I believe there are a variety of different beauty pageants across the world and some of them are quite innocent and put together to have fun. There are also many that are far too competitive for their age groups and this is usually brought on by the parents. In those cases, I do view it as a form of child abuse.
Lots of little girls dream of fairy tale princesses and looking and acting like one so they are easily led into the pageant life by adults. However, the dog eat dog competition that is based pretty much on looks and cozying up to those in power is not something a child is able to judge or know ahead of time.
Beauty pageants at a young age foster unhealthy body images and can lead to eating disorders. There is no need to stigmatize young girls to fit into certain molds just to "look good." Anyone younger than a teenager doesn't need to be concerned with looks or how they dress. Beauty pageants put too much pressure on young kids when they should be focused on going to school and getting good grades. Parents should be ashamed for putting girls through this.
Children beauty pageants are ridiculous and abusive. I think they are completely unnecessary for children to have to participate in. Most of the time, it is not even the children who are choosing to enter them, it is the parents trying to live vicariously through them and it is a form of psychological torture.
Children, especially young girls are being negatively exploited. Girls are being trained how to act a certain way that they wouldn't know how to be themselves as they get older. Once they see they are not a certain way anymore, they hide it. They will not accept their TRUE self.
Natural child beauty pageants, which do not emphasize the use of fake hair, eyelashes, teeth or heavy makeup, can be a beneficial hobby to children who are willing participants. These types of pageants teach the importance of goals and appearance without going overboard. Unfortunately, glitz pageants are what most people think of when they think of childhoob beauty pageants, and glitz pageants are somewhat unhealthy.
Child beauty pageants do not inherently amount to child abuse.The problem comes when parents and other adults involved go way overboard.They may decide that in order to win they must use inappropriate clothing or makeup for the child but in no way is this required for the pageant or competition itself.
Although there are some questionable issues surrounding beauty pageants (such as having little girls dress up like grown women, or teaching them to value beauty over everything else), it's really over the top to call this child abuse. Child abuse refers to clear cases of neglect, reckless endangerment, and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of children. A child in a beauty pageant may be being taught some poor values that most may disagree with or being manipulated into engaging in an activity for the sake of the parents, but that's not the same as a child being brutally beaten, starved, or sexually assaulted.