Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Baby Beauty Queens

I’m writing this post in light of a programme I watched last night on BBC3, Baby Beauty Queens. If you missed it, you can watch it here on BBC iPlayer


It’s about a beauty pageant called the Mini Miss UK and follows three entrants as they prepare for it. I couldn’t help but watch it feeling sorry for these girls. I got the impression that for the most part, they were not entering the competition because they really wanted to, but were fulfilling their mother’s own dreams through them. I have no problem with girls wanting to wear makeup, I’m sure at 9 years old, my Mum would let me wear some glittery makeup to a party, but it was never forced on me. I remember looking through her makeup and trying things on, feeling really grown up. But even then I thought it was something to look forward to when I was older, and it wasn’t really until I was about 14 when I’d start buying makeup. I think it’s kind of cute that little girls want to try out make up and have a curiosity in it, to me a little bit of makeup is no worse than face paint. But when that makeup is the same amount an adult glamour model would wear, it is a little too far. I didn’t feel like these children were allowed to just be children, they were literally mini versions of their mothers. My issue with this programme wasn’t that the pageant was wrong, but the way these children had been entered in to the pageant, there was one girl who seemed to have been brain washed by her Mum in to thinking being beautiful was everything, another who just clearly didn’t want to do it and another who I actually didn’t mind because it seemed like she was trying to achieve something for herself personally, and after the pageant, it had clearly boosted her confidence. I suppose this was a controversial programme, and there’s no right or wrong answers to the questions that it posed, if nothing else, it’s helped me see how when you become a mother, your actions are going to be watched very closely by your children. I’m a long way off having kids of my own but I hope when I have a daughter of my own she won’t watch me applying make up and feeling like she needs it to be beautiful, but she’ll enjoy being a child having it to look forward to. It must sound pretty hypocritical coming from me, I mean come on I write a blog dedicated to beauty, but really, it is just a hobby of mine, I'm old enough to make my own decisions and I was never forced into the whole beauty-loving world. I think it's important to care about how you look, it does make you feel better when you're looking good, but as a child, this really wasn't much of my concern. Childhood is really the only time you feel truly carefree.

Did anybody else watch this and feel a little disturbed? How young were you when you discovered make up?


AbbieAndBrian said...

it made me feel sick when the little girl said that her glasses are more comfy than her contacts but her mum would be mad if she wore them!!
women like that shouldn't be mothers!

Lyd said...

Why can't people let their kids grow up spontaneously? Why don't they leave them out in the street or at the park to play...hide and seek, ball and everything little kids play at that age?
They will grow up with a distorted perception of the world, respect, education and above all beauty! No wonder kids are so evil and irritating nowadays!

I had always wanted to wear make up (my father was a painter, so I guess I had a passion for colors in my DNA) although I was actually 14 when I started wearing it to go to school or out with friends.

Onyx said...

@Abbie, I know, that was one of the most upsetting parts for me, but then her Mum was making out like it was her daughter's choice.

Onyx said...

@Lyd, thanks for your comment. It's nice to know how people got in to make up, I'm glad that for you it was a creative thing, wanting to try things out. It's a shame that for some it's because they feel they have to or their parents tell them it's the only way to be beautiful.

Amy said...

This whole programme sickened me. Little girls grow up with enough insecurities and pressure to be beautiful from the ubiquity of the media without their own mothers reinforcing the view that being beautiful is so important. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these girl grew up and had breast implants in an attempt to become glamour models because they're so desperate for attention, which is already so familiar and accepted in our society. I cannot believe how one of the mothers said she was worried when her daughter was born because she wasn't cute. WTF?! She should be thankful she was able to conceive in the first place and that she was blessed with a healthy child. Unbelievable.xx

Onyx said...

@Amy, that was exactly what I thought, how can it worry you that you're child's not cute, imagine if she'd been born with some hideous disease. I can see where some of her insecurities came from, not feeling as beautiful as her own mother, but she's dealing with it completely the wrong way by encouraging her own child to become obsessed with her appearance. xx

Ben said...

MediaCurves.com just conducted a study with 300 viewers of a video featuring the recent controversy surrounding child beauty pageants. The results showed that the majority of viewers reported that “disturbed” and “sad” were the emotions the felt most while watching the video. The study found that 84% of viewers reported that they felt the long-term effect on contestants was negative. For more in-depth results, please visit http://www.mediacurves.com/Culture/J7495-pageants/Index.cfm.

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