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Children's beauty pageants

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15 replies to this topic

#1
Hedwig

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Children's beauty contests, like Little Miss Perfect, are held all over the world.

Wikipedia:

Beauty pageants started in 1921 when the owner of an Atlantic City hotel struck upon the idea to help boost tourism.However, the idea had already circulated through "Most Beautiful Child" contests held in major cities across the country. The Little Miss America pageant began in the 1960s at Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. Originally, it was for teenagers from 13 to 17 years old, but by 1964 there were over 35,000 participants, which prompted an age division. The modern child beauty pageant emerged in the late 1960s, held in Miami, Florida. Since then, the industry has grown to include nearly 25,000 pageants. It is an increasingly lucrative business, bringing in about a billion dollars a year.


The contests are basically (small) children dressing up and getting a makeover, and then getting onstage and competing with their beauty. I'm sure you all have heard of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2Gq6xV0jeg

Now my question is do you agree that these contests should be held? Or should they not? Should they be illegal? Why? Why not?

And remember this is about CHILDREN'S beauty contests, not adults'.

#2
Trotsky

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It's pretty easy to take the stance condemning this, but I'm going to play devil's advocate instead.

To quote Little Miss Sunshine, "Life's a beauty contest." Whether a parent is putting their little girl in thick make-up and a frilly dress, or aggressively training their little boy to be the most ass-kicking soccer or basketball star around, or watching their child perform in a spelling bee, it all basically involves things children are placed into for the sake of their parents' gratification, which they children themselves may or may not enjoy.

There is no real reason to say beauty contests are any worse than any other random form of turning children in show dogs, be they academic, athletic, or aesthetic show dogs. Some might say there is an element of sexualization of children, but since actual beauty contests don't strip-tease dancing to "Superfreak", I think that's a pretty weak argument, plus the fact that most people aren't perverted fucks - pure statistics.

That's not to say I think it's good parents turn their kids into show dogs, I think it is a trend of a sick culture, but there's no reason to single out beauty contests.
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#3
Brigister

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It's demeaning for the children. And most of the time parents really put a lot of pressure on their kid's shoulders 'cause they want to win at all costs, just for the sake of satisfying their egos and fill their wallets.

#4
Lindsay

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I've watched Toddlers and Tiaras a few times, and quite frankly it disgusts me. You can tell that 90% of the kids don't even want to be up there, it's just the parents wanting the fame and glory. I think beauty pageants are fine when they're older and people can make the decision themselves if they want to be apart of it or not and can make it their "hobby", but forcing them into something like that at such a young age is demeaning. Granted, I guess it's fair to try it out to see if the kid likes it or not, such as when kids try out ballet or other sports when they're younger, but if they don't like it , stop forcing it for fucks sakes. If the kid even isn't enjoying it, I don't see why a parent would waste so much money on costumes and other shit. I could get into a longer rant about this, but I'll stop there for now.
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#5
Stephanie.

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No child should be like this.
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#6
Kaddi.

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No child should be like this.


I know she's a child and it's probably not her fault that she acts like that, but all I wanna do is punch her in the face.

#7
Stephanie.

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I know she's a child and it's probably not her fault that she acts like that, but all I wanna do is punch her in the face.

Me too. It sickens me how the mother wants her daughter to act this way and doesn't do anything about it.

#8
melissawebster

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Okay. I'm also playing devil's advocate here because I actually did beauty pageants and fashion shows at that age. And I had friends who did them all the way up to college age. In the South, it's a common activity. One of my friends in school had an entire room devoted to her awards, of which she had a shitload. She won everything. If the Toddlers & Tiaras show had existed at that time, she would have been on it as a contender. She was a cheerleader and dancer and total girly-girl and freaking loved doing pageants. It was just her extracurricular activity in the same way I played tennis and did cheerleading, and she was a very nice person.

Yes, there are horrible stage mothers who should rot in hell and seriously bratty kids who will be a holy terror when they get older, but the majority of people involved in the pageants are normal, decent people who do it because it's fun and their kids enjoy it. Believe me, if the kid hates it and doesn't want to do it, which was me by the age of seven, that kid will not stay involved in it for very long because personality is more important than beauty. The most beautiful child doesn't win unless she also has a talent (usually dancing) and a strong, appealing personality. Diva actually works in the kids favor because she's confident and considered precocious. Pretty little wallflowers don't win trophies and prizes.

As far as the makeup and costumes go, it's no different than a dance recital or play or any kid who performs in entertainment.

