Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pretty Baby

This evening I watched a show that was so creepy and disturbing, I have trouble even writing about it. The show was called "Toddlers and Tiaras" and it was about child beauty pageants. Now, before I go any further, let me say I hope I am not offending anyone whose child participates in these pageants. They seem to be acceptable to a large group of people -- parents mostly. The children participating in these things seem to be doing it mostly to please their parents, and also because small children don't know any better. They trust the big people in their lives. They actually have professional coaches who teach these children how to pose, wink, wiggle their hips and generally strut their stuff. In other words, there are grownups out there who teach these children how to sexualize themselves.

"Hair-do" and "makeup" are two words that should never be used in reference to a two year-old. But these little tads, starting from the age of six months, or even younger, are being squeezed into sequined miniature replicas of adult ball gowns and hair extensions, and hair spray is lacquered onto their back-combed hair. They are painted up with false eyelashes, lipstick, rouge, eyeshadow, eyeliner and spray-on tans. And then they are being forced out onto a stage to perform for the adults who are judging them.

"Smile for the judges, honey, and look right into their eyes when you do it."

Is this nonsense really legal, and if so, why? You have to go a very long way to find anything creepier than this. There was a film several years ago called "Pretty Baby" starring Brooke Shields, playing a 12 year-old prostitute named Violet. Violet became the object of fascination and affection of a much older photographer. Violet was eventually auctioned off to the highest bidder. She had become nothing more than a beautiful object, and she was robbed of her childhood.

The little girls in these pageants are being taught to compete with each other on the basis of artificial beauty. There is nothing natural about them. Not one thing. What kind of lesson is that for a six year-old?

Looking at these pictures disturbs me. To me, they don't look pretty; they look revolting. I would like to wash their faces, comb their hair and send them out to play in the back yard.

57 comments:

PinkPanthress said...

Your words in Gods ear! :(

Lorna said...

Jo, those pix remind me a lot of Jon Benet Ramsey. I saw video clips of her in those pageants, and in fact, although it is horrible to think about it, she was a pretty little girl.


~Lorna

Bobbie said...

I agree with you, Josie! You can be sure a six month old child doesn't say "I want to be in a beauty pagent"! In my opinion it's child exploitation at it's worst because it's supported by the parents.

the walking man said...

It is a sad indictment on the mentality of all who participate, both the pusher (parent) and the junkie (fan).

janice_phil said...

its horrible...toddlers now are being exploits in so many ways, just terrifying... base on the pictures they don't look like a toddler to me anymore they look like a miniature sorry to say that but look like it...

Lilly's Life said...

Oh my this is very creepy. It is child abuse in my book. I thought that first picture was of a doll.

Helen's Angel said...

Yes I agree, it is a form of child abuse. Disgusting. It's all about self-gratification for the parents and not about caring for the children, which is what a prent should be doing. Makes me feel sick. Thankfully we don't have pageants in this country.

Sally's World said...

do these parents realise how they are shaping their children??? i firmly believe these pageants should be banned, they are a paedophiles dream! if a grown woman chooses to do this, thats fine, but not babies!!!

nomore said...

Completely I agree with you...
It's a sort of cruel treatment the children....useless....right, better to the back yard....

Firefly said...

Kids should not be presured into doing anything. The same problem happens with sport. Kids get pushed.

We dicided to let our kids try everything and tell us if they don't enjoy something. And it seems to be working. They will say when they don't want to and we don't pressure them to change their minds.

We have two friends who both wanted their daughters to try modeling at age 6. The one's daughter decided after lesson 1 that she didn't like it while the second little girl enjoyed it. And although she's doing quite well, her mom still doesn't push her at all. That is the way it should be. Parents shouldn't get too involved and competative.

Sammi said...

They look like their own Barbie dolls.
I am totally against child beauty pageants, its hard enough trying to keep a decent image of beauty in the media without telling young children they have to look beautiful all the time. It's pressure like that which leads to things like anorexia and bulimia..

KathyB. said...

I too find this distressing, but on the same level as the pressure for children(little boys especially ) to compete in athletics at a young age and so many other pressures to conform and excell in what the world considers the road to success and the adoration and adulation of the masses.Sure, there are those children who are talented and naturals at some of these things, but how is this different than some well respected sports stars whose parents started them out as toddlers...?

justin manas prince jaspher ligin said...

this is the act of spoiling the originality of their original smile..hope it will change..

Russell said...

All I can think about is the movie Little Miss Sunshine -- a movie I think is terrific for many reasons.

Personally I think beauty pageants for little kids (i.e., anyone under 16 really!) are awful. As you said the kids go along with it to please their parents (often moms living through their little girls).

