The claim I will present at the end of my opening paragraph is that pageants for toddlers and young girls, do not create a healthy body image. In order to ensure that tourism levels in the United States progressed, the idea of beauty pageants came up. This initiative started in the year 1921, and up to date, many pageants’ for children are taking place all over the country. Parents are making their young toddlers and especially girls, to participate in beauty pageants. Most of them engage in this act, despite their children not being willing and even ignoring the impact, which it might have to the toddlers in the future (Neumark-Sztainer & Paxton & Hannon & Haines, 2006. 244).
This paper seeks to give a critical analysis of the claim that healthy image issues are not brought about when young girls and toddlers participate in pageants.
Critical analysis of the impact of pageants’ on young girls and toddlers in terms of healthy and body issues created
My first supporting statement is: sexualization is experienced by the young girls and toddlers as a result of participating in pageants.
This is an example of a fact.
I will need to provide the following backing to convince readers that my support is valid:
There are many ways through, which sexualization occurs when the young girls and toddlers participate in pageants. Most times, the contestants become aware of themselves and this is usually in a negative manner. They tend to ‘sexy’ practices and behaviors, which are witnessed in adult contestants. These can be through putting on fake lashes, having on excess makeup, as well as putting on high heels, among other things (Neumark-Sztainer & Paxton & Hannon & Haines, 2006. 246).
The young participants are harmed by the culture that is extremely sex-saturated at the various pageants. In turn, they develop negative psychological thoughts and behaviors concerning their body. According to studies done, in the future, such children are prone to have weight issues in the future. Often, they try every means possible to ensure that they have bodies, which resemble that of others participating in other pageants’. They can even go to extreme measures to ensure that they achieve the ideal weight by taking dangerous slimming pills, going on unhealthy diets, among others (Neumark-Sztainer & Paxton & Hannon & Haines, 2006. 249).
My second supporting statement is: Self-image issues are raised as a result of the young girls and toddlers participating in pageants.
This is an example of an Interview.
I will need to provide the following backing to convince readers that my support is valid: I once was lucky to obtain the opportunity to meet a six-year-old girl, known as Ashley, who regularly participates in beauty pageants. According to her parents, enrolling her into the pageants is a mistake that they regret (Jones, 2011. 1). This is because their daughter has become excessively obsessed with her appearance and in particular her body appearance. It has reached a point whereby, she does not attend school because she sometimes wakes up feeling ‘fat’. Ashley frequently watches beauty pageant shows and even at school, she is known for being excessively concerned with her body and self image. Attempts to take Ashley to a children’s counselor have not yielded any efforts as she is still obsessed with her body image.
Indeed, it is true that pageants are causing young girls and toddlers problems related with their bodies. They seem to grow up knowing that being skinny is the in thing and if one is not, they are considered as being outcasts.
My third supporting statement is mental and physical health issues.
This is an example of a cause/effect prediction.
I will need to provide the following backing to convince readers that my support is valid: It is true that people who are obsessed with their weight and self-image have a type of psychological problem. Since the young girls and toddlers are obsessed with appearing a certain way, they will often be affected mentally. In that, if they fail to resemble other pageant contestants they will probably become depressed, and others will suffer from anorexia or bulimia. This means that the source of the problem is participating in pageants and the effect is physical and mental health issues (Neumark-Sztainer & Paxton & Hannon & Haines, 2006. 250).
I will address the following counterarguments:
- The counter-argument concerning sexualization is that they might be influenced to grow up having healthy bodies since, from childhood that are aware of its importance.
- The counter-argument, which exists concerning self-image, is that the young girls and toddlers are aware of the importance of not being obese, and in turn, find ways to always keep in shape.
- The counter-argument, which exists concerning mental and physical health issues, is that the young girls and toddlers are influenced by their parents to engage in healthy eating habits. Also, parents play a vital role in ensuring that they influence and motivate their children positively.
In conclusion, it is not advisable that parents enroll their young girls and toddlers in pageants. This is because the outcomes are extremely dangerous and may even lead to death in some situations. In turn, caution should be taken before children are enrolled in pageants.
Jones, Mary. (2011). Personal Interview.
Neumark-Sztainer, D. & Paxton, S. & Hannon, P. & Haines, J. ‘Does body satisfaction matter? Five-year longitudinal associations between body satisfaction and health behaviors in adolescent females and males,’ Journal of Adolescent Health, 39, (2006):244–51.
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