Is this child abuse?

Child beauty pageant - Child in seductive clothing and posing as a hooker
Australia
September 8, 2011 7:46pm CST
The attached pic (assuming I can get it to work) is from a child beauty pageant, and the seductive pose and clothing has me astonished. I am one of the most liberal of people so far as sexuality goes, but this bothers me beyond belief. We learn a great deal of the attitudes that we act out in later lives in the pre-literate stage, which means early chuildhood, and I have to wonder what this sort of activity is going to do to the children involved when they REALLY grow up. What do you think about this? Lash
4 people like this
19 responses
@choybel (5059)
• Philippines
9 Sep 11
Everything a child does and is being exposed to would definitely have an effect on him/her at some stage and it could be direct ones or indirectly. Saying this, parents or caretakers are to be held responsible. I don't know to what terms child abuse can be labeled to but I think this kind of behavior not only might give the child some effects on the views of life he/she is into, but also could attract predators, the very sick ones, which then threatens the safety of this child. I just hope responsible parenting is gets to be an education available widely.
2 people like this
• Australia
9 Sep 11
Child in beauty pageant - Another example of forced precociousness in children.
If it's not child abuse in itself, it's easy to see how it could lead to child abuse. Mind you, some feminists see child abuse in taking your child into the bath with you, a totally innocent practice when I was growing up. The pic I used is only one: I'll add another. Lash
2 people like this
• United States
9 Sep 11
I am a little confused here. What does feminism have to do with taking your child into the bath or shower with you?
1 person likes this
• Australia
10 Sep 11
A feminist lesbian social worker told me and my then wife, also a social worker, that this represents child abuse. I found the concept a fraction bewildering myself. Lash
1 person likes this
@rod977 (118)
• Portugal
9 Sep 11
I think parents are responsible for these things. They thing they can expose their kids to the adult world and make them look like one. They try to make their childs look like Barbie Dolls and that is not good from them. Girls with that age should be playing with dolls, playing with their friends and having fun with appropriate things. Not doing "Beauty" contests. Everything in it's own time. :/
2 people like this
• Australia
9 Sep 11
Well yes, Rod, it's hardly the children's idea. But I have to take exception to the stereotypical sexism of your statement "Girls with that age should be playing with dolls". With toys yes, other kids yes, dolls if that's what they like, but also with footballs and model trucks if they like. One of the disturbing things about this trend in beauty pageants is that it grossly exaggerates the perception of girls as nothing more than men's toys. Lash
2 people like this
@rod977 (118)
• Portugal
9 Sep 11
Yeah, I said with dolls because most of the girls like to play with them. But there are many girls who play with other toys and play football and stuff. I just think they should do this kind of "beauty contests", that are more like adult contests. But if they like to pretend that they're models with their friends it's totally ok. Rod
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Sep 11
I think that many girls play with dolls, because they are conditioned to play with them. I did not like playing with dolls and neither do my two girls. I had other options for toys, and I tried to make sure that my girls had educational toys that did not try to mold them into any stereo-type. Of course, there were people that were resistant to this idea and would insist on buying them dolls, but my girls decided on their own that cars, trucks, dinosaurs, Duplos, etc. were more interesting than a doll.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (84048)
• Chile
9 Sep 11
THere´s a show on TV (american) that is called something like "Little princess". It´s about girls that are trained since they are about a year old for shows with prizes as they would have a Miss Universe. Parents make them learn how to move and do grownup stuff and there are judges. Parents spend lots of money in clothes hoping that someday these poor children will repay their efforts. If I had a say in this, I think that social workers should worry about this instead of taking children away from parent who occationally give them a slap on their butt for bad behaviour. I think THIS is child abuse.
• Australia
9 Sep 11
You'll get no argument from me on this, but then I find the whole reality TV thing tacky and destructive, especially in areas like this. Not that impressed with the Oprah/Dr Phil kind of thing either, because they sensationalise grubby and disgusting things and provide tacky role models for the other morons out there who find grubby and disgusting things fun. Lash
1 person likes this
@marguicha (84048)
• Chile
3 Nov 11
I wholly agree with you. And those realities are everywhere. I don´t live at the US but as usual we import the most stupid things a country has. Relaity shows was one of them. Fortunatly we haven´t reached the "sexy baby shows" the US has, but we get them from the US on TV. Shame!
@alottodo (3062)
• Australia
9 Sep 11
I do not see it as child abuse...my girls did ballet and tap dancing as young children they had to wear make up to go on stage...and yes they looked like young adults but I never consider it as child abuse...and I can say that today they are very responsible human beings all that make up and glitter did not affect the way they are today.
