She has long blond hair that flows in curls over her shoulders. Her bright blue eyes sparkle under the lights. She flutters her long, dark lashes as she cocks her head to one side in a flirtatious, come-hither manner. Her bow-shaped lips are a beautiful, rich cherry red. Her baby blue sequined dress flows to the floor, settling around patent leather Mary Jane shoes. She is only 6 years old.
This child should be in her backyard playing with dolls, jumping rope or chasing her pet dog, not flaunting her body on a runway as others gawk. Mothers are supposed to protect their daughters, not parade them as sex symbols before who knows what kind of people. Have we taken leave of our senses by exploiting vulnerable children in such a manner?
JonBenet Ramsey, a beauty pageant child, was murdered in 1996 after being sexually assaulted. The crime still is unsolved. Was she killed because she was a sexualized toddler?
Instead of being allowed to act like children, these girls are rushed from one pageant to another and forced to act much older than they are. If they don’t conform to their mothers’ expectations, they are punished and denied childhood activities. They spend hours practicing their runway walk and posture. In some cases, they spend more time practicing than adult fashion models.
Many pageant moms are sexualizing their innocent daughters, whose careers likely are being followed by drooling sexual predators, just waiting for an opportunity to make a move. What will these children become in adulthood? How many will turn against their parents and become drug addicts or sexual toys?
By the way, where are the fathers while all of this is going on? Are the fathers submissive to wives who are living their aspirations through their children? How can fathers allow their daughters to be degraded like that?
Kiddy beauty pageants are — without a doubt — child abuse. Mistreatment does not necessarily mean a parent is beating a child. Emotional abuse can be just as tragic. Stress and negative self-evaluations can lead to mental disorders that can last a lifetime. In some cases, these children are given Botox injections to plump their lips; they endure hot-wax treatments to get rid of eyebrow and leg hair, which mostly is just fuzz anyway. When will the nose jobs come?
Children take part in more than 3,000 beauty pageants each year. They spend hours trying on outfits to see which is the sexiest. The girls practice their “entertainment” selections so they don’t forget the words or the moves. Leading up to the pageant, a child must sit through about three hours of preparation, mostly makeup and hair. Even as an adult, I can’t sit still for three hours.
Pageant moms are paving the way for lifelong issues concerning their children’s looks and self-worth. Is it really worth it? This is basically kiddy porn in a dress. How many pedophiles are looking at these girls and liking what they see?
Calderone is a conservative who lives in Midway. He is a professional salesperson and for 30 years has written articles for trade publications in various fields.