Child Beauty Pageants Essay

834 WordsOct 6, 20114 Pages
Child Beauty Pageants Child Beauty Pageants have been a controversial issue for many years, but with the death of 6 year old Jon Benet Ramsey in 1996, a former Child Beauty Pageant queen found murdered in her parent’s Boulder, Colorado, home this controversy exploded. The media went into a frenzy and gave many Americans their first look into the world of Child Beauty Pageants. There are approximately 250,000 children that participate in pageants each year 100,000 of them are under the age of 12 (Child Beauty Pageants). According to (Key Events In The History of Child Beauty Pageants), Child Beauty Pageants first came on the scene in 1961 with the little Miss America pageant, held at Palisades Amusement Park in Bergen County, New Jersey. In 1964 the pageant had such an overwhelming outcome of more than 35,000 entrants they had to institute age divisions. Child Beauty Pageants started to become controversial with the appearance of Glitz pageants in the 1980‘s. These pageants were primarily held in the southern states. Glitz Pageants emphasize the use of artificle means, such as elaborate hair and makeup, false nails and eyelashes, flippers (fake teeth to fill in gaps) spray tans and handmade, rhinestone-encrusted gowns (Key Events in the History of Child Beauty Pageants). Those opposed to Child Beauty Pageants state they are overly sexualized. Documentarian Jane Treays has called pageants “bizarre contests in which children are painted and pompadour to look like mini-hookers.” Critics also say that pageants instill questionable values in children. Child psychologist Elizabeth Dybell states that “primping for pageants is not dress-up pretending to go to work like Mommy does or vacuum the house like Mommy does. It’s a very sexualized, sensual model of someone

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