Angry time. So I apologise if I drift off a little. Old hat at angry, newbie at blogging about it.
It was announced recently that a “toddlers and tiaras” pageant is coming to Melbourne. They say everyone is excited about it, and it has generated interest from across Australia and New Zealand. Me, I felt physically sick.
Major warnings here – this FB page is the thing that made me sick – I don’t like presenting people with this, but I kinda feel people need to see this. Click here. The cover of Universal Royalty has a photo of what was once a little girl. Whatever she was, she is now a plastic creation of her Frankenstenian parents.
I was led there while trying to find out what makes Kristin Kyle tick. What would make someone put young children through such horror?
In one report, a mother of a “contestant” says:
“They’re up on stage doing what they want, which they love,” she said.
It all depends on how you parent it and how you control it. Each to their own.
[The mother who wants to put her 9 and 6 year old daughters into a pageant] said beauty pageants had a competitive nature akin to sport.”
OK. Let’s look at this. It is what they want? That must be why we so often see them in tears and looking fearful. Their plastered smiles when they are on display do not count – because you order them to smile. How you control it: Ah now – here is the nub. It is about control, isn’t it? A competitive nature akin to sport: Here’s an idea – get them interested in sport. Just watch out that you don’t push kids into sport because of your own failures or lost glory when they should be, well, kids.
Even for adults, these competitions are vile. But at least adults are more likely to be able to make their own choices.
Fortunately, it is being fought. Collective Shout and Australians Against Child Beauty Pageants are leading the fight. And if, as the organisers are saying, interest is being expressed from New Zealand, then we must lead the fight against this type of insidious abuse from even starting here.
There really can be no doubt – child beauty pageants are nothing more than child abuse. At best they sexualise children, and contribute to the worldwide epidemic of child abuse. Yes – that is at best. I don’t like thinking about the worst.
And it sure as hell does not help having headlines like this Little beauties set to go on show. As I commented over at Collective Shout, the language creates an image of fruit ripe for plucking. And that just opens up a whole world of sickening.
I will give them this – to want to expose your child to an environment where they are rewarded for personal struggle, where they understand the competitive world they will soon find themselves in, to educate them about how it feels to feel good about yourself – all these things are good. Very good. But this really is not the way to do it, and it is far too soon. And to teach them that you can only feel good about yourself when you are pimped out, is extraordinarily destructive.
Some may say that the kids can deal with it. But I never said it was just about them. When parents teach their children that you feel good about yourself once you are starved, skinny, and plasticised it makes everyone else feel like shit.
And I haven’t even got close to what it says about judging women based on appearances.
I strongly encourage everyone to be watchful about this issue. “Like” both Facebook pages I have referenced. Don’t sit on the sidelines.
I know it is a bit old, but I will leave you with something more pleasant.