2 people like this
• Australia
10 Sep 11
I think that dancing classes are a completely different kettle of fish to beauty pageants. Mommyboo (below) makes a good point about makeup, but it's not the fact that they are wearing makeup that disturbs me, it the sexually provocative clothing and presentation they undergo, which I suspect would not be too common at ballet classes. Lash
1 person likes this
@megamatt (14332)
• United States
9 Sep 11
Its one of those things that really do make me shake head from side to side. Abuse, yes, that would be a pretty good word. Another word is exploitation to say the very least. The exploitation of children, by parents forcing them into these roles, these contests. It also gives the children a bad impression about certain idealized forms of society. I'm not politically correct by any means, but there is just something that is rather off settling. I do wonder what parents think many times and this is the prime example. I do wonder if they wonder what they are doing. Often times, it is a case of the parents trying to get some glory through their children and they use rather twisted methods to reach that moment.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164026)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Sep 11
hi megamatt yes and some of them in one feature on tv almost as mmuch as admitted she did this for the glory it brought her as she was too old and fat to be in adult beauty contests. I abhor how they dress these kids too. it is child abuse for sure.
1 person likes this
@bingskee (5238)
• Philippines
9 Sep 11
truly bothersome. it is a sick way of the mothers (or parents, in some situations) to let their children do or achieve what they failed to do or achieve when they were young. i do not know how to call this but it looks like a psychological illness by the parents. what is sad about it is they pass on these things to the little children molding them into another of themselves, which can be, a better or a worse version, psychologically.
2 people like this
• Australia
9 Sep 11
You want sick? Look at the following response. Lash
2 people like this
@allknowing (58156)
• India
9 Sep 11
It is going to have a bad effect on this kid surely. And this perhaps is only the beginning. What is the government doing I wonder.Can it not see the dangers of having such beauty pageants involving children? Society has exceeded its limits when it comes to treating children as children and nothing more.
2 people like this
• Australia
9 Sep 11
Governments are made up mostly of men, and things like this are hardly of concern to them. Write to your local MP/Congressman/etc and make your feelings known. Lash
2 people like this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
9 Sep 11
Ehh... I think pageants in general are not the wisest things to get involved in, social media is fixated enough on appearances and physical beauty as it is. I think a lot of what drives this type of thing is competition between and among PARENTS, not the kids themselves. I remember being bothered when I was told by a dance studio that I needed to put lipstick, mascara and eye shadow on my daughter when she was FOUR for a performance (good luck with that sometimes, if you've never tried that before, your kid thinks you're going to poke her eye out) but they actually had a point, under the lights on stage, the little girls without any makeup were washed out and you couldn't see their faces well. It looks creepy in normal everyday lighting and up close but.... As far as long lasting damage - probably not too much so, depends how long they do pageants. I think other things might be more useful in the future unless someone goes from pageants to movies and tv.
2 people like this
@talfonso (246)
• United States
9 Sep 11
This is sick. Even the costumes I danced in my dance recital as a kid are more modest than this. Speaking of dance costumes, I see a lot more immodest dancewear than back in my day in my New Jersey childhood. Once upon a time, there were those based on full-body leotards with ballet-cut leg lines and skirts, but nowadays midriffs are all over the scene. Even dance classes, particularly at workshops and conventions like NYCDA, have tanned bellies all over. Even those like 7 years old wear a top resembling a bra in those classes! UGH. Back to beauty pageants. I think there's a time agewise and a place to have them, but if organizers make one featuring modest clothing and require entrants to use them, it would help a bit. But I'd rather watch a dance recital with midriffs galore than see one!
@SIMPLYD (76636)
• Philippines
9 Sep 11
I personally don't find anything wrong with it. As long as they are not made to parade on skimpy bikinis, it's still alright. At that young age, those who kids who are really interested in that could be trained already and taught on how to act and speak like beauty contestants should. As long as they still study hard, for me it's no problem.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164026)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Sep 11
Mike don't you get what Grandpa is saying, I mean these childrem are used by their moms to achieve these crowns that moms wish they had so they are exploiting their own children. I agree Grandpa went a little far and hard on simplyD. But I really dislike dressing little girls like tiny Wh.o.r.e.s. I dislike these contests a s what they dress the kids for is not mentally healthy.
• Australia
10 Sep 11
Hatley, I'm pretty sure Mike is with us on this one. Lash
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (76636)
• Philippines
10 Sep 11
Don't get me wrong. When i say "trained" it means that they will be taught by those persons in-charge of beauty contests. And with kids, they also know how to handle them with care. But i respect your opinion that you don't like them to join those pageants. Just don't insult me like that.
• United States
9 Sep 11
You know what, I do not think that beauty pageants are good in the first place. However, if it really were a "beauty pageant" and talent contest, then I would not like it but I do not think it would be as bad, either. What I mean by that is that if the children (and yes, both boys and girls compete in these contests), were dressed in cute outfits and allowed to show their natural, age appropriate talents, then it would be a lot better. As it is now, these children are taught from an extremely young age that they are not good enough just being themselves. I know that you are focusing on girls here, but really this affects contestants of both genders. They are forced to wear make-up, get false eyelashes, wear hair extensions, have their teeth altered or have false teeth made, and do a bunch of other things to make themselves look different from the way that they really are. It teaches them that they will never be good enough being themselves, so they need to alter themselves to achieve acceptance and approval, and that is an extremely bad lesson to be teaching our children!
