The Instigator
laleona89
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
unlockable
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Beauty pageants for children do more harm than good.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,147 times Debate No: 17413
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

laleona89

Pro

My opponent will be debating that beauty pageants for children do not do more harm than good. The first round will be just for accepting the debate and in the second round we begin with my argument. Each round we will have to respond to our opponent's arguments and post at least one new argument.

Thanks for accepting and I look forward to this debate.
unlockable

Con

I accept this argument, but I reject the condition that in each round each of us has to present a new argument in addition to discussing the previous ones. That seems arbitrary and it should not be mandatory. If anything, we should be required to make every point we can think of in round #2 and then simply discuss those points back and forth for the subsequent rounds so that each idea is given maximum consideration. However, I'm sympathetic to the fact that one of us might think of a new idea in subsequent rounds and want to share it, so I won't argue that each round should be limited in scope to arguments raised in the beginning. All I'm saying is that I don't agree with the idea that each round has to present new arguments.

Also, for what it's worth, I'm not a fan of children's beauty pageants, but I think I can competently represent this "more good than harm" side of the argument. I'll defend the pageants, but don't take me for some kind of "pageant mom."
Debate Round No. 1
laleona89

Pro

Parents should love their children no matter what. In the world there is always someone that judges you depending on your appearance. It can be a girl from school thinking you don't dress appropriately to fit in her group or a boy, etc; but then there is your family who you can always go to and not worry that they will judge you. What happens when the parents start pressuring their children to look a certain way or to talk, walk, act, BE a certain way. What do the children think about this pressure coming from their parents to be perfect. The child's parents are basically telling them that they are not perfect and they should change themselves to please others or to please their society. Also, this image the parents are trying to change their children into damages and takes away the child's innocence by fake smiles, eyelashes and appearance.

Another problem is that this beauty pageants consume both the parent's and the child's attention and time that they forget about the education of the kid. All of the girls aged eight to ten interviewed by A&E Network were not concerned with any future education. What does that say?
Parents prefer spending money on designer clothes than spending them on schools, books, school supplies, etc. What will happen when the kid is eliminated from the pageant or when she is no longer a valid candidate to enter one. The kids trust on their parents to to secure their future is betrayed. There are not many careers that you can follow by being a beauty queen; maybe modeling but there is a very slim chance that a beauty queen can succeed in the modeling business. According to the Better Business Bureau not many beauty pageant competitors land modeling careers when they grow up.

Finally, is the pressure to perform on stage and the effects of loosing or just the effects of the pressure of being a certain way. "Being a Barbie doll says your body has to be a certain way and your hair a certain way. In girls particularly, this can unleash a whole complex of destructive self-experiences that can lead to eating disorders and all kinds of body distortion in term of body image," said William Pinsof, a clinical psychologist and president of the Family Institute at Northwestern University. The effects of beauty pageants on the mind and body of children is disastrous. Is it really worth it to risk a child's mental and physical state for a beauty pageant?

Source:
http://www.minorcon.org...
unlockable

Con

unlockable forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
laleona89

Pro

laleona89 forfeited this round.
unlockable

Con

Beauty pageants for children do not do more harm than good.

My opponent's first paragraph complains that "the child's parents are basically telling them that they are not perfect and they should change themselves to please others or to please their society. Also, this image the parents are trying to change their children into damages and takes away the child's innocence by fake smiles, eyelashes and appearance."

If it is true that this highly educational message is communicated to beauty pageant children by their parents, then I believe it supports my assertion that beauty pageants do not do more harm than good. Children are not perfect--nobody is perfect--and they should be disabused of that notion lest they develop vulnerable, inflated egos that will inevitably be pierced by the realities of life. Likewise, depending on a person's goals, people SHOULD learn to change themselves in order to please others or to please their society. To secure certain status in society, such as becoming a doctor, lawyer, or staying out of prison, you have to "jump through hoops" and impress people and conform to other people's standards. Certain avenues in life are simply unavailable to those who fail to please others: social elites and beauty pageants have that in common. Teach a kid to smile and prance and schmooze in beauty pageants, and she'll have an easier time pursuing her goals in networking, romance, and every other charisma-affected competitive environment. Also, losing one's innocence happens sooner or later. If it happens in the course of a beauty pageant, when the consequences are relatively harmless, then it's a very good thing: the child learns that appearances matter, that life isn't fair, and that losing sucks. It is much better to learn these lessons in a beauty pageant than to experience them for the first time by being date-raped or otherwise exploited for sex in later years, by being rejected for a job or a scholarship application for failing to impress someone, or whatever. Being judged by an arbitrary standard in an inconsequential competition builds a sense of perspective, and it emotionally prepares a person for being arbitrarily or unfairly judged in life's more consequential competitions later on.

