A shout out to the peeps at TLC for inspiring this node--today there was a documentary on child beauty pageants. I disdain events that allow parents to exploit their children in order to live out fantasies that went unfulfilled throughout their lifetimes. I honestly can't see how forcing children (mostly girls) to dress up in obscene outfits and prance about on stage can be healthy to a young child; some of these children are only three years old. Now, assuming that these poor kids can overcome the stress of traveling from pageant to pageant knowing that they have to win in order to gain their parents' love, do you really think that they'll overcome the deep sense of vanity instilled by this so-called competition? The entire concept of having children dress up like adults--makeup, skimpy clothing, and all--is just not right, moral, or just by my standards.

Now, some people reading this may think that I'm against all childhood activities brought about by parental inspiration. This is not the case. I can understand why parents would want their children to have a reading list or want their children to take violin lessons; these things will have a positive influence later on these children's lives--please note the emphasis on the enhancement of the children. Forcing children to participate in something because of gains for the parent, monetary or otherwise, is nothing short of disgusting.

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