1 person likes this
• Australia
10 Sep 11
I haven't seen the male version, but I'll take your word for it. But yes, the element of artificialty is another issue here, and I suspect this also exaggerates a sense of self-absorbtion which makes relating to other people healthily a little difficult. As someone suggested earlier in this thread, only the truly strong characters are going to come out of this kind of thing without some damage. Lash
• United States
10 Sep 11
I have seen a few shows on this subject, which is how I know that boys also compete in these pageants. They are sexualized in much the same way as the little girls ... only differently. They are mostly made to be "players" and "pimps", which is also a very unhealthy stereo-type. In fact, the whole scenario sets the children up to get involved in unhealthy and abusive relationships, in my opinion. I do not agree that only the truly strong characters will come out of this sort of thing without some damage. I think that they probably won't suffer as much damage as the weaker and more impressionable children (or they will suppress it better), but I do not see how any child can come out of it without any damage at all.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
10 Sep 11
Hi, grandpa_lash. I am against young children posing provocatively for anything. I can't really see the seductiveness in this photo. I just know that I would not be comfortable with my child wearing anything that is too short on camera. There are other cute and beautiful outfits that a child can wear to a beauty pageant, if need be. A child should always dress like an child, and not like an adult at all, period.
1 person likes this
• Australia
10 Sep 11
Yes, it is premature sexualisation of children. Lash
@peavey (15808)
• United States
9 Sep 11
I would call it mental and emotional abuse. Doing things like this teaches a child that her body is more important than anything. It's easy to see where this leads and it would take a very strong personality to not fall into it. We live in a materialistic world where what we look like and what we own seem to define who we are. Add this to that and it's a recipe for emotional disaster.
1 person likes this
• Australia
10 Sep 11
Exactement, and I wonder how many of the moms of thses children are themselves sexually confused. Lash
@Hatley (164026)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Sep 11
okay will have to copy something is eating my post as I type grrrrrr I hate this kind of stuff as Mom is using the child to live vicariously through her tots achievements. the idea of making a little girl pose as a hooker is not funny but sickening. why do these moms want to do this don't they see this could be harmful to a child's mental growth.I have seen features showing how wrapped up these children and moms get over these beauty pageants, get so into that if the child does not win they are all over her to know why. some of the little ones were crying from plain exhaustion. let them be little kids as long as they can. they should be free to go outdoors and play like little kids, not be all gussied up and look like adult s.l.u.t.s.I do not believe what these moms will do all for the sake of winning these things. the children do not any longer look like little girls but painted up little hussies. Maybe I am too old fashioned b ut thats what it looks like to me.
1 person likes this
• Australia
10 Sep 11
Hussies, yes, good word and doesn't activate the censorship bot. The whole thing biols down to exploitation, and while I'm sure most of the moms don't see anything wrong with it, it is shallow thinking not to see the potential for later problems with sexuality and relationships. Lash
• United States
9 Sep 11
I don't know if it is child abuse or not. I know many think it is. But is it child abuse to make a child practice piano 30 minutes a day? I guess not. Sometimes the child just has to go along with what the parent wants at an early age. I guess alot of the kids actually enjoy it. I do know this tho, if a child loses when they know how badly the mom or parent wants them to win, that might not be good psychologically. Also, If you tell your child they are beautiful or the prettiest or handsomest all the time, this is not good, because as they grow up, they will be hurt because they discover they aren't after all.
• Australia
9 Sep 11
As Mike (below) puts it, it is morally child abuse, even if not legally. But you raise a good point with the winner/loser issue. It is possible this would lead to the child being an easy lay, beacsyue each time she "scores" it will prove how beautiful she is, what a "winner". Lash
2 people like this
• Philippines
9 Sep 11
most thinking goes like this - that its a child so its alright... but personally, YES, it is child abuse - they are already instilling it to the very young mind, and the child will bring it throughout their life...
1 person likes this
• Australia
9 Sep 11
I suspect it will lead to a habit of dressing provocatively and becoming a target for predators. And if they are raised to see being "beautiful" is the right thing, they may well be easy meat (and I use the word deliberately). Lash
2 people like this
@_sketch_ (5711)
• United States
11 Sep 11
What I am worried about is the fact that these girls are going to grow up thinking that all that matters is looks. I guess "it's what's on the inside that counts" is old hat. I don't know if this is child abuse or not, but children don't need makeup to be cute and they don't need to be sexy. And it seems like parading our child's body around is really the opposite of the type of attention we would want on our children.
1 person likes this
@Keola12 (717)
• United States
9 Sep 11
I agree with you completely. These pictures you mention are indeed disturbing. I think it's disgusting for any adult to exploit the children in this fashion or any fashion, for that matter. In my opinion, such parents who put their children in beauty pageants are trying to live out their own dreams through their children. And this is appauling and disgusting and selfish of parents who do this. They are obviously sick and definitely need psychological help.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
9 Sep 11
I've seen these kind of pictures and attitudes on TV when I chance upon those beauty pageant shows for little girls. Personally, I can't stand the show, and knowing how the kids act, because of the prodding of their parents is really appalling. And yes, I think it's child abuse.
1 person likes this