It’s all about a beautiful dress

Re-posting a pre-FTB item as it’s relevant to the gender delusion theme.

May 1, 2011

Oh yes child (that is, girl) beauty pageants, one of my favorite things. It’s so obviously a good idea to train girls from infancy to act, move, walk, and look as much like prostitutes as possible. Australia had, in its innocence, forgotten to have such things, but they are now on their way their thanks to the helpful interventions of US pageanters.

The anti-pageant groups claim pageants sexualise children

But the pro-pageant people, absurdly, say they don’t. No no, it’s

a positive and fun-filled family occasion that will boost participants’ self-confidence.
Self-confidence at what? Attracting sexual attention? Why would anyone want to boost a six-year-old girl’s confidence at attracting sexual attention? If it’s so positive and fun-filled, why don’t they dress up little boys the same way?
Eden Wood.
I’ll tell you why. Because it’s degrading and slavish, that’s why, and it would be an outrage to train little boys to do something degrading and slavish, but it’s perfectly all right to train little girls to do that. Why is it? Well because that’s supposed to be their job, and it’s ok to start teaching to be good at it before they can read.

Annette Hill, owner of the Texas parent company Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant, who arrives in Australia a week before the pageant, said…”I don’t like golf but I am not going to go to a golf tournament and protest.”

Not relevant. It’s not about liking to do something oneself, it’s about doing things to very young children – very young girls.

”If you are looking at children in a sexual way, you should be ashamed of yourself and something is wrong with you. It’s all about a beautiful dress, a beautiful child with lots of personality performing on stage.”

Right, because the whole thing has nothing whatever to do with sex; the little girls are not dressed in a sexualized way, they are not loaded with makeup, they are performing on stage like any other child singing or reciting a poem.

However, Glenn Cupit, senior lecturer in child development at the University of South Australia, believes the young pageant participants are instructed to dress and behave in an adult way.

”The title is ‘child beauty pageant’ but if you look at the way the children are dressed and required to act, it’s actually a child sexualisation pageant,” he said. ”The children are put into skimpy clothes, they are taught to do bumps and grinds. It’s not looking at children’s beauty. It’s a particular idea of what beauty is, which is based on a highly sexualised understanding of female beauty.”

Exactly like the highly sexualized understanding of female beauty that mandates that female ballet dancers, gymnasts and ice skaters all have to wear the equivalent of bathing suits while male ballet dancers, gymnasts and ice skaters wear long tights and often long sleeves. Women have to look as naked and vulnerable as possible while men have to look as different from that as possible.

I’m off to play some golf.


  1. Francisco Bacopa says

    Some kid in the talent segment needs to totally call them out by doing a stripper dance to Super Freak. Oh wait, that only happens in the movies:

  2. Francisco Bacopa says

    Woah! Auto embedding. I only posted the link, not the embed code. Sorry about that if it’s uncool to clutter up comments like this.

    Also, didn’t realize it was a dubbed clip.

  3. Kiwi Sauce says

    That photo of Eden Wood is airbrushed beyond any semblance of a young girl. So not only is the content of the contests sexualised, but the use of airbrushing also implies that not even contest winners are suitably attractive without Photoshop. Way to go for helping girls’ self esteem.

    What goes through the minds of these women who put their daughters into these contents?

  4. Interrobang says

    Even when pageant advocates talk about it in a supposedly positive way, they can’t help revealing that it’s all about beauty, which, in their minds is synonymous with self-esteem. Ergo, if you aren’t pretty, you should hate yourself. Some lesson to be teaching little kids.

    Also, your point about athletes’ clothing made me think of something, like, “So is that why the IOC won’t allow women’s ski jumping — they haven’t figured out how to make women do it in bikinis and high-heeled ski boots.” (Actually, it’s that champion female ski jumpers consistently out-jump male champion ski jumpers, and we absolutely cannot have that, in any sport; it might damage the public’s perception that women’s sports are just a sop to female athletes’ demands, instead of worth watching in their own right.)

    Another reason for such highly gender-policed athletes’ clothing is we can’t have female athletes in clothing that might be mannish, because that might give people the idea that they’re lesbians (*gasp*!), and that’s far too shocking, and ew, lesbians! Who aren’t doing things in order to titilate men! Ew! (On the other hand, we can’t have women like Serena Williams looking too sexy; she has to cover up more, because she’s too big and too curvy and OMG black!)

