That we should put an end to child beauty pageants
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Short debate. 2000 chars per round. This debate uses judge voting and the nominated judges are Rosalie, tejretics, Romanii, whiteflame and lannan13.
Child beauty pageants: Beauty pageant comps for children. Particularly famous in US but also present in other countries like UK and Australia. Children as young as 4 to 16 years of age participate, mostly girls.
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We (We, meaning the Instigator) believe beauty pageant comps are extremely harmful to the development of young minds. The nature of this competition requires children to partake in certain activities aimed at 'beautifying' their physical appearance to receive more points on a scorecard. These include but are not limited to wearing makeup (A LOT of makeup), putting on fake hair and eyelashes, wearing incredibly sophisticated adult dresses and shoes, and posing and strutting on catwalks; frequently incorporating an elegant 'sway'.
We believe that all these instil into children that their physical looks and beautifying themselves just to look good FOR OTHERS are worthy goals to pursue. We should be encouraging them to be comfortable in their own skin and to sharpen their minds rather than focusing on looks.
There is nothing wrong with teaching children to want to look good. But we believe 'looking good' can come from a more thorough sense of personal hygiene and etiquette instead of excessive sparkles and jewellery. We are inclined to believe this also promotes materialism and the fear that others will not like you if you don't have enough possessions.
If my opponent argues that pageants also have to take part in humanitarian acts and acts of charity, as well as to be quick-tongued in answering impromptu questions etc, to me, these are overshadowed by the highlight of such beauty pageants, which like it or not, are a lot of catwalks and modelling. These children are being used by businesses and designers as just another way of promoting their designs and ideas. If the intention really is to promote chivalry and altruism, a wide range of other more 'to-the-point' activities are more than available.
Child beauty pagents are also well-known to incorporate certain ideas including having a child use fake breasts to 'improve' the posture, eating disorders and smoking fake cig
Here are the reasons why child beauty pageants should not be ended.
1. Young girls can help their parents ease the family's financial burden.
According to UC Davis Poverty Research, about 46.7 million Americans are living in poverty, as of 2014 (1). It is also said that 80% of Americans are in debt (2). Many child beauty pageants have cash as the ultimate prize and they are pretty high, like in Sunburst, a model search pageant, where $3,000,000 are awarded annually (3). Obviously, a sane parent will not put her young daughter in a sweatshop but a child beauty pageant is one of the top choices where the parent would think will be the safest environment for her young daughter to earn money to help support the family.
2. Child beauty pageants can help the community.
Though certain child beauty pageants are notorious for giving off huge pressure into children, not all child beauty pageants have abhorrent intentions. There are young children who are aware of their community's problems and decide to help out by signing up in a beauty pageant. For example, a young girl who is aware her low-funded school needed the library to be reconstructed might consider signing up in a child beauty pageant. If she wins, there might be sponsors willing to pay for the library reconstruction or the girl can use her prize money for school donation.
3. Child beauty pageants can help the girl hone her skills.
Many child beauty pageants require the talent portion. No talent, no chance of winning. If the girl signs up in a child beauty pageant, it will be a chance for her to showcase her talent in which she will devote her time trying to hone it. If she was an amateur piano player, she will have to improve her piano playing to get the top prizes.
Any competition or sport can potentially help to ease financial difficulty IF you win. We would think that if we are going to encourage a girl to help her family, we would push them to work harder on their studies or on any number of different activities which do not instil the aforementioned negative values. Such activities include debating, skiing, rowing, mountain climbing, cycling etc. etc. Any of these activities while boosting character development can also be a potential source of income when you have attained a certain level of mastery. Since you never rebutted my arguments in the first round, how can you claim that pageants are the "safest environment" for a daughter to earn money?
Your second argument was that, child beauty pageants can help the community. Library reconstruction was put forth as an example. Similar to my first rebuttal, any of the other activities can help you gain the community's trust and backing to assist your school, town, family etc.
In fact, you would think that joining an activity with the purpose to win money and to help the school would be a serious source of added pressure on young contestants to do anything to win. They are being used as an investment or a commodity to be 'sold' for material benefit of their family and school.
My opponent's last argument was that pageants require talent. I think I have already touched on this in the previous round. Kindly reread it.
"If she was an amateur piano player, she will have to improve her piano playing to get the top prizes." Not sure what my opponent is trying to say with this sentence. No doubt every worthwhile dream that an individual has requires some degree of sweat and toil to become a reality. I never disputed that pageants have to work hard to achieve success. That was never a point of contention I brought up.
Over to my opponent.
My opponent said in the first round that child beauty pageants are "aimed at beautifying their physical appearances". He forgot to mention that child actors, child play actors and child models also do the same thing in which they would wear makeup and glamorous outfits. Also, young girls dress up glamorously at their birthday parties or their friends'. They also dress up glamorously on festivals. If you ban child beauty pageants, you should also ban the mentioned professions and events.
Again, my opponent said that beauty pageants "instill into children that their physical looks and beautifying themselves". So do the child actors, child play actors, child models and young birthday girls. He also mentioned that child beauty pageants promote materialism but failed to mention the factors that promote materialism like Barbie, Bratz, etc.
My opponent mentioned that businesses and designers use children as to promote their designs and ideas. He failed to include child actors, models and play actors that businesses and designers also use.
My opponent also failed to mention that child beauty pageants are not limited to young girls only. There are also young boys who compete in those pageants that are very different than the girls' where almost no makeup is visible, no catwalking, etc. Does that mean beauty pageants for girls be banned but not for boys?
Child actors, models etc do not just go in to look pretty. Actors are expected to play their characters, and this includes action, sad or comedic sequences, not just to look 'glamorous'. Models, on the other hand, are specifically selected based on favourable physical appearance so that they can best showcase the clothing and attire. Nobody goes to a runway show to look at how pretty the models are. So, no, I do not agree at all when you similarize child beauty pageants with acting and modelling.
Young girls dressing up nicely for birthdays are also what I feel, outside the scope of this debate. Of course, it is human nature to want to look your best at a function.
EVEN IF these activities are unhealthy, then yes, I DO AGREE that we should also look to manage these events/industries. But this debate is talking about beauty pageants.
My opponent then mentions Barbie, Bratz etc. Excellent. Yes, I DO AGREE that we should also scrutinise these toys and the messages they put across to children.
So yeah, basically my opponent AGREED with my definition of what is unhealthy, and then brought up other industries and activities without ever denying or refuting the harm of BEAUTY PAGEANTS which is the topic of this debate.
My opponent's final argument was about how boys also participate in pageants and do not have to use makeup. That is because in real life, men are not expected or at least not pressured to use makeup. SO OF COURSE, male beauty pageants do not use makeup. Nor are they expected to look muscular because at that age, the testosterones have not yet kicked in. You will, however, no doubt see, especially older boy beauty pageants where they will start to dress in sleeveless shirts, and use fake hair, spray tans, mascara etc.
The goal is the same. It is all to make children appear as nice as possible, and at such a young age, I repeat that this is extremely harmful to their thoughts and perception of life and the world.
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