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The Contender
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Child Beauty Pageants Should be made Illegal

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,648 times Debate No: 21678
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




I saw you were interested in this debate when I debated with someone else, so I hope you accept!


I accept.

Make your case.
Debate Round No. 1


The first problem I have with child beauty pageants is that from a young age, children are receiving the message that looks is all that is important in life.
From such a young age, kids are constantly being dragged from pageant to pageant, and how often do you think the phrase, "shut up, let mommy do your hair extensions/make-up/false nails"? It is so materialistic and vain to have young girls brought up with the message that pretty girls win. These days we should be educating our children that inner-beauty is what matters, and that what makes you a winner is treating people well, being friendly, charitable and helpful. Not looking the prettiest. I know that as the kids are so young, they may not be able to grasp the full concepts of pageants, but it doesn't take long for them to realize that the pretty girls win. Studies show that the lessons we learn in the first three years of our life stick with us for a very long time, as they help to shape our characters. Having kids being brought up under the constant message that being pretty is the way to success, just isn't healthy or beneficial to the child. Like I mentioned, these lessons stick with kids throughout their lives. This causes many problems, for example; feeling constantly pressurized to look the best can lead to anorexia, bulimia and low self esteem. I'm not saying that all beauty pageant kids will become rude teenagers, but being brought up knowing that prettiness and beauty is the only way to success can sure make a very negative impression on a child, and sustain certain beliefs that outer beauty is more important than inner beauty.

Beauty pageants also encourage unhealthy competition. Of course, encouraging friendly competitiveness is not bad at all; but if this is the main aim of entering daughters in pageants- let the daughters join sports clubs, or chess clubs! These sort of clubs are just as competitive, but the difference is that they actually include physical and mental stimulation, none of which come from sitting in a chair for two hours being made up, and then made to walk on a stage and smile. Beauty pageants promote competitiveness in a bad way; being that it shows that the way you can win is through beauty, and not hard work and perseverance. If you don't understand- put it this way. If a pretty girl and a plain girl join a tennis club and compete, the winner will be decided on who won the match- determined by how they worked and how much they persevered. In a beauty pageant, the pretty girl would win without working any harder than the competitors. This is not the kind of competition our kids should be involved in!

Another argument is how these beauty pageants completely sexualise kids. Picture a girl wearing a padded bikini, walking around a stage in front of an audience of strangers, many of whom are fully grown men. This sounds like what a street worker does, not what a six year old girl should be doing! It is so wrong for little under-age girls to be dancing on a stage in bikinis in front of strangers who could, lets face it, be there for the wrong sort of reasons. David Cameron is taking huge steps towards the UK not sexualising children, take a look on any British news site. These pageants are going in the complete opposite direction, basically promoting pedophilia. If you don't understand why I said promoting paedophilia, think of it this way; men pay to go into a hall and watch little girls dance around in bikinis. How come the US Government is taking steps towards making kids less sexualised, yet still allows this paedophillic pageant system continue? It is not right and completely immoral.

Finally, children should be allowed their innocence! If the parents have enough money to enter their daughters into pageants, they have enough money to give their daughter a proper childhood. Young girls should learn to ride a bike up and down their lane. They should have sleepovers with their friends and watch Dinsey movies They should make Lego, play with dolls, spend time with their family, and NOT sit in a chair having hair extensions tied to their head, make-up made for adults plastered onto their face, forced into inappropriate dresses and made to prance around a stage in front of strangers. It is commonly argued that the children want to take part in beauty pageants, which I don't disagree with. Although many daughters will be screaming and hating it, some girls may find it fun to dress up and have their hair done- but should we let little girls do everything they want? If your four year old wanted to eat sugar all day long, you'd say no. This shows that just because a kid wants to do something doesn't mean we should grant it to them! After all, kids have a lot to learn during their childhood, and their judgement may not always be correct (take the sugar example). I hope the voters agree. The benefits to making beauty pageants illegal would be that children would not grow up learning that beauty is the way to success, pedophilia wouldn't be promoted so much, and young girls would be able to live out an innocent childhood.


1. Looks Is All That Is Important In Life

First off, I want to say that everything in society today focuses on the looks of an individual. MTV, ads, magazines, E!, TMZ are all things that add to what we call "pop culture". Now should 17 Magazine be banned for giving tips on how to make yourself look better? The answer simply is no and I'll tell you why. Can you please link studies that show how children in child pagents have a higher rate of anorexia etc? If not this argument is moot. As far as I can see you have merely presented your opinion on the matter and I see no reason to ban such pagents.

A) Freedom to Parent

Now the crux of my argument is this and it can be applied to most of your arguments. A parent has a right to parent their kid in anyway they see fit as long as it does not endanger the child. If we let the government ban child pagents then we are opening the door for them to pass legislation on how parents parent their kids. This falls under the Right to Privacy. Parents have a right to raise their kids in anyway they want. How is a pagent different from ballet for example? Where do you draw the line.

