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Are Children’s Beauty Pageants Safe?

Jaclyn Hughes

Every parent wants the absolute best for their kids, and of course, for them to excel in everything that they do, but is is worth risking their health to win? Critics say that some children involved in the beauty pageant world are not practicing safe preparation routines, and that a lot of the girls are being subjected to some very adult behaviors.

Pageants are not much different than playing sports at a young age, right? There will always be that over-competitive parent watching every child regardless of what activity your child decides to participate in, so what are the issues that cause so many people to have a stigma about children entering pageants?

While there are also kids that take great strides to be better than average at youth sports, it seems that the abundance of techniques used to make the contestants sparkle that annoys viewers. Take the wildly popular television show, Toddlers and Tiaras; if you’ve yet to see an episode you are missing out on some interesting little ones! Some of the spouses literally refuse to participate in the beauty contests because they don’t like how mature all the glitz and glam makes their little darlings appear on stage.

The preparation for one of these shows can cost the parents well into the thousands to do it the way the judges expect the kids to look. Dresses for the shows are anywhere from a few hundred, to a few thousand dollars per dress, and when it comes to makeup and making their faces look perfect; no budget is spared.

The Monsters and Critics website reported that some girls have spray tans, and even use collagen sprays on their faces to decrease the look of wrinkles and create the illusion of the perfect face. Colored contacts, using flipper mouth pieces that create the perfect smile, and waxing all of their facial hair are also common practices. Throw on a heavy hair piece and they are ready for the stage!

That’s not all the kids are subjected to though, as many perform during their shows. Coaches are usually hired to help teach the children how to walk on stage, how to wow the judges, how to pose like a pro. Some children start dieting a few weeks before the pageant to fit perfectly into their dresses. Come show day in order to keep the kids full of energy to stay on point throughout the competition, some parents give their children Pixie Stix, or candy to hype them up.

There will always be those that frown upon these types of contests saying that it isn’t good for kids and so forth, but there are some children that do very well out of them. Many earn college education funds, bonds, and life lessons about not every kid always coming home with a crown or trophy. There have also been some newer twists to the contests int he past few years, with many encouraging more talent to be showcased, or for the kids to have a more natural look in order to win. With the success of the TLC network show, there is also tons of kids wanting to jump on the bandwagon and be the newest face of the show, and the pageant scene.

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