The Instigator
velazquezj2
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
shamoo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Child Pageants

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
velazquezj2
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,224 times Debate No: 22622
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

velazquezj2

Con

First round acceptance, definitions and clarifications.
Last round is reserved for summations, so no new arguments.
The rounds in between can range from arguments to rebuttals, etc.
I'd appreciate it if no rounds were forfeited, even if you do not need the full 5,000 characters to debate.
5 rounds, 5,000 characters, 12 hours for response.
Try to keep it clean and remember to attack my arguments, not me as a person as this is an assignment for class.
In this debate, I (Con) will be arguing against the beauty pageants* for children. Pro will argue the opposite.
By children, although anyone under the age of eighteen counts as a child, I will be mainly be referring to children under the age of thirteen, though I may mention an account of children in their low-teens.
The definition of a beauty contest is as follows - an assemblage of girls or women at which judges select the most beautiful —called also beauty pageant (1)**
These beauty pageants consist of several rounds, as does a debate. There can be an "evening wear" section, swimwear round, and a talent segment to these child pageants.
Because we are talking about children in this debates and not grown women, we can ignore the latter. I will be taking into account articles online, and things of the like. I may or may not mention anything about Toddlers & Tiaras (a television program on TLC) and will clarify that even though I know there is some editing done for entertainment, I do believe there are truths to the competitions, personalities and judging that occurs on the show.
*Beauty contests, beauty pageants and child pageants will be used interchangeably.
**Do not forget to cite your sources; it is plagiarism if you don't.
I await the challenger. Thank you for your cooperation and good luck.
Source
(1)Merriam-Webster Dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
shamoo

Pro

I accept the pro position
Debate Round No. 1
velazquezj2

Con

Thank you for accepting, shamoo. I will now begin the arguments.
First and foremost, any child under the age of thirteen is crucially developing skills needed for proper growth. These skills include: gross motor, fine motor, language, cognitive, and social.
The ones that apply most to the development of a child when it comes to pageantry, I feel, are the last three: language, cognitive, and social skills. Therefore I will define the three and explain how pageants hinder these crucial developmental skills.
As defined by the University of Michigan Health System (2), language includes "speaking, using body language and gestures, communicating, and understanding what others say." Cognitive/thinking skills include "learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning, and remembering." Social skills include "interacting with others, having relationships with family, friends, and teachers, cooperating, and responding to the feelings of others."
Language
As we both know, in pageants, children are being judged based on their performance in the competition. Minor language skills, if any, are not being utilized in the competition. Instead of the children being interviewed as they would be in a Miss Universe pageant, the announcer may state a collection of answers the child has given from a list of questions. These questions include ones such as "What's your favorite color?" and "What do you want to be when you grow up," but because we are not hearing the accounts directly from the child, we neither know if it is true, nor what the child really wants to say about those topics therefore hindering a child's language skills critical for development.
Cognitive/thinking skills
Relating to the fact that children cannot speak for themselves, it is almost as if pageant directors, announcers and supporters do not believe in the children's ability to think for themselves in the lack of an interview round, and the fact that the announcer reads off the children's thoughts from a piece of paper, or a computer screen (shown in video attached to this round). It is important for children to think that they have a voice, and can speak for themselves in terms of answering open ended questions. They need to believe that they can and are able to think of the answers to questions off the top of their head and that there is confidence from the people around them that allow them to operate on their thoughts. Also, as preparation for the activities and opportunities that will come up when they need to remember, recollect or problem-solve in school and in their future endeavors.
Both the lack of language and cognitive/thinking skills can be shown in the clip from TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras named "Makenzie Turns It On."
()
I would fast-forward to 1:20 when the child eventually gets onstage, and within a few seconds you can hear the announcer's voice-over.
Social skills
Often, children spend a lot of time practicing for these pageants, hindering on their social skills. They spend too much time primping and posing, and not enough time socializing and interacting with others. Because they aren't spending enough time with others, the children participating in pageants may not understand others' feelings and gestures. They may not understand that the other children participating in the pageants with them are in the same situations they are and that they should not be seen as competition, but as human beings. Human beings can be seen as friends or acquaintances if they are not trying to harm you, which is something other five and six year-olds are not trying to do. If children spent more time completing activities in which they had to speak to others, and communicate with others to get a common point across, or to share feelings, they would be much better off than at pageants.
To conclude this round, pageants hinder on the growth of a child in his or her critical development in three major skill sets: language, cognitive/thinking, and social skills.
Source
(1)University of Michigan Health Center (http://www.med.umich.edu...)
(2)Toddlers & Tiaras: Makenzie Turns It On ()
shamoo

Pro

I would like to start out my first rebuttal by recognizing that Con failed to mention the definition of the first two skills probably because they knew they could not fight that pageants positive side with that. They were gross motor and fine motor: Gross motor skills use muscles to do certain things like stand still and walk both needed in the pageant world; these children learn how to stay still for a certain amount of time and walk forward when they need to do so. Fine motor skills allow the students to use their hands to do many activities needed in the talent round like baton twirling and magic tricks and things like that so these skills are just as important as the other three and Cons argument is invalid for failing to include all five skills.
Debate Round No. 2
velazquezj2