And the stage Mom or Dad is everywhere in extracurricular activities. You know, the obnoxious Dad in the stands who's so abusive to everybody another Dad eventually punches him just to shut him up? I dated a boy in school who was a baseball phenom whose father was so overbearing and abusive, the boy would leave the field crying out of frustration and embarrassment. He could not make a mistake in any way whatsoever or his father berated him in front of everybody. The boy eventually quit playing baseball just to make it stop, and he had scouts looking at him.

That type of parent will always be like that no matter what the activity, and the spineless parents will always have obnoxious spoiled kids. Making one activity illegal while leaving others intact would do nothing to stop it.

#9
Bundita

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I think that pageants don't necessarily need to be banned, however, it should be up to the child's choice on whether he/she wants to participate in them. I think the parents should let the kids decide and not just force them up there for money or fame or whatever crap they want. They should take into account the amount of pressure the kid is feeling. I think the main problem of this whole pageant thing is that the parents put so much pressure upon the kids to win, and things stop being fun. I'm fine with pageants as long as the kids want to be there and aren't forced there.

#10
GreenDayisAmazing

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I think they can be good if the kid wants to do them because they want to not because the parents wants them to. Some of those parents are just sad shaving a 4 years olds legs and plucking her eyebrows well she cries. Some of the kids act horrible to because the parents let them take over. I did watch an episode of Toddles and Tiaras with a little girl named Bella she was so sweet and actually wanted to be in pageants. Even if they aren’t on stage most little girls like to put makeup on and wear pretty dresses well pretending to be a mommy or princess.

#11
Emilie.

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I guess you could compare it to parents sticking their kids in soccer teams or football teams, like John said. But I think there's at least a small difference. One, those kind of things like sports teach teamwork and good sportsmanship, if the coach is doing the right thing. Not once have I seen a child throw a tantrum because their soccer team didn't win a game. They get up, congratulate the winning team, and say at least they did their best and had fun. But you see kids like on Toddlers and Tiaras and all they say is "I want the big prize and that's it." And if they don't get it they scream and cry, usually at their parents. At least sports or academic activities require a certain amount of skill or effort, and (usually) teach things to the kids.

Even dancing is good, but lately (at least for the Australian Irish Dancing scene) it's sort of turning into a child pageant. That's why I ended up quitting, because it got to the point where a child couldn't win unless they were in make-up and a beautiful dress. At least the teams events haven't gone that way yet.

I've watched Toddlers and Tiaras a few times, and quite frankly it disgusts me. You can tell that 90% of the kids don't even want to be up there, it's just the parents wanting the fame and glory. I think beauty pageants are fine when they're older and people can make the decision themselves if they want to be apart of it or not and can make it their "hobby", but forcing them into something like that at such a young age is demeaning. Granted, I guess it's fair to try it out to see if the kid likes it or not, such as when kids try out ballet or other sports when they're younger, but if they don't like it , stop forcing it for fucks sakes. If the kid even isn't enjoying it, I don't see why a parent would waste so much money on costumes and other shit. I could get into a longer rant about this, but I'll stop there for now.


I watched T&T the other day. They were talking to one of the Mums and she actually said, "I don't think my daughter really likes it, but she just does it for me."
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#12
Rosie May

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I don't think there is anyway to defend child pagents. I think it is exetremely damaging to young girls to be dressed up to ridiculous levels, made to look like minature versions of adult women. I personally think it's a far more insidious way of sexualizing young girls than a striptease to "Superfreak." (I think that's the interesting thing about Little Miss Sunshine, all of the judges an audience were shocked by Olive's performance but yet they didn't have a problem with the other girls who were dressed and stlyed in they way that much older women would be.) It can easily make the child feel like their worth is based soley on their appearance. Even from a physical point of view, all that make up and fake tan etc most be so damaging for their skin. I also think that it could lead to them feeling more insecure about their looks than they would otherwise, if they're caked in make up from childhood, what will they be like when they're taanagers? They probably won't feel comfortable without it, think they're ugly when they're not wearing it etc.

There's a difference between playing "dress up" and being part of competition where you're compared to other girls. I think it's disturbing. Personally I think it should be banned for kids, I don't think it's healthy for young children to be so focused on their looks. (I know there's a talent section, but even that seems to put more emphasis on how "cute" the child is during their performance than how talented they actually are.) I know people say that if it's the kids choice then it shouldn't be a problem, but I don't think it can be compared to football teams etc. Those kind of things teach sportsmanship, how to work as part of a team and some kind of a skill. Pagents teach kids how to look pretty and cute, how to smile no matter how unhappy they are and how to compete with other children. There is no skill involved in pagentry for the most part. It is primarily about looks with talent and personality of much less importance.

