Child Beauty Pageants - The Misconceptions

Those of us that are against Child Beauty Pageants in Australia are not against particular children or parents. What we are averse to are disruptions to healthy child development in any form, as well as practices that introduce potential harms to children. We believe that child beauty pageants pit little girls against each other from a very young age and create an early unhealthy awareness of body image.

In this article I address some of the beliefs of pro- child beauty pageant groups:

Belief 1 - Pageants Increase self-confidence:

I was quoted recently in an article written by Hilary Levey Friedman. Hilary believes that,

“When children start young, they never learn to be nervous.  While many moms do have aspirations that their daughters will end up as entertainers… this skill can also apply to other careers. One mom told me (Hilary), "No matter what profession or role my child chooses she will more than likely, at some point, need to be able to speak and conduct herself confidently in front of others – whether it be on the PTA, as a stay-at-home mom, or in front of a Board of Directors of a large corporation."… participation in activities like child beauty pageants can help the(m) overcome shyness and help develop skills that can help later in life."

Argument 1:

There is much evidence (some I have cited in a previous article) that rather than build self-confidence, these activities have damaging effects on girls as they grow up. I believe that the risks to self-confide

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