Child beauty pageants parents

Child beauty pageants are more about the parents – The Merciad

  • Opinion

September 25, 2013

It is a girl’s dream to participate and win a beauty contest. Make-up and costumes are what makes this experience exiting; to where it feels like they are queens and princesses when getting ready for an event. Spotlights, the runway and standing ovations are what motivate girls to participate, although mothers also tend to be part of this journey as well. As it seems now-a-days, some of the girls are forced by their mothers to participate for the money.

Therefore, it is questioned whether it is the girls or the mothers interested to participate in these contests. Some girls refuse to participate and others dream to be part of them. Beauty contests are a good activity for girls to be involved in, but the problem arises when it becomes materialistic rather than a fun activity. These young girls are exposed to different types of physical and emotional damages. Social skills are reduced since the time for them to play with other kids is spent preparing for these events. Parents are responsible for the participation of these girls in the contests and sometimes even heavily influential on the girls behavior.

Parents are often responsible for the participation of girls in the competitions, and even sometimes influence the girls’ behavior. The experience parents have with beauty contests is the reason why they expose their children to them. In some cases, it is just a matter of a dream they did not have and are living it vicariously through their daughters. Some moms on lower socioeconomic levels think competition is healthy, others claim that they put their children into beauty contests so they can meet others. Another group of parents put their children into competitions because they found it helpful.

The mothers of pageant participants argue that the little girls like it. I guess they do, but then again, most 6-year-olds like wearing make-up and dressing up like princesses. Some of these little girls started competing in pageants at the age of three! Moms ignore the fact that girls can have fun for a while, but then it will feel like a routine to them. They are building a certain pattern of behavior that whenever they lose they become angry and start yelling. In some cases, mothers punish their children because they didn’t achieve what they were supposed to. no longer feel comfortable without the aid of make-up and other beauty treatments.

Beauty contests have different effects on girls, but eventually they all end up being the same. False teeth, make-up, hair spray, tanning treatments and much more is what the innocent little girls are exposed to. They are probably enjoying the experience of feeling like princesses for a while, but it later becomes a battle. As they realize that their beauty is not natural but fake. They have problems getting along with their peers because they fight easily over little things that can be fixed. When they grow up, girls should realize that these events are no more than a damage to themselves, and that the results are not always going to be as they expected.

They have to learn to value and accept themselves as they are, because in life, there is no make-up to cover “the imperfections” that we might encounter. If what their moms are looking for is money or a reward, there are many other means to receive money and rewards that require hard work. Young girls are “sponges;”they are at an age where they absorb everything in their surroundings, therefore it is not proper for them to absorb a materialistic mentality. If what they want is to get a tiara and a first place, they can get the first place and be winners in life if they succeed being who they want to be, and not what their mothers want them to be.


Child Beauty Pageants May Be More About Parents

A new paper takes a critical look at the child beauty pageant circuit in which thousands of children compete in America every year.

The paper, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, reviews the exploits of child reality TV star Honey Boo Boo, including the show about life on the child beauty pageant circuit.

Martina M. Cartwright, Ph.D., a registered dietician and adjunct professor in the University of Arizona’s department of nutritional sciences, is the author of the new paper.

She writes that high-glitz child pageants — largely popularized by the TLC hit reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras” and its spin-off “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” — often have little to do with the children and much more to do with satisfying the needs of their parents.

Cartwright suggests that participation in such pageants can be harmful to children’s health and self-esteem.

In her observational research, Cartwright attended two live tapings of “Toddlers and Tiaras.” She posits that some pageant parents exhibit what she calls “princess by proxy,” a unique form of “achievement by proxy distortion” in which adults are driven primarily by the social or financial gains earned by their child’s accomplishments, regardless of risk involved for the child.

Cartwright focused specifically on the $5 billion glitz pageant industry, which was first made known to many in 1995, following the death of 5-year-old beauty queen Jon-Benet Ramsey.

In glitz pageants, young contestants wear heavy makeup and ornate costumes, with price tags sometimes topping $1,500. Along with entry fees, photos and other common pageant expenses — like wigs, fake tans and artificial teeth known as flippers — the average total cost of participating in a single glitz competition, according to Cartwright’s research, runs about $3,000 to $5,000.

Prizes at the contests might include cash awards, crowns, trips, puppies or even movie “bit parts.”

The potential for fame and fortune, Cartwright said, may contribute to “achievement by proxy distortion” in parents.