Interesting and provoking post...

Burcu said...

Hi Jo, i've been following your blog for a while but i couldn't find much time to write any comment.

Anyway i hope everything i fine with you.

About the post, i'm really so sorry for those little girls but the guilty ones are their parents not the tv programmers. Doesn't this image disturb them?


I wish you a great week Jo!

Hugs from Istanbul

Burcu

Leah Fry said...

I stopped briefly on that program while channel surfing last night, but I couldn't watch it either. They really are creepy looking. It reminds me of those scary movies with dolls that come to life.

I don't think I would be AS opposed if the children were simply dressed up and walked cross the stage as what they are -- children. I have a huge problem with coaching them to sexualize themselves.

Poutalicious said...

Nonsense it all is. You hit on the really scary part - We don't know who killed Jon Benet but we do no it was a deranged psycho pedophile. No child of mine that's for sure.

Andrea said...

You are so right. How will these girls every grow up to develop a strong and healthy sense of self? It is so sad.

Deb said...

It really is creepy! Whatever happened to little girls playing dress up in their Mommies high heels and pearls, sneaking a little lipstick. Now the toy stores have lines of dress up clothes for the little girls that cost as much as adult clothes., my daughters dress up clothes were mine, and one's we found at yardsales and thrift stores..it is crazy...kids need to use their imaginations, they should be playing dolls and house, not prancing around in make-up and fancy hair do's being judged for every little blimish...it is a shame!

RiverPoet said...

It amazes me that any parent would do this to their child. What must they be thinking? And how screwed up are these kids when they grow up??

D

kenju said...

I could not agree more, and I question the motives of mothers who do that to their little girls. It sickens me.

Deb said...

I saw the previews for this show and said..no way..not gonna watch this. I'm sorry but the little girls look creepy, plastic and hard.

HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

I so agree! I also noticed this is Barbie's 50th anniversary; Mattel is down by 47%, so maybe they're behind this 'new show'.

If they can get people to see these 'Barbies', possibly they think they can bring up their sales' figures.

I'm betting we'll see Mattel start advertising on this program; along with all the cosmetic products and other 'stuff' these mothers are using to 'doll' up their daughters!

I have a friend who did this for years; her mom put her into modeling - she repeated the tradition.

She ran a restaurant in Dana Point, California. She was a virtual 'hag' with 3# of make-up on; she was loud; blabbing about her 3 daughters who were all being pushed into modeling. I figured she was using their winnings to fund her restaurant expenses.

She had the restaurant walls plastered with her old pictures; her daughters - trophies, and she said it cost an average of $5,000 for each contest (not including travel/air-fare).

These kids are just conduits so their mothers can 'live through them' and OFF THEM.......

Mary Ellen said...

The message they are giving their kids is that they are not "pretty enough" and that in order to be accepted into society or successful in life, they must dress up like high paid hookers. Mommy will only love you if you wear this wig and smile.

Disgusting. All those kids have the innocent beauty that they were born with...and now they look like a bunch of plastic dolls.

Charles Gramlich said...

This kind of thing really disturbs me and I can't quite wrap my head around why someone would do this to their children.

I don't think it should necessarily be outlawed, but I believe the parents who have their kids take part in it should give themselve a good thinking over about their motives. I'd hope they'd realize that it's harmful and stop.

Budh.aaah said...

Yup you are absolutely right there Jo. Its the creepiest thing one can do to their own babies. Look at the expression on the kid's face for God's sake.

Arley said...

Good Morning Jo- How was your evening out? I hope you had fun!

A friend of our family had a neighbor that had their only child, a daughter, in the "Beauty Pagent" scene. I remember her very well. She was a spoiled brat that told her Mother what to do and where to do it. She had rows and rows of ribbons and trophys' lined on the living room walls. Yet she wasn't all that pretty until she had the 2 lbs of make-up on and the hair extentions.

This was about 15 years ago. In that time, her Mother was an alcoholic, her Father left them, due to the Mothers drinking and forcing of the pagent life. I can remember our family friend had a graduation party for their youngest. That neighbor brought over her daughter, (at the time she was 15) and allowed her to drink at the party.

My point is, the families that force their children into beauty pagents at such a young age, usually have "problems". Maybe they are trying to fulfill some childhood dream in their child, or their mentally ill in some way. No parent, in their right mind, would force a child to participate in such demeaning activities.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

A very righteous rant! I too am appalled by parents who seem to want glory through their children of which these toddler pageants deliver. But I really think it is an unhealthy experience for the kids.

Anonymous said...

They have found, on MY SPACE, 8o,800 suspected child molesters.

And we are all so politically correct, and oh-so-modern.

