The inspiration for my set of images is based upon Distortion by Proxy disorder, in this case children being forced to enter beauty pageants, commonly by their mothers. Although these children may enjoy competing in the pageants they unfortunately don’t know what its like to live the life of a normal child.
The media contributes to the negative influences put on the mothers of children competing in beauty pageants, the children themselves and children who watch shows such as Toddlers and Tiaras. The show has risen in popularity with viewers of all ages, these ages include children who see child pageant stars and aspire to be like them. This could result in low self esteem and disorders such as body dysmorphia. Mothers may see the show and wish to enter their children into pageants similar to those shown on television.
Mothers become consumed in making their children appear like the ‘dolls’ they see in pageants in the media. These pageants are more common in America, in comparison to the rest of the world, with over 250,000 children competing annually. The idea of mothers exploiting their children to win money isn’t something that mothers and children competing often think about, whether they are using the money to get their child stars to their next beauty pageant or not.
Pageantry has changed over the years, with child beauty pageants being around for over a hundred years the idea of kids being cute has escalated into kids competing, being required to look like dolls.
They are required to wear heavy makeup and clothing that is deemed by many people inappropriate for children. The unrealistic expectation this brings upon other children who are subject to seeing these ‘beauty queens’ is crushing for their self esteem, especially while growing up when children are easily influenced by what is happening around them.