  5. sailor1031 says

    “six-year-old Eden Wood” doesn’t even look remotely real. What an awful thing to do to a child.

  6. Aquaria says

    That photo is frightening. She doesn’t even look real. Worse: The hand. The hand is what makes it really creepy. You see that face that looks like a sexualized 13 year old, and you see a chubby baby hand.


  7. Pteryxx says

    @Interrobang: Good news, everyone! as of April this year:

    The International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday that it would add women’s ski jumping to the program for the Sochi Games in 2014, a victory for athletes who had fought for inclusion for years.

    Women’s ski jumping gains Olympic status

  8. says

    That’s a six-year-old? I’ve got a six-year-old daughter and I…OMG, that’s disgusting. I’m having trouble coming up with a response that isn’t just a long string of obscenities, so I think I’ll stop now.

  9. Philip Legge says


    what’s also contributing to the creepy vibe (for me, at least) is that the proportions of young children’s facial features are markedly different to adults, being intermediate between adults and infants. The size of this six-year-old’s eyes in regard to her face, combined with her supposedly adult (and ergo, sexually mature?) stare, makes this image very disturbing.

    We can gladly do without the creepy sexualisation of pre-pubescent children being pushed by pageants like this, here (i.e. in Australia, as per the original post).

  10. Lauren Ipsum says

    I remember not long after JonBenet Ramsey was killed, Newsweek ran a photo similar to the one in the post. Full-face, full-page, with all the makeup and airbrushing and so on.

    I recall staring at the photo with growing horror and disgust, but unable to tear my eyes away for several minutes. I actually got a chill from how creepy it was. I could not believe anyone would do such a thing to a child.

    What happens to these girls when they’re No Longer Pretty? What happens at puberty, or their thirties, or their fifties? Who would mess with a child’s head that way?

  11. julian says

    It’s all about a beautiful dress, a beautiful child with lots of personality performing on stage.

    A beautiful child performing a dance routine to ‘Single Ladies’ while wearing a bright and glittery two piece you’d expect to see on adult dancers in rap videos and just enough makeup to hide their youth and make them seem older. Nothing at all sexual about that.

  12. Philip Legge says

    Bad Kitty, linking to TV tropes without a warning (thankfully at least one link was b0rked)… 😉

  13. Kiwi Sauce says

    …with lots of personality…

    Thanks to julian @15 for including this in his cite as I missed this initially. I’m wondering what Annette Hill means by that comment – do girls not in beauty contests have little or no personality? WTF? /raised eyebrow

  14. says

    Sorry, I have to share the misery. I will try to remember to warn you next time — I know all too well how that site can just swallow you for hours.

  15. says

    That’s a really freaky picture. I’m not sure if it’s just the make-up or if it’s also air-brushed to hell, but it looks like CGI.

  16. says

    Ok, so the photo’s real? Because seriously, I was wondering if there was some photoshopping going on. The face looks plastic, like a doll, and then you see the hand, which looks like a child’s hand. But it’s real?


    I don’t think I can add to the commentary.

  17. Luna_the_cat says

    The thing that gets me is, this is taking place in a culture with the atmosphere of terror of and rage against pedophiles — and every so often we have a pedophile witch-hunt both here in the UK and in the US. (Please note: I find actual pedophiles equally worthy of being locked away for life, but what I don’t like is the witch-hunts.) How anyone can primp and pose and distort children in such a way in an atmosphere of hatred of pedophilia is beyond me; I mean, clearly there is the denial that this is the sexualisation of children by the adult participants in this, but that would seem to take some seriously weapons-grade cognitive dissonance to believe.

    It just seems incredibly schizophrenic.

  18. KG says

    I find actual pedophiles equally worthy of being locked away for life – Luna_the_cat

    A pedophile is someone sexually drawn to children. In itself, this should evoke pity, at least for exclusive pedophiles, who have no moral or legal outlet for their desires, beyond fantasy. Not all pedophiles abuse children, and not all those who sexually abuse children are pedophiles.

  19. Jeremy Shaffer says

    The thing that gets me is, this is taking place in a culture with the atmosphere of terror of and rage against pedophiles

    This seems common in society where we have a certain behavior that is acceptable in one regard but not in others despite little difference between the two. For example, we have a “War on Drugs” yet we have ads that tell us to demand certain prescriptions from our doctors as if they were drug dealers.