It is not uncommon for parents, especially those of young athletes, to exhibit what is known as benign “achievement by proxy,” in which they experience pride and joy through their child’s achievements but still recognize a child’s limitations, said Cartwright, who has worked extensively with young athletes and dancers as a dietician.

“Achievement by proxy distortion,” however, occurs when parents struggle to differentiate between their own need and their child’s needs, and in order to achieve what they perceive as success, they may engage in risky behaviors, objectification or even abuse and exploitation of a child, elements of which Cartwright said she witnessed at the glitz pageants she attended.

“I think it’s fun if they want to play dress up for a little while, but to insist on making that a career or that they’re going to be a model or a Hollywood star, the chances are very slim,” she said.

“Parents have to know their child’s limitations and not pres them beyond that because later on that knocks their self-esteem.”

In her investigation, Cartwright talked with pageant parents who made risky financial investments to support their child’s participation, spending above and beyond the amount of the contest’s top prize.

She also witnessed parents putting high pressure on their young daughters to look “flawless” and win at all costs, pushing them to adopt an unnatural and adult-like physical appearance and chastising them for poor performance, lack of enthusiasm or a flawed appearance.

“Everything was based on what these kids look like and the way that these children were displayed or dressed,” Cartwright said. “They were fully made up; they looked like adult women, pint-size. They were judged on personality, but none spoke a word.”

The emphasis on physical perfection may put young girls at risk for adult body dissatisfaction, and potentially eating disorders, Cartwright believes.

She said she also worries that the competitions sexualize young girls by encouraging them to look like grown-ups. She recalled in particular one young contestant, wearing a Playboy bunny costume, being carried onto the stage by her father, dressed as Hugh Hefner.

Cartwright is also concerned about the physical health of young pageant participants.

At the pageants she observed, where contestants ranged in age from 4 months to 15 years, she said tears and temper tantrums were common, with many parents denying their children naps or breaks during grueling pageant schedules for fear that sleeping might dishevel the child’s appearance.

She also saw several parents giving their children caffeinated beverages and Pixy Stix candy, often referred to as “pageant crack,” to keep their energy levels high, with one mother declaring, “We’ve gone through two bags of crack and two cans of energy drink so she can stay up for crowning.

“It’s concerning because when you raise toddlers, they have to be put on a schedule of some sort, with regular meals and regular naps,” Cartwright said. “With the ‘pageant crack’ and caffeinated beverages, they’re feeding them pure sugar to keep them awake. The smell in the hallways was so sweet it was like being in a carnival.”

Although Cartwright doesn’t advocate an outright ban on child pageants, she said she thinks it’s important for people to understand the motivation for some parents to enter their children in the competitions.

“If we can understand why the parents are doing what they’re doing, then we can start addressing the problem,” she said. “And I think if the public understands why the parents are doing that then they won’t pay as much attention to these pageants.”

She also emphasized the importance of teaching young children that self-esteem is not all about looks.

“We need to talk to adults and to kids,” she said, “about other ways to garner self-esteem than through appearance.

Source: University of Arizona

Child at a Beauty Pageant photo by shutterstock.

Botox, epilation and false breasts for eight-year-olds: what's wrong with children's beauty pageants

In the US, a mother injected her eight-year-old daughter with Botox to prepare her for participation in a beauty pageant. Other parents dressed their little daughter in the costume worn by the heroine Julia Roberts in the film Pretty Woman. Scandalous stories often appear in the media in connection with children's beauty contests. We decided to find out where these contests came from and what psychologists, public figures, parents and participants themselves think about them. nine0003

Brittany Campbell's story

Eight-year-old American Brittany Campbell was taken away from her family by social workers after she and her mother participated in a TV show. On it, the girl told how her mother, a cosmetologist by profession, gave her painful injections of Botox against wrinkles.

According to her mother, they were necessary for Brittany to successfully perform in children's beauty pageants, in which she participated regularly. In addition, the mother removed her daughter's body hair with wax and enlarged her lips with fillers. Despite the fact that the girl spoke calmly about all these procedures, the guardianship service decided to intervene and began an investigation. nine0003 Brittany Campbell on TV show, ABC News

Brittany's mother raised the girl by herself and, according to her, only wanted the best for her daughter. “She is a happy little girl and will become famous for all the benefits I give her so early,” she explained. The woman also said that the idea of ​​Botox was suggested to her by the parents of other girls - participants in children's competitions. Perhaps in the case of Brittany, it is not only the strange decisions of her mother, but also the beauty contests for children themselves and the culture that has developed around them over the years of existence. nine0003

Museum of Wonders and Children's Exhibitions

There are several versions of how and when children's beauty contests appeared. The Salt edition shares one of them - the idea of ​​such contests, according to it, belongs to the American showman Phineas Barnum, who lived in the 19th century.

