What Are Some Negative Effects of Beauty Pageants?

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Exposing a girl to the scrutiny of beauty pageants can create an imbalance of values and leave her believing that looks are more important than inner character development, according to Laura Agadoni from Global Post. Beauty pageants commonly create financial hardship among families that feel pressured to keep up with the expensive lifestyle. Children who participate in beauty pageants are objectified and inappropriately sexualized at an early age.

Pageant participants are subjected to arbitrary weight restrictions, paraded around in revealing outfits and judged on superficial criteria. Especially for the young girls involved, Martina M. Cartwright, Ph.D., R.D. of Psychology Today warns that this type of behavior can lead girls to develop eating disorders later in life. Because of the financial toll that pageantry life takes on the families involved, participants are heavily pressured to perform perfectly so that they can win cash prizes at the end of the competitions. This culture forces girls to view their bodies as an essential source of employment, and their education often suffers as a result. The world of pageantry has grown increasingly popular with the slew of television shows depicting the lives of children and young women involved in beauty competitions. According to Martina M. Cartwright, the message that these broadcasts send to viewers and the casts is that beauty is an unrealistic, highly-manufactured standard that is largely unattainable for most women.