Prizes at stake might include cash awards, crowns, trips, puppies or even movie “bit parts.” The potential for fame and fortune, Cartwright says, may contribute to “achievement by proxy distortion” in parents.It is not uncommon for parents, especially those of young athletes, to exhibit what is known as benign “achievement by proxy,” in which they experience pride and joy through their child’s achievements but still recognize a child’s limitations, says Cartwright, who has worked extensively with young athletes and dancers as a dietitian.
Beauty pageants are a consumerist celebration at best. A bulging one hundred and sixty billion dollar-a-year industry has to be fuelled and kept going.
Women who watch the pageants worldwide, in order to attain the universal norms of beauty, feel compelled to become consumers of a whole range of products whose advertisements only reinforce the views of the pageant that “Success in life can be achieved through physical beauty alone.”The truth is that women are being “objectified” and like someone said “they are participating in their own objectification.”Is the woman who walks the ramp a true woman?? Is she someone who has the perfect hour glass figure created by strenuous exercise and diet and cellulite chiseling off? When she walks into a room, men feel compelled to stand.
As child reality TV star Honey Boo Boo continues to capture the attention of audiences with her boisterous personality and her own show about life on the child beauty pageant circuit, a new paper published today in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry takes a critical look at the very types of pageants in which she and thousands of other children compete in America every year. Cartwright, a registered dietitian and adjunct professor in the University of Arizona’s department of nutritional sciences, suggests that high-glitz child pageants, largely popularized by the TLC hit reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras” and its spin-off “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” often have little to do with the children and much more to do with satisfying the needs of their parents.
It further suggests that participation in such pageants can actually be harmful to children’s health and self-esteem.
“Everything was based on what these kids look like and the way that these children were displayed or dressed,” Cartwright said.
“They were fully made up; they looked like adult women, pint-size.“If we can understand why the parents are doing what they’re doing, then we can start addressing the problem,” she said.“And I think if the public understands why the parents are doing that then they won’t pay as much attention to these pageants.” She also emphasized the importance of teaching young children that self-esteem is not all about looks.Is she the lady from the pageant with that million dollar smile the one that has teeth which have been whitened, who’s had a dentist work away the imperfections. They swarm around her like honey bees while other women turn their heads and look at her enviously.Is she the one with the silicon curves, the one with injected lips that pout??? Its not so much her figure, although that helps, its really about the fire in her eyes, the warmth in her smile the touch of her healing hands and the comfort of her breasts. The bling bling of the flash bulbs followed by the eyes widening, the hand rushing to the mouth in incredulous wonder, and then a prefabricated perfect smile slipping into place while a sash fits in place and yet another woman is crowned – most beautiful of them all.Beauty contests endorse an ideal of female beauty to which only a very few women can realistically aspire, but it adds to the pressure on all women to conform to it.She gives unconditionally, loves beyond reason, and forgives you time and time again.She cries when she is happy, and laughs when she is sad. You will find her at the supermarket shopping for groceries, probably dressed in something sturdy like square heels and jeans and a tee shirt.She recalled in particular one young contestant, wearing a Playboy bunny costume, being carried onto the stage by her father, dressed as Hugh Hefner.Cartwright is additionally concerned about the physical health of young pageant participants.