  20. Luna_the_cat says

    Not all pedophiles abuse children, and not all those who sexually abuse children are pedophiles.

    For those pedophiles who recognise that their sexual desires are morally wrong (as in, actually and actively harmful to other individuals) who do not act on them in any way, sure, I have a mixture of “well, that’s seriously creepy, but good on you for recognising and acting on the fact it’s not ok”, and yes, I can at least intellectually attach that to pity. However, for those people who do not self-identify as pedophiles and who may have sexual relations with adults as well, but who nevertheless sexually molest children or use sexual images of children to gain sexual release — see, to be honest I do not think that their self-assessment is nearly as accurate as evaluation of their actions for identification as pedophiles. Anyone who uses a child or children for sexual release has, by definition and in demonstrable reality, the capability of and desire to achieve sexual release with children. Therefore….

    And seriously, sexual attraction to prepubescent kids is not “normal sexuality.” In any biological or sociological sense.

  21. Luna_the_cat says

    @Jeremy Shaffer

    …That is an aspect of this particular schizophrenia that I had not consciously articulated before, but I think you may be on to something there.

    What’s behind that? A subconscious recognition that what is sitting on the “acceptable” side of things isn’t actually ok, but it can be made to look ok if you demonise something just a wee bit different, that goes just a wee bit further, and try to claim that they are in fact entirely different?

  22. says

    This is beyond creepy.
    The picture doesn’t look like a living girl of any age. It looks like those fake 19th century porcelain dolls.

    If you are looking at children in a sexual way, you should be ashamed of yourself and something is wrong with you.

    Isn’t that a wonderful tactic? Accuse everybody who dares to remark that the clothes, postures and the make-up are not remotely child-adequate of being a pervert.

    a positive and fun-filled family occasion that will boost participants’ self-confidence

    Wait, does every kid get a trophy?
    Yeah, teaching little girls that all that matters is their looks and that they’re not good enough (except for the one lucky winner) is really going to boost their self-confidence.

  23. Sophie Lagacé says

    I’d add that it also infantilizes women, in that it helps blur the lines between child and woman. It’s saying that this is the ideal to aspire to — physically and sexually available but as young and mentally undeveloped as possible (the Roman Polanski model). Goes well with the terrifying bugaboo of aging.

  24. Luna_the_cat says

    Gosh. Just when I think this couldn’t possibly get more creepy and disturbing, someone goes and points out an aspect that I hadn’t thought of yet, but which rings far too true. Thanks, so much. O_o

  25. Carlie says

    The thing with the photo is that it has a specific type of photoshopping often called “doll eyes” or the “glitz look”, and apparently is really common for pageant photos. Feministe lined to one awhile back; this is an example, as is this. Creeps me out.

  26. Godless Heathen says

    Ah yes, I remember how depressed many of my friends were because they turned 30. Active women out there, with jobs, boyfirends/husbands, a life, about 60 more years to live and they were terrified of becoming 30…

    Ha! You should have seen how terrified I was to turn 25. Although I haven’t hit 30 yet, so we’ll see how I react when I hit that milestone…

  27. says

    “…a positive and fun-filled family occasion that will boost participants’ self-confidence.

    Here in the cities and suburbs, where there’s a wide range of options for just about everyone, there’s whole shitloads of fun-filled family occasions that boost participants’ self-confidence: cultural events, sing-alongs, talent contests of all sorts, outings for everything from bird-watching to white-water rafting, martial arts, and of course sports. Also, a good teacher can make learning fun, and boost the confidence of his students. These events boost self-confidence by encouraging people to expand and test their skills, not by spending huge amounts of time and money just to make them look pretty.

    Oh, and ditto the photoshop comment: that’s not a real girl at all. Loosely based on a real girl, but mostly fiction. Oh well, at least she’s learning something important about our concept of beauty: it’s impossible to attain because it’s totally divorced from reality.

    What goes through the minds of these women who put their daughters into these contents?

    Probably something along the lines of: “This is how I was raised, it’s the only way I know to raise a girl, everyone around me says it’s good, and I gotta do SOMETHING to help her get ahead…”

  28. Childermass says

    If your post had not implied that the picture was of a human female, I would have thought she was an elaborate doll. She simply does not look real.

    Making a girl into a toy is disgusting.

    Why can’t they let six-year olds be six-year olds? After all one does not get to be one forever.

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