The second paragraph claims that beauty pageants inappropriately consume children's attention, but presents no evidence or argument about how a child's attention should be apportioned. My opponent's complaint that the 8-10 year old beauty pageant girls are unconcerned with their future education is only meaningful if she can show that other 8-10 year old girls ARE actually concerned with their future education. Also, my opponent hasn't justified her pro-education bias: perhaps the child is instead interested in business, art, having fun, reading for pleasure, etc., and I believe all of these things are acceptable objects of a child's attention, not just education. Moreover, my opponent has undermined her previous complaint about children's "lost innocence" by showing evidence that beauty pageant girls are unconcerned with their future education: to be lackadaisical about the future is a telltale sign of childlike innocence. Finally, my opponent cites no evidence to support her claim that these girls' educational needs are being neglected. Participating in beauty pageants is an extra-curricular activity, like piano lessons or soccer camp, and contestants are presumably enrolled in school.

My opponent's claim about parents "spending money on designer clothes than spending them on schools, books, school supplies, etc." is also meaningless. There is always a trade-off involved when you spend money on something: if i buy books for my child that means I can't spend that money on food, shelter, health care, travel, etc. What matters isn't a trade-off per se, but rather the effect of the trade-off. Where is the evidence that the kids' parents don't already spend a sufficient amount of money on the girls' school supplies? I doubt that these pageant girls have to scratch their homework into dirt while their parents buy makeup and fashion on the weekends.

My author asks the money question: "What will happen when the kid is eliminated from the pageant or when she is no longer a valid candidate to enter one?" What happens when a child loses a beauty pageant--just like when a child loses a major sporting event or academic competition or whatever--is that the child learns that losing isn't the end of the world. She develops character and fortitude that her peers might lack. This is great for the child. Uniquely, though, when she outgrows the beauty pageants and is no longer eligible, she learns the importance of "Seizing the Day" (Carpe Diem). It gives her perspective of how fleeting are youth, life, and the opportunities contained therein. The beauty pageant girl's peers might think that they'll be young forever or that they can sit on their hands when life challenges them or presents opportunities, but the beauty pageant girl will be wiser than that because she will have learned how important it is to cherish the present.

My opponent misunderstands the purpose of beauty pageants and the perception of people participating in them. It doesn't matter that most contestants in children's beauty pageants do not become professional models, because beauty pageants are not purposed for landing modeling contracts: that's the role of talent agencies. The beauty pageants are just a competition, an opportunity for people to sing and dance and look pretty before a crowd. Most children who participate in the pageant do it as hobby, and then they grow out of it, like karate lessons or Looney Tunes. Only the ones who care about the pageant subculture stay in the pageant subculture. (Similarly, most kids who sign up for music lessons or sports camp don't become professional musicians or athletes; should we condemn those activities as well? Of course not.)

The kids' faith in their parents ability to "secure the future" is not betrayed by the beauty pageant because the kids still have food and shelter, and that's possibly all that the parents owe to their minor. If the child expects perpetual and total sponsorship by the parents, then the child will be unprepared for adulthood, and preparing children for adulthood is the societal purpose of parenting them. Since the beauty pageant teaches the aforementioned lessons in character and perspective, the beauty pageant will have been beneficial to the child.

My opponent's last points are about the pressures of performing on stage and conforming to society's standards of beauty. The first pressure is a good, educational pressure because it develops confidence. The only way to grow out of "stage fright" is to perform before an audience: this could be a spelling bee, a music recital, or a beauty pageant. Growing out of stage fright helps you to express yourself, to be a public speaker, to voice your opinion at business meetings and group conversations, to defend yourself against verbal attack, to ask your crush on a date, or to do anything else that demands confidence. Insulate your child in "books and school supplies" as my opponent suggested, and you'll raise a weak little bookworm who will have a hard time making friends, achieving professional success and otherwise enjoying society.

The pressure of conforming to society's standards of beauty is also an important one to experience. Society will impose its standards of beauty upon you no matter what your hobby. You can recognize this and make efforts to enhance your attractiveness (diet, exercise, fashion, etc.) or you can ignore it and be deemed ugly. People whom society deems attractive have fewer obstacles in almost every social pursuit. Pageant girls who exploit this fact will be empowered in the long run as aspiring doctors, lawyers, soldiers, businesswomen, politicians, etc., as well as in the areas of friendship, romance, and social status.
Debate Round No. 3
laleona89

Pro

laleona89 forfeited this round.
unlockable

Con

In this final round, I hereby reiterate the arguments I made in last round's rebuttal.

My arguments have gone unanswered, therefore my opponent concedes the argument. So vote for me.

Even if Pro hadn't conceded, I believe my arguments are more persuasive on the merits, anyhow. So vote for me.

I responded to and refuted all of my opponent's assertions. My opponent did not respond to my refutations, thus we can assume that she acquiesces to them and concedes the argument. So vote for me!
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
laleona89unlockableTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins via forfeit. He was still able to rebut Pro, though Pro made no effort to refute Con's own claims. Pro earns credit for sources due to her citation, though that alone will not win her the debate.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 6 years ago
ApostateAbe
laleona89unlockableTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
laleona89unlockableTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. Con forfeited a round also so conduct is tied.