As long as there is no child endangerment then this cannot be banned based on the basic principles of liberty. Now, if a child is found to be in a dangerous situation then that can be handled on a case by case basis but as of now there are no ground to ban such practices from happening. Now unless you, the one who hold the burden of proof, can make a case as to why this right to privacy and right to parent should be breached in favor of your OPINIONS then you have no case.

2. Unhealthy Competition

Once again you present an objective opinion. What levels qualify as "unhealthy" is completely subjective. I for one have no problem with intense competition because I see it has a good way to get kids into that winning attitude you have to have in order to succeed in life while you think that's unhealthy. This is a completely objective topic that have no facts backing it up.

Not all competitions have to be "mentally" or "physically" stimulating in order for it to be a competition. Beauty pagents are won based on looks, something that should be acknowledged. If someone has good looks and want to enter into a competition to compete with others of equal attractiveness then why shouldn't they be allowed to? Take dog breeding or gambling for example, neither one of these things are very stimulating mentally of physically and are based mainly on luck and circumstance. Are these "unhealthy"? Should they be banned? No.

People have a right to enter into which ever type of competition they wish as long as it is not endangering anyone. It's their right and you have no say in how they do this.

3. Sexuality and Innocence

First off I want to say that most people who watch child pagents are the parents of the children competing. Very few, if any, people wake up and go "I'm going to go see the child pagent today". It just doesn't happen. Now your statement about pagents promoting pedophilia is not only ignorant and offensive but it shows how little understanding you truly have of the sport. Child pagents stem from a willingness to compete from a young age, to grow something for later years (like Miss America) and in some areas such as the American Deep South is cultural. Men do not pay to go see little girls dance around in bikinis. Parents, or onlookers, go to watch a pagent and sit with the girls parents. Is Miss America a covert strip club too? Is my watching girls parade around the stage in bikinis if they're under 18 immoral as well? Should all pagents be illegal? No. This is their right to compete how they want.

As for sexualizing kids, this does nothing more to sexualize them than having them play dress up. Is letting a young girl put lipstick and mommy's heels on and play dress up any better? Are pagents much different? As I said before, MTV and just about everything in pop culture sexualizes kids as well. You have to make a case as to why that is okay and pagents are not for your argument to be legitiment. At least kids in pagents are competing for something while most of pop culture is for entertainment only.

Innocence again falls into the right to privacy and parental rights. Your definition of innocence and who and when it gets to be lost is merely an opinion. If I want to teach my kids about sex at age 5 and teach them about the Holocaust and rape at a young age who are you to say otherwise? This again falls into a person's right to parent however they see fit barring endangerment. You don't get to tell me if my kids get to have an innocent childhood. That is my decision and mine alone.

A parent has a right to raise their kids in any way they wish barring endangerment. Many girls want to dress up and compete and it is their right to do so. If you cannot point to a definitive reason as to why the entire catagory of "pagent" endangers the participants then your argument cannot hold any water.

Making pagents illegal would be a severe breach of rights.

Debate Round No. 2


Riversidegirl4life forfeited this round.


Extend all points.
Debate Round No. 3


Riversidegirl4life forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ty1 2 years ago
I can't believe that someone would think there is no difference between a young girl playing dress up at home versus a young girl playing dress up and being judged. This shows girls that there is a specific criteria for success for women, allowing their body image to be judged and altered in order to fit an idealistic sense of beauty. Unhealthy in this case is not subjective, these girls are at a critical age of cognitive development they cannot problematize what they are being taught, they observe and absorb these things naturally. As much as a parent has freedom to do what they want that is entirely true but they should not do so uneducated; most of these children will have problems with how they identify in society because their image has been primed at such a young age. Another argument counter this notion would be having the parents tell their kids that they are beautiful (which they should be doing), this is not something they should be subject to criticism for, putting them in a position where they are acknowledging that no matter what you say as a parent, they did not get their "supreme title" and there is nothing their parents can do about that. I do agree that maybe they should not be banned but certain aspects of these should be including a variety of beauty procedures done to these children. Parents are taking these risks, there is nothing stopping from predators taking pictures of these children and potentially causing body-image issues, and a demanding personality (hidden by self confidence issues) that could last to their teens.
Again, there are some pageants that do have a better atmosphere but most of these world pageants are instilling too many societal ideals about a link between beauty and success/happiness which are concepts that children should not be put in a position of recognizing at such a young age.
Posted by Viral4 4 years ago
I agree with Pro because it is disgusting to see child beauty pageants
Posted by Deathbeforedishonour 4 years ago
This is going to be interesting...Go Con!
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Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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