Phineas Taylor Barnum

He organized exhibitions in which he showed various "miracles" - mostly people with congenital features, such as Siamese twins, as well as stuffed fabulous creatures (the latter, of course, were fakes). nine0003

Barnum was a swindler, but he had an undeniable talent - he knew what the public wanted to see

In his own private museum, Barnum organized "Children's Shows", which even then caused a lot of discussion. The format he came up with became especially popular in the 20th century. It began to be used in educational events aimed at popularizing hygiene rules and combating high infant mortality and diseases that were spread due to improper care of infants. nine0003

For this, competitions were organized to select the "best child" - the healthiest and most perfect in terms of their physical parameters.

Awarding the winner of the contest for the title of the best child in the state of North Carolina, 1913 states.

Doctor: Please be quiet. Comrade chemist, stop rattling. I announce the results of the competition for children aged two to three years. Taking into account weight, nutrition, chest volume, digestion, blood composition, reflex, temperament, conditions of conception, pregnancy and birth, the commission decided: to divide the first prize between children numbered 5th, I7th and 33rd, and the second prizes assign numbers 8, 11 and 60. nine0003

Sergei Tretyakov, I Want a Child (1926)

Adult beauty contests started to be copied by children only in the second half of the 20th century. It was then that they began to be made mainly for girls. Competitions increasingly included catwalk shows in swimsuits and dresses.

Today, this entertainment is popular in the US (especially in the southern states), where children's beauty contests have become a multi-million dollar industry. Some parents spend thousands of dollars on costumes and preparing their children for such competitions, which includes training with a special coach, the services of a makeup artist, hairdresser, and sometimes a professional choreographer. You also have to pay a fee for participating in the contest, but the winner usually receives a cash prize, so in theory you can earn extra money in contests. nine0003 Children's beauty pageant in the USA. Photo: Shutterstock / Svineyard

Hundreds of beauty contests are regularly organized in America, in which children from a few months old to 16 (sometimes 18) years old can participate. Competitions are held in different age categories: up to 11 months, 12–23 months, 1–3 years, etc.

There are two types of competitions: “natural” (natural) and “glamorous” (glitz), the latter require a bright make-up at the participants. Competitions may have specific requirements and include different competitions: themed fashion shows, costume and talent competition, answers to jury questions, photo competition. nine0003

Similar competitions are organized in other countries. There are also those where beauty contests for children are prohibited by law. For example, in France, for organizing such events for participants under 16, you can get two years in prison and a huge fine.

For and against children's beauty contests

Children's beauty contests are actively discussed in the media, and often in a negative way. The organizers of the competitions, as well as the parents who bring their children to them, are criticized. nine0003

On the one hand, opponents of the contests emphasize that young children (mostly girls) are taught to focus too much on their own appearance. Even in competitions where there is a talent show, the focus is primarily on beauty, which emphasizes the name. Such fixation on the external, according to some psychologists, negatively affects the development of the child and can provoke an eating disorder in adolescence.

Competition participants are also badly affected by the unhealthy atmosphere of competition, which is supported by the organizers and parents

Fake hugs and smiles often go hand in hand with the statement that the other members are first and foremost competitors and should not be friends with them. All this instills in the child distrust of others, which, together with imposed perfectionism, can negatively affect self-esteem.

“I am very critical of myself, probably even more than other people. I have really high, unrealistic expectations, and I think a lot of them came from beauty pageants. I remember a competition in which my hair was combed up. I won, but then the judge told me: "Never comb your hair like that again, your ears are sticking out." And to this day I am very shy about doing such hairstyles. nine0003

Heidi Gerkin, housewife from Louisiana, USA, former winner of children's beauty pageants

Finally, girls in beauty pageants are often sexualized: they are brightly colored, self-tanned, glued on false nails and forced to wear heels. In the American reality show Toddlers & Tiaras, dedicated to children's beauty contests, you can, for example, see how girls perform in outfits with false breasts.

Shot from the show "Crowned Children"

The American Psychological Association's 2007 report "On the Sexualization of Girls" cites sexualization as very harmful to the child. It forms unhealthy values ​​(“sex and the body is the most important thing”), imposes strict standards of beauty and reduces a person to a beautiful thing (that is, objectifies).

