What is the obsession with child beauty pageants? In 2001 HBO put out a disturbing documentary entitled Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen (click here to see video) it won an Emmy for outstanding picture in 2001. Also, you may recall the dark comedy Little Miss Sunshine in 2006, which dealt with the irony of child beauty pageants. It was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture in 2006. Both television and film audiences were exposed to the sub-culture of child beauty pageants possibly for the first time. Has much changed since then?
We’ve all seen a Miss America beauty pageant on television. Some of the women in the Miss America pageants have been in pageants since childhood. In this article I will be discussing child beauty pageants. Child beauty pageants began in the 1960’s. Pageants consisted of these events: modeling sportswear, evening attire, dance, and talent. Some mothers lie about their child’s age(s) so their children can appear more mature and poised. However, some pageants now require birth certificates to verify the ages of the children. Prizes differ depending on the size of the contest. Some of these prizes include:
- Cash awards
The country’s largest beauty pageant is Universal Royalty pageant. This is the pageant that is seen on Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC. Every contestant receives and award for participating. Sixty contestants from just 3 months to 30 years old compete in this pageant.
Please click here to watch video.
As soon as the child can sit up on his/her own, he/she is allowed to enter the pageant. There is a minimum cost of $545 to enter the pageant that covers basic entry fees. Plus an additional $395 just to have all the pageantry options available to the child. The average cost of the pageant is around $655 and does NOT include lodging, food and travel. The Grand Supreme winner of the pageant receives $1000, ten-inch crystal crown, a six foot trophy, entry paid in full to nationals, a teddy bear, long stemmed roses, a tote bag, satin rhinestone banner, gifts, video of the pageant and a photo on an advertisement for the pageant. With all of the expenses for the pageants I can now see why some children may feel pushed to win. According to Worldnetweb.com Child abuse is the physical, sexual or emotional mistreatment of children. Do you think their parents are emotionally abusing the children who enter pageants?