At the very least, they shouldn't have swimwear rounds, what's normal about adult judging how kids look in swimwear?

I'm against pagents generally, but adults can make more informed desicions about what they're getting themselves into in a way that children can't.

#13
Reagan

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I've watched Toddlers and Tiaras a few times, and quite frankly it disgusts me. You can tell that 90% of the kids don't even want to be up there, it's just the parents wanting the fame and glory. I think beauty pageants are fine when they're older and people can make the decision themselves if they want to be apart of it or not and can make it their "hobby", but forcing them into something like that at such a young age is demeaning. Granted, I guess it's fair to try it out to see if the kid likes it or not, such as when kids try out ballet or other sports when they're younger, but if they don't like it , stop forcing it for fucks sakes. If the kid even isn't enjoying it, I don't see why a parent would waste so much money on costumes and other shit. I could get into a longer rant about this, but I'll stop there for now.


EXACTLY!
Or if the kid WANTS to do it, it's okay. But when the parent forces it, I just think it's wrong. Especially when the mothers will force their children to get spray tans and manicures and stuff. One time on the news I saw that a lady gave her kid botox. That is horrible! D:

#14
fiercecircus

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It's pretty easy to take the stance condemning this, but I'm going to play devil's advocate instead.

To quote Little Miss Sunshine, "Life's a beauty contest." Whether a parent is putting their little girl in thick make-up and a frilly dress, or aggressively training their little boy to be the most ass-kicking soccer or basketball star around, or watching their child perform in a spelling bee, it all basically involves things children are placed into for the sake of their parents' gratification, which they children themselves may or may not enjoy.

There is no real reason to say beauty contests are any worse than any other random form of turning children in show dogs, be they academic, athletic, or aesthetic show dogs. Some might say there is an element of sexualization of children, but since actual beauty contests don't strip-tease dancing to "Superfreak", I think that's a pretty weak argument, plus the fact that most people aren't perverted fucks - pure statistics.

That's not to say I think it's good parents turn their kids into show dogs, I think it is a trend of a sick culture, but there's no reason to single out beauty contests.


This, and what everyone else said basically. It's basically the psycho parents that make these activities bad for children. Just look at dancer moms, or figure skating moms. I was a figure skater as a kid, and my mom was only minimally psycho about it, but that's why i quit. she was getting more out of it than i was, and i was never going to get to do the thing i really wanted (pairs skating.) But there were psycho parents that were WAY worse than her. The parents that homeschooled their kids so they could spend 9 hours a day at the rink. The parents that yelled and screamed and berated their kids when they messed up. It could be pretty miserable for some of those kids. I was lucky. But- baseball or soccer parents can be just as bad.

Child beauty pageants are just a little weird (as are beauty pageants in general) just because they promote such over-hyped stereotypical feminization and beauty standards. NO ONE really looks like that. The majority of people will never be that beautiful. I think it promotes a culture of low self esteem for people (not just girls) and unattainable body image goals (and eating disorders.) It's like a magazine ad come to life. Ugh.

I mean, where are the BOY pageants? y'know? or the "ms. lesbian tomboy america?" I would go see that. For the talent portion, they could change their own oil. Now THAT's a beautiful girl!

#15
Queen Elrilmalia

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I agree with a lot of what everyone is saying. They are just kids and they are already being used by people to make themselves feel better or to help inprove their image wherever they are. They should be allowed to act like kids. Mess around, play with makers, but no. They must learn proper manners, learn how to dress in awful dress and learn how to make enemies before they learn how to make friends. The parents aren't even acting like parents. More like evil monsters, playing with their minons. (joke) I dont mean to offend anyone who ever did this.

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#16
Radithor

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Eh, back in my day, when I was a young whiper-snapper, I competed constantly in the local Little Atheletics club. In one race, I spread out my arms and zoomed around like a little airplane, sound effects and all. I didn't care. My parents didn't care. But at the end of that same race, I witnessed one of my friends being shouted at by her mother for being a "pathetic looser who should actually try to win." She was what, 7 years old? She'd also just won 2nd place. How is this any better than what goes on in beauty pagents? You can't attack them without challenging all of the other contests parents compete with their children in. Sometimes it's as if they're making bets, and their own damn children are the greyhounds.
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