How can you NOT reel in horror when you see all the pics of toddler beauty pageants?  With Toddlers and Tiaras in full swing, you’d think I’d get used these images.  But I can’t.  I’m not the only one, clearly.  A few months ago People magazine did a whole feature on it.

But am I a hypocrite?  After all I recognize the value of beauty pageants.  For many women it’s a way to get necessary funds for college or it’s a stage for them to express their assets.  And many of these pageant winners started young in pageants like these!

Also, I believe its wonderful to want to play with beauty and share the experience with others.

Is this so different?

Yes.

And if you’ve seen the slew of articles about Jon Benet Ramsey’s father coming out recently, he agrees!

First, I’m really shocked at the blatant sexualization that goes on at such a young age.  Girls are being padded to look like Dolly Parton and dressed to look like the prostitute played by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  Leave it to our Puritanical culture to equate beauty with sexuality, ugh.  This is what happens when people feel they need to go to the extreme to win.

Second, there’s an age limit to everything.  While my husband and I send our son to chess matches at the young age of 7, he’s not a toddler!  My son has enough maturity to take the games in stride.  But kids barely out of diapers can’t truly understand what pageants are.  Can they really view them as fun when so many pageant moms take these events VERY seriously.   I can totally imagine a young girl thinking “if I don’t win this pageant, will I lose mom’s love?”

Finally, being judged on one’s looks at such a young age may screw them up as they grow older.  They’ll end up being super looks conscious.

I’m all for letting kids experiment with clothes and make-up, and allowing them to express their beauty in the comfort of their own homes, or even on stage (assuming for harmless purposes).  But once you add the judging part into the mix, all hell breaks loose.

Comment or tweet me your thoughts @beautyskew

Recommended Posts