Sunday 24 September 2017

Lorraine Courtney: Being judged on looks is bad when you're an adult, never mind a child

Alana Thompson, aka Honey Boo-Boo, competes in a child beauty pageant in the US during filming of her reality TV show.
Alana Thompson, aka Honey Boo-Boo, competes in a child beauty pageant in the US during filming of her reality TV show.

IS THERE anyone who thinks that dressing little girls in high-heels is a good idea, or who looked approvingly at photographs of Gisele and her toddler daughter in matching leopard-print bikinis? There must be a tiny minority, otherwise you wouldn't be able to buy padded bras for nine-year-olds. And there are still some people out there who are open to having their children parade around in fake eyelashes and tight-fitting, spangly costumes at beauty pageants.

The Texas-based Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant is coming to Dublin on September 21 for its first-ever show here. The glitzy, €20,000 event will involve babies, toddlers and teens competing against one another. The exact location hasn't been revealed yet to keep protesters away. But finding a venue happy to host controversial events like this is hard; the original Cork hotel venue pulled out. Like other beauty pageants, it will consist of several rounds, including an evening wear section, where children parade down a catwalk swathed in taffeta, a talent round and a rather sick segment where the girls strip down to their swimsuits.

Small girls tarting themselves up as beauty queens is always going to be a sad, sorry spectacle. We're all appalled, horrified and fascinated in equal measure by it, which is why so many documentaries and even a television series called 'Toddlers and Tiaras' have been made on the subject.

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