Since I wrote and posted my first blog article on this subject, Children’s Beauty Pageants – Eden Wood on this blog on July 30, 2011 I have had well over 700 views and the views continue to grow by 20 or so everyday.
I am fascinated by the amount of people viewing this item. I have looked at the search queries that lead people to the article, and I have decided that the the subject should be discussed further. Clearly, from the search queries, the topic of children‘s beauty pageants concerns many people. These people are either questioning if they should have their child take part in pageants “should children dress up in pageants” or they are searching for guidance on how to raise their children, “dressing my daughter“, “dressing girls“, and many references to “Eden Wood” and “Eden Wood’s mother“. The other interesting thing that I find about my original post is that even though many hundreds of people have now read the post – only one or two have commented.
Many of us blogging about this issue have taken one of the polarized views, for or against pageants. Looking through my blog’s search results, I can see that there is way more to this issue. People out there need some answers – some guidance about what is appropriate. What is OK and what isn’t OK when it comes to child raising. What is child exploitation and what do we mean by the sexualisation of children.
Recently, a mother hit the headlines in America because she dressed her little girl up as the character played by Julia Roberts in Pretty Women. The character was a prostitute, and the mother dressed the child in the clothes that Julia’s character was wearing at the start of the show when she meets Richard Gere‘s character. The child was dressed as a prostitute – someone who prostitutes themselves for sex. When interviewed, the Mother seemed unable to understand the fuss.
She [the mother], just loved Julia Roberts, and Pretty Woman was her favourite Roberts movie. She just thought the movie was a comedy so her logic told her that the costume was representing “comedy, [it was] non sexual”. Hmmm, it’s one thing to dress your little child up with grown up clothes and make up but it is another thing to dress them as a sexual object like a prostitute with short skirt and thigh high boots.
But all of this raises another question for me and that is – we are always interviewing the “mother” of these children? What about the “father” and the siblings? Does everyone in the family agree with what is going on or do some family members feel concerned or left out? Surely the father’s have a responsibility in this as well? So where are they?
GROWN UP PAGEANTS
I don’t like pageants of any description because they are about looking a certain way and a representing a certain view of female beauty. Worse, pageants have a stigma attached to them. A picture of women parading in bikini’s and swimsuits, becoming fantasy objects. It is not a real view of women. It’s all about the look and whilst many a beauty queen is intelligent and gone on to greater things, it is the perception of the participants that concerns me. So here is a little fun in terms of grown up pageant news! The “Dumbest question in the universe?” Not only does the Miss Universe pageant demean and patronize its entrants, it seems that it doesn’t think too much of its judges either. Fantastic!
and here is another one in Mother and Baby December 9, 2011! Mum had children so they could ‘do’ pageants