Supporters of children's beauty pageants believe that this is a very common and even useful hobby

For example, the mother of Tarelyn Ashberger, another winner of American children's beauty pageants, said in an interview that they had a great influence on her daughter. “[Competitions] helped her gain self-control, self-confidence, the ability to impress, discipline and grace. She loved the stage and performing in front of people,” she explained. nine0003 Tarelyn Ashberger

Mom Tarelyn emphasized that her daughter does not focus only on appearance, but develops comprehensively - she is engaged in cheerleading, takes piano, guitar and drum lessons, sings and, in addition, wants to play the violin.

“There are a lot of benefits from participation. You get into a team, meet new people, they teach you how to behave in society, how to talk. The strength of the spirit develops, immunity to the negative opinion of people about you is developed. Minus one: people envy you. At one of the competitions, my dress was cut.” nine0003

Dayana Bekoeva, resident of Rostov-on-Don, winner of Russian children's beauty contests, in an interview with Snob

Children's beauty contests in Russia

In Russia, contests for children are held in some schools. In addition, competitions are held at a higher level, where they elect a "mini-miss" (less often - "mini-mister"): "Mini-Miss of the Caucasus", "Mini-Miss Tatarstan", "Mini-Miss Slavyanka", a large All-Russian contest "Mini Miss and Mister Russia".

Unlike competitions in the USA, at many Russian events of this kind, children are forbidden to wear bright colors and dress provocatively. Despite this, some officials and public figures are trying to ban such contests at the federal and regional levels. Sometimes they succeed: for example, according to Ekho Moskvy, children's beauty contests are banned in the Krasnodar Territory. nine0003

Beauty contests are much more popular in Russian universities — all sorts of “Miss Students” and “Miss University” are held every academic year opposed the beauty contest for girls under the brand of the university.

Those who opposed the competition (among them, by the way, was the author of these lines) emphasized that in the intellectual space it is necessary to critically approach existing gender perceptions and rigid norms, and not support and multiply them. nine0003

They also proposed a solution: remove the "biological component" and replace the beauty contest with a talent show. The creators of the competition did just that - and launched the XCE FACTOR project. True, they did this only after the administration of the university deprived the competition of official support.

what mothers of little beauty contestants look like

Children's beauty contests are evil. And point. But while the world is briskly discussing young participants with broken destinies and greedy organizers, the other main characters of this story remain in the shadows - the mothers of the contestants, who put their ambitions above the normal and safe childhood of their daughters. nine0003

Alexandra Borisova Beauty Editor


Beauty contest

fight for rights

Children's competition

Getty Images

In this article we have collected the loudest stories about mothers of little beauty queens. What drives them? What are they trying to achieve? It seems that some of them have it all literally written on their faces. nine0003

Contents of the article

Participation in children's beauty contests is perhaps the most dubious activity for girls. But from time to time such “competitions” take place in any city in Russia. The participants sing, dance and brag about elegant dresses to the public. Then one of them is awarded the main prize, and the other contestants consider themselves losers.

Well, it's wrong to choose the best among little girls with fragile psyches!

Self-tanning, diets, botox, hair removal: everyday life of little beauty queens

Beauty contests are a huge stress even for adult participants. But if you shift the situation to small children, the result is much more deplorable.

The girl has not yet had time to go through the difficulties of adolescence, and is already losing the ability to adequately assess herself and the world around. And she thinks only about how to become "ideal". Hello, eating disorders, low self-esteem and other fears that poison young life!

Despite the high prevalence, in our country the industry of children's beauty contests is still underdeveloped, and in most cases remains at the level of one of the types of amateur performances. She does not receive such tremendous support from society as, for example, in America. That's big business right there! With luxurious prizes for the first places, with many modeling agencies for young talents, and even television shows during which the backstage of this world is shown - cruel and merciless. nine0003

Of course, such programs were created to show that the life of little beauty queens is not so carefree. The most important people in their lives - mothers - are ready for a lot for the sake of another title for their daughters. And they are absolutely not afraid even of who exactly (and for what!) can organize such contests.

Squirrels and Bears: Ekaterina Popova on Pedophiles

Alas, no matter how society condemns the actions of women who take their daughters to such competitions, this “beauty show for the smallest” does not get any less. On American TV, season after season, there are shows about crazy mothers who make "beauty queens" out of their daughters. They shock the audience, become press anti-heroes, and even end up in the dock! And then one, the other, the third follow on their heels... And all right, if such women ruined only their own lives, little girls are still in the main danger, through which would-be mothers try to realize their unfulfilled dreams, ambitions and get rich. We tell some creepy stories. nine0107

Kerry Campbell

In the early 2010s, Britney Campbell was one of the most talked about children's pageant contestants in the US. For the first time, a baby with huge eyes and blond curls entered the stage at the age of three and instantly became a little beauty queen.