Marry a kid!

TheChicGeek said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Jo. In my mind it's a crime what they do to these kids. The hair, the makeup, the over-sexualization of children, terrible. Having a wonderful childhood full of innocent fun and play places a little spot of hope in our hearts that lasts a lifetime. No one should have to lose that.

introspection said...

Absolutely APALLING ...!

It is 'child abuse' of the worst order; and by their own parents too. I wish they would stop and think what they are doing to their kid's psychy.

God save us...!!

leilani said...

Of All the things we are responsibile for teaching our children, things that will help them become responsible adults, I dont think makeup wearing and stage presence is high enough on the list to merit this apparent obsession. Ladies our girls will become women, they need more than makeup and runway skills. Can we as women please teach our girls how to become independant, self sufficent, self earning women ?

JENZ O said...

Oh Jo, we had this programme in UK a while ago and it's scary on just about every level. I put this unthinking behaviour in with the dressing up of pets (another group of adults to be upset now) a mindless activity adding to our distorted and damaging relationship with reality...whatever that is! Maybe there just isn't enough help and understanding out there...I guess there's a mini-industry around the whole thing too!! (shivering at the thought)

jay dee said...

I agree totaly with with what you say about these poor kids,their parents are basking in relflected glory,or fame by association, they are not allowed to be what they really are,children, to my way of thinking it's akin to child abuse, they have never known any other life but the life their parens have mapped out for them.

loved your little poem on wee Willie thats' my kind of humour,iv'e posted some more epitaphs,hope you like them.

all that i am said...

it's child abuse?!?

all that i am said...

jo
thank you for being my first follower!?

flowrgirl1 said...

I am right there with ya. Creepy as it gets!

Avril Fleur said...

Boy Jo, you are right. These pics are creepy. That's just the right word. Creepy.

And the whole pageant thing simply adds to the mentality we has subscribed to as a society that the outer image is far more important than the inner character. Now that's perverse.

Lover of Life said...

Jo, my background is human development and family studies. From that point of view, I believe these beauty pageants to be very disturbing. To put small children in the position of responsibility for adult gratification is very destructive. But also in that category is parents that live vicariously through their children's performance in sports, dance, music, etc. Children should not be responsible for their parent's sense of well being.

Ann said...

So many shades of wrong! Those pictures of what were once sweet little girls, now plastic, are really disturbing. I didn't watch the show because I knew it would upset my 11 yr old daughter - a kid who is just a kid!

Hilary said...

Is it just me, or do these photos look like aging starlets who have overdone their multiple plastic surgeries.. but in reverse? There's something about them that's similar to the Dolly Parton look. These very young ones and the aging star faces all want the same look. And it's just wrong.

Mona said...

i so agree with you jo...i feel sorry for the parents who use their children to try to fulfill some failed fantasy of their own and i feel sorry for the children...the demons they will face as they become adults...

Just Breathe said...

The whole beauty pageant thing for children makes me feel ill! Those babies, and that's what they are, are being sexualized even if their mamas and daddies say it isn't so. Those pictures and tv shows are eye candy for all the paedophiles out there. Isn't it a scary enough world without actually inviting them in for tea?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Aw.

I like Dolly Parton.

Here workin' nine to five.

Dave said...

It is sad that any parent would think these pageants are a good idea. So wrong in so many ways. As others have said, this reminds me of 'Little Miss Sunshine,' a wonderful movie.

The Pink Cowboy said...

It's truly disturbing to see children exploited like this. Their parents should get counseling and psychatric evaluation.

The Pink Cowboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stupid common man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stupid common man said...

From your points it seems to be a child exploitation - girls made pretty artificially,looking like high paid hookers etc.Its really bad.They are unwitting victims of the system!!

But I saw a pageant in my hometown it was quit a good thing because children were wearing their tradition dresses and the whole culture was reflected in them.

Now it depends on the type of pageant arranged and obviously its also a matter of perspective.

Deedee said...

Oh my word- It really is child abuse, in my mind! I cannot stand it when people dress their chihuahuas up, never mind their babies! Halloween is one thing, but this pageant thing is a whole 'nother can o' worms. It should be outlawed to display toddlers like this.

The Promiscuous Reader said...

I agree, Jo, those pictures creep me out. My first guess is that their mothers think of their kids, especially their daughters, as toys to be played with, dressed up, painted, etc. That's always been a problem, adults viewing their children as things they made for their own gratification. But I'm not casting the first stone, I'm not a parent and don't suppose I'd do all that well at it.

