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How far will we go to get our children off on the right foot?
Toddler and baby pageant shows are becoming more and more popular these days. The hit TV series “Toddlers in Tiaras” on TLC perfectly portrays the ups and downs of these ‘mini-me’ beauty contests. At what age do these contests begin to effect the children? If they do at all?
The dream of every parent who enters their infant or toddler into one of these pageant shows is to either simply make them a more confident adult, live the life they had wanted vicariously through their children or hope to one day see their daughter walking down the runway during the Miss Universe competition. Are any of these a good enough reason to put a five-year-old in heels and fake eyelashes?
Public speaking is a huge fear of the majority of adults. As children we never really have the opportunity or reason to stand in front of large crowds of people and speak. A lot of kids have a hard enough time getting up in front of 20 of their peers and talking for ten minutes, this only continues on into adulthood for most. So why not get them comfortable with it early on?
During these toddler pageant shows, every little girl has to show off a talent and put on a small ‘show’. If this doesn’t get them over a fear of public speaking, nothing will, right? Parents constantly say that these pageant shows are helping to mold their daughters into more confident adults. Even though for decades people have turned out perfectly fine without being put into wigs and being forced to plaster a fake smile on their faces at the age of three.
Yes, most pageants come with a decent cash prize that, if you’re smart, will go straight into a college fund. Not towards expensive and extravagant toys and clothing for a child that could be satisfied with a giant cardboard box. And yes, some little girls may genuinely enjoy the ‘princess’ lifestyle but they still need to be kept down to earth.
For preparation of these contests, toddlers will go through hours of hair and makeup to look like real living dolls. Most of them get acrylic nails, fake eyelashes and a pair of fake teeth to help them look the part. We all know how much it hurts to rip off acrylic nails and since when do dentists agree to making molds of a three year olds teeth just so that they can avoid having to deal with losing a tooth (which is what is supposed to happen to children – they lose teeth). There seem to be some health risks along with wearing that oh-so desirable princess tiara.
No one is saying that every child beauty queen is going to grow up into this dysfunctional person, most of them won’t. But is it all really worth the risk of the possible damage that could be done?