Con

I appreciate your concern about gross and fine motor skills, but I am confident I can rebut your claim even further in an upcoming round, when I introduce options other than pageantry to better use those crucial developmental skills.
I will now go on to my second round of arguments in talking about the fact that a child does not need anyone, pageant judge or not, to pass judgment on them. I will continue to break this down even further with a. the fact that these children are judged by their appearance and b. how the children feel when they do not win a prize or trophy, or when they do it is never enough.
I will go about this by tearing down the judges, the assistants who assist the child in achieving their final pageant looks and the children's very own parents.
Judges
As I said before, a child does not need anyone passing judgment on them; judges are included in that ‘anyone.' These judges encourage the primping and posing of children who should be learning how to read and playing jump rope. I would even go far are to saying that playing a sport, in which there is no judging, but is one based on pure performance, such as basketball, is a great alternative to pageants. These judges are critical of the minor faults the young children bear as they take a stride too long or bat their eyelashes too little, and for that reason the judges should receive more criticism for participating in such an event. The longer the judges participate in these pageants, the worse and more critical they become. For these reasons, pageants are a negative environment for the children at the account of the judges.
Hair Stylists, Makeup Artists & Tanning Technicians
As if judging the children isn't enough, pageants encourage the children to not look like themselves, and to be someone who they are not. These three groups of people listed above are also major culprits in the world of pageants. They encourage the children to act like grown women, with extensions, highlights, and tons of hair product on the side of the hair stylists and tons of bronzer, lip gloss, and false eyelashes on the makeup artists' part. Tanning technicians are equally negative influences, as they teach the children that their skin is not beautiful enough the way it is. It teaches them that they should strive to be someone who they are not, as do hair stylists and makeup artists. The children's skin is too pale a color, their eyes are not bright enough to stun a room, and their hair is not full or long enough to be considered beautiful according to the hair stylists, makeup artists and tanning technicians who operate for pageants. This is not a message anyone should hear at any age, but children especially should not have this idea in their mind. Someone needs to tell these children that they are beautiful the way they are and no trophy will ever change or enhance it anymore; neither will the spray tan, caked on makeup or hair extensions. Again, pageants are a negative environment for children of any age, and should not be encouraged or continued.
Children's Parents
The parents of children in the pageant industry should be the most ashamed. They encourage their children to be the person that they are not; they encourage others to judge their children's outer beauty and if they haven't noticed already, that is not a positive outlook on life. It is almost as if the children are not good enough for their parents so they change who they are, they mold them into the person they want them to be, three-inch heels and all. These parents have no respect for themselves, their children or the other children in the competition. They have no respect for themselves because they demonstrate that they cannot handle what genes and personality their child has put forth. There is no respect for the children because of these same reasons and the fact that they are judging their children and comparing them to others. As for the respect of others, there also is none because the parents want their children to be the best versions of… someone else. In this brings bad sportsmanship and the judging of other contestants. The parents do not congratulate the winners and talk about their faults instead; they also lash out on their children for not "competing well." I almost want to go as far as saying that the parents are living through their children, but I cannot the same emotions and feeling as what someone else is going through.
You may also want to take a look at this video titled, "Toddlers & Tiaras- Mother Daughter Disappointment." () In it you can hear about the categories the judges have chosen winners for such as, "Most Beautiful" and "Prettiest Hair." You also get to see the disappointment of the contestant, Tiffany, and the critical look on her mother's face that does not seem like she is a positive influence in terms of sportsmanship and support for her daughter's low title in the pageant.
To conclude this round, I will just say that the children competing in the pageants are learning to get by on their looks and as we all know, looks fade. The pageant world is teaching children that the way the look and act naturally is not good enough, and in fact, may even take losing in one of these pageants personally. They may feel talentless and ugly because of the negative energy and critiques from people who should not be telling a child to look and act like an adult.
shamoo

Pro

To rebut my opponents claims this round I must say that these adults have every right to tell the children what to do and how to look like because in society these are the kinds of things that really go on. Who do you see on television but beautiful models and handsome actors? Even on the reality channels where there is no script the people still fit a certain quota because they still have flawless skin and in place hair and their fashion sense meets the style you will see on fashion week. Also without guidance the children will run wild and there will be no order on stage at all almost like animals in a safari.
Debate Round No. 3
velazquezj2

Con

I appreciate your concerns about the fact that the children should have someone to listen to, to keep them from running wild, but I believe rules should not constitute the fact that they are being judged and told how to look. Nor shall they be learning to skip their childhood and go straight into adulthood.
In this next round, I will mention activities other than pageants to put your child into.
First, the most important thing in your growing child's life should be his or her education, so there should be arrangements for extra help and tutoring if necessary. After the education part of the child's life is sorted out, be open-minded when it comes to exploring new extra-curricular activities. As a suggestion, I will list a few categories of activities I believe are better suited for children than pageantry. Sports, for example, are a way to correct the lack of sportsmanship created from being in pageants. Learning to work as a group to reach a common goal and exercising the energy that children have are positive ways to keep your children active. Another activity to put your children in besides pageants would be musical instruments or choir. Children have a voice, and need to execute that, and whether it is through song or beats, they need to let the world see that. All in all, pageants and the negative image it gives to children in the United States, and other countries around the world should be the last thing on a child's mind, especially when there are positive options out there for them.
shamoo

Pro

I think female children enjoy the pageants and would probably pick being in them than going to join a sports team where the attention is not on them because children love to be the center of attention to know that they are loved. So I think Cons position in this round is not fair to the children who actually enjoy getting dressed up in fancy dresses loaded with diamonds and crystals.
Debate Round No. 4
velazquezj2

Con

Again, I stand on my position against the existence of child pageants. They hinder on developmental skills, the mess with the psyche of a child when they are judged, and there are plenty of other options to get your child active and involved in society. Thank you for reading all that I have had to say in this debate. Vote Con.
shamoo

Pro

And I stand on mine, that pageants are not as bad as Con is making them seem so vote PRO
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Travniki 4 years ago
Travniki
velazquezj2shamooTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: "Adults have every right to tell the children what to do and how to look like because in society these are the kinds of things that really go on." NO. BAD PRO. GO TO YOUR ROOM I gave this to Con because his analysis was just so much deeper, and the quote I just gave was pros only real contribution to the crux of this debate