge our daughters to be our version of our perfect girl?

Going shopping with your daughter is also off limit by this respect... I mean shoot you're taking her to buy clothes, that in all honesty, you approve of and find cute. Why even bother taking her, you're say is final because you have an image of who she should be.

To me bonding is doing something together that both of you find fun. I know for sure not a one of my children are perfect. I've never expected them to be. Truth is me and my 12 year olds bonding time consist of two things, baking and sewing. Both of which are my hobbies that she joined in on.She honestly isn't very good at sewing at all. I never tell her that. She doesn't need to be good at it. It is about us spending the time together

As I said if I were to ever do it,(honestly i don't see it ever happening) i would take my almost bald, missing teeth baby in just as she is.I would let her pick her clothes, even if they didn't match right (cause that is what she likes) I would be proud of her and I would think her to still be the most beautiful and most PERFECT child ever born even if no one else agrees.

(go ahead and point out that i said my children aren't perfect and then called them perfect... Their imperfections make them perfect.)

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Agreed. There really is no way around the 'beauty' portion of it. I mean, you can put a girl up there with an IQ of super genius, with a heart of gold, selfless and caring to a fault, educated and charitable but give her crossed eyes and buck teeth and she's not qualified.

Shawnn - posted on 01/08/2013

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100% against. Those saying that you can use them for "bonding" time with your children seem to be the ones trying to fulfill their ideal of the "perfect" girl.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2013

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No, I realise not all parents do that, but there is enough of that to send the wrong message to the children.

Cecilia - posted on 01/06/2013

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jodi, not all parents do fake teeth, spray tan, and make-up. They do win sometimes, albeit not in glitz pageants.

If i were to do it, i would never ever ever ever do that stuff. I love babies missing teeth and goofy looking smiles... I love how my babies tan naturally by being outside, including tan lines. I even love my little bald baby girls. My two year old doesn't even have enough hair to do a pony tail.

Kaylee - posted on 01/06/2013

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I think its good for kids to get in it and be there own self and the other part is don't force your kids in pageants because I think that child abuse.

Cecilia - posted on 01/06/2013

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The reason i slightly defend it is because i actually knew a girl who competed from toddler through high school. I would have never ever guessed that about her. she was well rounded, soft spoken, very sweet girl. I would go as far as calling her a wall flower. She didn't act stuck up and better than everyone else the way I would expect someone to act.

Mind you i had known this girl since 4th grade, i never knew. She didn't talk about it at all. The only way we (her peers) found out was because she had made semi-finals for miss teen PA and got in the newspaper. She was so scared about what we would all think.

She was a good person and someone i would never mind being around. I had not ruined her. Maybe it was her way of not being that wall flower.

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"She basically froze up in this video. I kinda feel bad for her. Mind you she is a teen.. Their brains go flat quiet often"

I guarantee you, she could have been a member of Mensa but wore glasses with bad teeth and she would not have been on stage.

S. - posted on 01/06/2013

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I don't even believe in beautiful babie compitions were the baby/child gets judges on who's the best looking baby.

Cecilia - posted on 01/06/2013

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Ok i've seen the clip before, i've also seen her talk about what happened on some talk show. She seemed to be better spoken during the talk show. She basically froze up in this video. I kinda feel bad for her. Mind you she is a teen.. Their brains go flat quiet often.

[deleted account]

I think they promote the wrong message at all ages. That being pretty is all there needs to be. Anyone who tries to convince me otherwise must explain why they have kept the bathing suit but dropped the 'talent' portion of the pageant. I realize taking math/science/ etc would be deathly dull but at least we wouldn't have airheads like this on tv.

Cecilia - posted on 01/05/2013

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I think what SOME of the mother's do is despicable.

when you turn your child into a sexual object, you are wrong.
When you do it to make yourself feel better, you're wrong.
When you spend rent/mortgage money to buy a dress, you're wrong.
When you give a 3 year old energy drinks to enhance their performance, you're wrong.
When you go on pageant forums and talk stuff on other people's children, you're wrong.(yes people really do this)

If it's done for bonding time, to make your child realize they are beautiful, to make them learn sportsmanship and clap and cheer even when they lose, Ok do it.. But do it with taste.

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