Of course, with age, the girl lost the pretty and standard facial features that are characteristic of all babies. She began to change, grow up, become a person. However, Britney's mother Kerry Campbell did not accept this fact. And she decided to bring her child's appearance closer to the doll ideal - at first with the help of hairstyles, clothes and bright makeup, but then it came to quite real "beauty shots". nine0107

Of course, not a single medical clinic has undertaken to work with the face of 8-year-old Britney! But Kerry did not despair and completed express courses on injections in order to inject fillers for her child on her own... She also poured self-tanner on the girl abundantly and did depilation - of all zones! Allegedly, Britney has never been familiar with the problem of unwanted hair. Interestingly, Kerry did not pay attention to her imperfections at all or deliberately turned a blind eye, believing that she was getting better by “making better” her daughter. Thoughts about unnecessary and dangerous procedures literally swallowed up the woman. nine0003

Local social services hunted Campbell Sr. for a long time and tried to prove that she was causing irreparable harm to the child's psyche. However, in the United States there is no law prohibiting the injection of Botox to a child, as, indeed, in other countries that rely on the sanity of their citizens. As a result, Kerry was nevertheless deprived of parental rights. However, nothing and no one will return Britney to a normal childhood...

June Thompson

And here is another quite logical transformation of a little girl into a teenager with special needs. A few years ago, “Baby Boo Boo” was the star of not only beauty contests, but also her own reality show. And then she began to rapidly gain weight, which, however, is not surprising in the framework of her genetics and the quite dubious lifestyle of the family. nine0107

In general, June Thompson, or Mama June, as she is called on American TV, is a phenomenal character. In between stage appearances, she gave her daughter a cocktail of energy drinks and handfuls of sweets to drink, so that "energy would overflow" from that one. She also taught the girl to say that she was participating in contests solely for the sake of money, which was the absolute truth. In fact, June contributed to the development of bad habits in Boo Boo, which only added to the scandalousness of their reality show that had begun. nine0107

But over time, the public's interest in a marginal mother, who is killing a healthy atmosphere in her family, got fed up with the audience. Then Mama June and baby Boo Boo started acting in another show, literally turning their lives around 180 degrees. Relatives moved to a new house, June dramatically lost weight (by 140 kg!) and began to follow her daughter's lifestyle. True, this idyll did not last long.

What happened on the air of the show: fights, scandals, and problems with the police! As a result, Mom June even ended up in a rehabilitation center. And baby Boo-boo stopped public activities and became an ordinary teenager. She grows up under the care of her older sister and is said to have no intention of returning to TV yet. Although he dreams of becoming a star again in the future. But not like her mother. nine0003

Miss World, athlete, deputy: Russian beauties chained to wheelchairs

Sarah Burge

British model Sarah Burge has always been obsessed with "upgrading". In just two decades, she spent three million dollars on plastic surgery and underwent innumerable surgeries to officially become a "living Barbie".

It would seem that my body is my business. But Sarah's passion for improvement touched all her four daughters. At first, the press vigorously discussed the gift of the British woman for the 17th birthday of her eldest daughter Charlotte - a certificate for going to a beautician to get Botox injections. Like, it's time to fight wrinkles. nine0003

No less shocking was the fact that over time, Sarah began to teach her youngest, 6-year-old daughter, Poppy, to dance on the pole so that she conquered the jury at the children's beauty contest. And if it only concerned some acrobatic stunts, but the woman believes that it is the art of seduction that will help her daughter to interest men in the future.

And Sarah also gave Poppy a certificate for the plastic surgery clinic for her 7th birthday. So that when she grows up, she makes herself a big breast, which she has been dreaming of for a long time. It seems beauty pageants are the lesser evil in Poppy's life. Alas, an unhealthy environment reigns in her life on a round-the-clock basis. Even if it seems to the mother that she is doing good for her daughter. nine0003

Jas Sullivan

A couple of years ago, 23-year-old single mother Jas Sullivan spoke out against the harassment of parents who send their children to beauty pageants. At that time, her two-year-old daughter Bo had already won 8 titles, for which she constantly wore hair extensions, and also did manicures and makeup with her mother. By the way, Sullivan's daughter's ears were pierced when she was only 4 months old.

For Jas, her daughter's participation in beauty contests has become a real life's work. The girl lives with her mother, but absolutely all her money is invested in her daughter's participation in competitions.

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