Just as there has been a lot of hoopla lately about child beauty pageants (one community in particular has banned them), a new story came out seeming to condone them. I’m referring to a heart-warming story about a new type of beauty pageant: one for kids with special needs.
You can’t help but applaud these families who compete. Their sending a message to the world and, of course, to their children, that although they are different, they are also beautiful.
Being an advocate for embracing and sharing beauty, I’m loving this! But I am also as creeped out by child beauty pageants as the rest of us (“Toddlers and Tiaras”, ah, hellooooo). Is there a double standard here? In one case we’re making kids feel great, and in another we’re abusing them. Hmmmmm. Can you argue that the same warm, cushy feeling these special kids feel by being acknowledged as beautiful may be similar to that those “normal” kids who compete in “normal” kiddy pageants feel? Perhaps these “normal” kids are anything but. Perhaps they too need some sort of acknowledgement that they’re beautiful.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, the motives of the parents for special needs children is different from the those of the “normal” pageant moms.
Or maybe we’re all a bunch of snobs. I’m not saying we should dress up kids like mini Pamela Andersons. I’m just wondering if we changed the rules/approaches a bit in the “scary” pageants, that ALL pageants can be accepted by the rest of us. And ultimately all kids feel great in the end.