An anonymous person here claimed that 80,000 "suspected" child molesters have been found on MySpace. The person gave no evidence for that claim, and as far as I know it's a lie. The real problem, alas, is not MySpace. It's families and the "decent," "respectable" people who claim they want to protect kids from the nameless dangers out there in the dark. And this general fact isn't something new -- just read Dickens -- but something that's always been with us.

Documented cases of child sexual abuse by clergy now number in the thousands, as Mike Males wrote -- and those are just the ones we know about. "The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect reports that in 2003, parents murdered 1,200 children and teens, violently and sexually abused 200,000, and brutally traumatized 35,000 more. ... There’s something truly sinister about a society in which the slightest effort by adolescents to establish lives of their own immediately draws a howling mob of fear-mongering demagogues. Especially when that society is so indifferent to real dangers young people face, such as poverty and family abuses."

Now, I'm not saying that all families are abusive -- mine certainly wasn't -- or that strangers are never dangerous. But this story you're writing about is a reminder that kids are too often in the most danger from the people closest to them.

Renee' said...

If I may offer up my opion...I believe that child "beauty" pagenants were rigged up by pedophiles! Any mother who would willing subject their small child to that degree of exploitation should be appalled with herself! These little girls don't want to do this, I have watched documentaries on Discovery channel about these girls and almost all of the little girls said that they would rather go to school and be with friends or watch cartoons than dance and prance around behaving as if they were 6 year old prostitutes! Behavior like this at a young age will most likely lead to big troubles when they are older what with the laundry list of eating disorders and photo shopped skin-&-bones models that grace every cover. It's despicable & should be illegalized; as it is a form of child exploitation!! I have 3 girls of my own, and could never even dream of treating them this way. I think there is some sort of abuse in these situations, forcing someone to do something against their will (or in this case, taking advantage of someone who doesn't know any better) just because you want them to is not healthy for their mental status and teaches these young girls that it is okay to think yourself superior to other people and places a crap load of the their sense of self-worth on exterior looks! It's a bunch of hooey and should be banned, kids should be kids, nothing more nothing less!!!

Mean Mama said...

This post made me suddenly thankful for my mother who never let me wear makeup until I was 16, or dangle earrings, and my father who refused to let me out of the house if I was not dressed appropriately. I think some of our puritanical tendencies breed weirdos.

Mean Mama said...

This post made me suddenly thankful for my mother who never let me wear makeup until I was 16, or dangle earrings, and my father who refused to let me out of the house if I was not dressed appropriately. I think some of our puritanical tendencies breed weirdos.

white crow said...

well, lil girls with makeups disgust me for real! and i fell so nice to say that here...
but if i wud say those kinda parents to let their children grow in natural way, they wudn't agree with me and rebuke saying i don't have no sense of fashion, says i am outdated...
but yes, it is the fault of parents who try to look modern and follow the latest trend ultimately pushing their innocent child to fulfill it. and they smile in the vicarious pleasure.

the foto of that barbie kid is not cute at all, the powders and false charm hides her innocence which is her true innocence..

ddezmo21 said...

I do agree with your post however it's not ALWAYS the parents pushing their children. Neither of my daughters have ever participated in a pageant until this year. My 7 year old daughter got a flyer at school and begged me to enter her in the pageant because one of her friends compete every year so I finally agreed. She wore a pretty long pink dress, I curled her hair and that was it. no fake tanning, no makeup and no sexual walk!!! I did talk to some of the parents that I think are totally CRAZY!! A 6 month old baby had a wig and make up on and her mother said she told herself she would never do that but if that's what she had to do to make her daughter win, she would. I couldn't believe my ears! Anyways, my daughter said she enjoyed herself so I'm happy I let her do it. I hope she doesn't want to do it again next year but if she does, that's her decision and I'm going to let her!

disa said...

手機遊戲,貼圖,A片下載,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色貼圖,情色,色情網站,色情遊戲,色情小說,情色文學,色情,aio交友愛情館,色情影片,臺灣情色網,寄情築園小遊戲,情色論壇,嘟嘟情人色網,情色視訊,愛情小說,言情小說,一葉情貼圖片區,情趣用品,情趣,色情漫畫,情色網,情色a片,情色遊戲,85cc成人片,嘟嘟成人網,成人網站,18成人,成人影片,成人交友網,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人光碟,微風成人區,免費成人影片,成人漫畫,成人文學,成人遊戲,成人電影,成人論壇,成人,做愛,aio,情色小說,ut聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,免費視訊聊天,哈啦聊天室,視訊聊天,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,6k聊天室,視訊聊天室,成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,視訊美女,視訊做愛,正妹牆,美女交友,玩美女人,美女,美女寫真,美女遊戲,hi5,hilive,hi5 tv,a383,微風論壇,微風,伊莉