Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why Children's Beauty Pageants?

"Beauty that made this heart adore You.."

I know everyone thinks their child is the most beautiful in the entire world. It’s natural and healthy to feel that way. It’s part of loving someone with the same unselfish love that you were given as a child. There’s something just so inviting and beautiful about babies, both human and animal, and it seems likely that the Creator made them so attractive so we’ve feel driven to take care of the young.

However, is allowing your child to participate in pageants protecting and caring for your child in the best way possible? Is perverting the natural beauty found in every child to some impossible painted standard best adhered to by drag queens beneficial to your child’s well being?

What messages are you likely to be transmitting to your impressionable daughter during those harmless weekends at pageants?

1 - It’s alright to judge people on their outward appearances.

This is dangerous thinking on two different levels. First of all, you’re teaching your child that looks matter more than anything else in this world. Not kindness, not love, not intelligence but a false facade is the only thing that counts. What happens if they absorb this message in early childhood and then later in life have trouble measuring up? It sets an impressionable child up for things such as eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. It impacts their self esteem and can lead to feelings of inferiority, depression and utter worthlessness. It also pushes the notion that anything you need to do to stay attractive, such as spray painting on a tan or fake teeth or plastic surgery is alright because it makes you better than everyone else.

The second dangerous thing about this notion is that it sends the message that it’s okay to judge others based on what they look like and to feel falsely superior to someone because they do not fit in the same ‘beauty’ mold that you worship mentally. It opens the door to bullying and teasing others that are ‘different’ in any way.

Life is not a contest in which the pretty people always have rainbows, lollipops and sunshine.

2 - That they are ‘better’ than other kids their own age.

There’s no such thing. Everyone is the same, everyone is a human being with the same struggles, thoughts, feelings and you’re trying to instill that only your child is worthy of attention. Making the un-special think they are special. This is particularly cruel once they go to school and others show them just how average they are. That type of thinking only spawns hateful brats that no one can stand save their own precious mothers.

3 - It’s alright to allow personal space barriers down around strange adults.

In the time I’ve been researching the harm that pageants do to children and families I’ve received a number of emails from people whose children have been sexually molested or raped in the course of either a pageant or pageant related function. When you teach your child that it’s alright to allow other adults to touch them, that they are not allowed to have personal space or barriers, you are telling your child that it’s alright for other adults to sexually violate them even if it makes them uncomfortable.

4 - It’s alright to show favoritism among your own kids.

It rackets up competition between your children for your attention. Children need to know that they are unconditionally loved and cherished without reservation by their parents. When you favor one child over the others increasing amounts of time you’re setting up your other children for a host of emotional issues, many that will not be easily resolved without clinical intervention and treatment.

5 - There’s nothing wrong with neglecting school and homework.
Many of the more serious pageant folks seem to be obsessed with having their child practice for hours on end daily. Practice their routines, their walk, their talents and it doesn’t seem to matter than there’s not enough time to concentrate on studying school work, getting enough sleep or just playing and being a kid.

6 - It’s fine to not pay the (insert company here) bill so that you can afford to buy that dress or pay that pageant entry fee.

It’s scientifically proven that kids emulate their parents, for good or bad. If the parent eats a lot of junk from McDonalds all the time, chances are that the family kids will do the same. Habits, attitudes, modes of behavior, all picked up from clues and/or examples set by the parents in the child’s earliest years. If your child is witnessing you plunging your family in massive debt just so they can have that two thousand dollar hideous dress dipped in sequins they will likely pick up the same poor financial habits and carry them on through their adult years until forced into bankruptcy.

7 - It’s alright to go away from home nearly every weekend and neglect the family to do so.

Children need stability and a loving environment to flourish, not being constantly uprooted and drug hither and yon to compete. Weekends are a good time to allow the people you love to reboot, rest and relax after a week spent working or going to school. It’s a time when families bond, when they do things together, things as mundane as working together to clean the house or going out doing fun things, sports or educational activities.

8 - Putting pressure to be perfect on people is alright.

You’re setting up your child for a lifetime of disappointments when they learn to always have high expectations constantly placed upon them in their lives. It puts adult-level stress on kids when this type of pressure to perform on command and be perfect all the time is implicitly implied in the parent/child relationship.

9 - It’s okay to treat other people like objects.

When you spend so much time and energy painting, trussing and cosseting your child like a literal living doll, she’s going to get the message that people are objects and are to be treated as such. It’s the same message that pornography pushes, stripping people of their humanity so that they can be viewed as an inanimate object that you can use or abuse as you like.

10 - Gossiping about others is perfectly fine and being two-faced is expected.

Push down how you really feel, air kiss and then bash that other momma’s daughter to anyone who will listen later during the pageant. Your daughter is watching and do you really want her to develop the same small minded mean spirited mindset shown by many of the mommas? Gossip is defined as sharing information about someone else where you are neither part of the situation or solution or involved in any other way. The power of the tongue holds all of life and death, if you sow negativity, you will be reaping the same.

"Beautiful people, forgive and forget, their eyes look like children's... " - 'Beautiful People' - Jason Upton

No comments:

Post a Comment