Do you remember JonBenet Ramsey? She was the six-year old girl–and frequent pageant contestant–who was found murdered in 1996. The case has never been solved. So now, 16 years later, JonBenet’s father, John Ramsey is saying that he was wrong to have let his daughter participate in pageants in the first place. “It’s just a bad idea to put your child on display,” he says.
As a guy who’s raised three daughters–one of whom is still young enough (and gorgeous enough) to be in pageants–I found a recent article on Yahoo! news fascinating. The article talks about five reasons-child-pageants-bad-kids-181500784.html) talks about five more reasons why pageants are a rotten idea for young children.
- The girls are too young to say No. The risk of exploitation–or the potential to exploit–is just too high.
- Pageants sexualize young girls. Anyone who’s seen 8-year old girls parading around in heels and make up, gyrating like strippers will agree with this one.
- There can be long-term cognitive and emotional fallout. The American Psychological Assn found that the sexualization of little girls is associated with eating disorders and depression.
- Hairspray. The chemicals in hairspray, which is a staple on the pageant circuit, can act as hormone disruptors and could stunt little girls’ growth. Excessive use has even been linked to lung cancer.
- High heels. Wearing heels pushes the child’s weight forward, which can cause back pain and interfere with normal foot development.