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Child Pageantry Ethics and Problems
Everyone knows Honey Boo Boo, But Lets Take a Deeper Look at The US Pageant Industry
France on Pageantry
France believes that America is too sexy. Or at least that our pageants are. The New York Times reported
“…the intense focus on beauty here [France], combined with a surge of images of sexualized, prepubescent girls, has raised fears that the pageants could take on the over-the-top quality of American contests.”
So, France doesn’t want to be like us, so what? Neither does anybody else.
As a matter of fact, this was in the Times two days after France’s senate moved to pass laws to ban child pageants entirely, which has serious implications for the progress our country may soon be making.
According to The Local, one of the men who ran pageants in France said, “You can’t compare the kind of child beauty contests that take place in the US with those in France. In the US it’s all about looking sexy. They are dressed up in high heels, given false wigs, fake tan, fake teeth and transformed into Barbie dolls. That might be good for them but we don’t want that in France.”
The Picture That Caused the Controversy in France
This is the Kind of S--- that Happens Here
The US is capitalist (it’s always about capitalism) which makes us more focused on shallow physical things, which makes us focus more on the shallow physical things in others.
We are still a sexist country, and women are still valued for their looks and arbitrary useless talents. This has been the case for a long time. “It is thought almost as rude to interrupt a lady when she is speaking as to talk aloud when she sings. Accordingly the advantages of being able to sing in society are obvious. The lady can at any moment fasten the attention of the room on herself. If a girl has a voice, the piano is too soon suppressed in favour of it“ Quoted from music and morals 1871 in 1871 a woman was supposed to be pretty and be able to sing or play and instrument. It was a sign of class that she could afford to do this, and a sign of obedience that she did. She was also supposed to be educated enough to speak eloquently when spoken to.
How it links to child pageants
We put our kids up on display to give them a social and financial advantage. The vast majority of pageants are for money or scholarship. The Miss Illinois preteen pageant proves this. According to MissIllinois.org, to enter, you start with a fee of 400 dollars, then you are initially judged by “Private Interview (25%) Talent (35%) Lifestyle and Fitness (10%) Evening Gown Wear and On-Stage Question (20%) Scholastic Achievement (10%) then, if you win you move on to Miss America. The winner of that won 26,000 dollars last year for college. One would think that a scholarship contest would have more weight than 10% on scholastics, but this shows how materialization has its hand in judging.
We are a hyper sexualised country also because of capitalism. Sex sells. According to psychology today, it works because our brains like sex (duh) so they remember things better when they are combined with sex since your brain likes to remember things it likes to see. This works best when it stands out, which has led to sexualized images being put in what used to be unexpected places, like gardening magazines. So all our ads are sexy photo-shopped women and that’s all we see all day, so we start to emulate it.
How it links to pageants
We are selling our kids. At the end of the day we want our girls to be sexy so someone will want them because we are all too insecure to think that they (or we) could be wanted for anything else. If you don’t think female insecurity is a problem here, consider this. According to Clean Cut Media 2009, 50% of young girls are engaged in negative activities such as injuring and cutting themselves or engaging in unhealthy eating habits and disorders due to self-esteem and self-image issues. We are trying to tear down self esteem issues by making our girls prettier instead of teaching them that they are more than that. How old were you in 2009? 12? 13? That statistic is us. And we are the parents who will be asked to raise our kids differently.