It’s clearly a polarising issue with those that believe them to be not only harmless but actually good for little girls on one side, and those that believe they are incredibly harmful to them on the other. Clearly I believe them to be harmful and nothing I have seen recently has made me change my mind about that.
The reasons I dislike child beauty pageants is too vast to mention in one simple post, but they all centre around self esteem and how little girls perceive their worth. The reason that the self esteem and worth of girls is so incredibly important is that it directly impacts not only how they feel about themselves at that time, but also how they may grow to feel about themselves as an adult woman. I have counselled many women who have recounted childhood experiences to me where they were made to feel the most important thing about them was the way they looked. Placed on diets. Told to suck their tummy in. Compared to siblings. Judged for the way they did, or didn’t, look. Much of this appears to have stemmed from a place of extremely misguided focus on wellbeing, but often caused deep ripples of self doubt and introspection leading to negative self belief and thought patterns.
You can imagine then how I may fear for this little girl, forced to have her eyebrows waxed by her Mother prior to her entry into a beauty pageant. When I say forced I absolutely mean FORCED because the child clearly not only states, but screams, she does not want it done.
I’m not sure about you but I actually found watching that clip distressing. The child is crying and screaming not to have hot wax poured on her delicate skin and face and yet her Mother believes it to be a perfectly acceptable thing to do, despite her daughter being petrified and her previously having it done and being burned as a result. How can this be something that is good for a child? Waxing is something that should only be done by adult women who choose to do so. It is not something that is meant to be done to a child’s delicate skin and in my book, it’s especially not meant to be done for the purpose of ‘beautifying’ a child. Since when did a little girls eyebrows become something that needed to be ‘fixed’ with waxing?
To my mind, no little girl needs ‘fixing’ at all. No waxing. No shaving. No highlights. No makeup. No slimming undies. Little girls should be allowed to be just that – little girls – with no cares or worries about what they look like. Their whole world should be made up of playing, colouring, running outside, learning to share, making friends at school and generally just having fun and being childlike. They should not be exposed to anything that makes them think they have to be ‘fixed’ in any way but clearly the type of beauty pageants these girls are being entered in believe they have to be. To my mind that is not only a travesty, but a potential tragedy waiting to happen.