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How do beauty pageants affect young girls body images The Little Miss America Pageant contest in New Jersey in 1961 associated with Palisades Amusement Park is considered the first child beauty pageant Girls between the ages of five and ten were judged on the basis of beauty charm poise and personality Beauty pageants these days focus on much more than the characteristics mentioned above Today children receive spray tans fake teeth and other adult features to seem more beautiful Eleanor Vonduyke a former Denver- based pageant director who was in the business for 20 years says Competitions 25 years ago really only required a party dress and a satin hair bow These days in child pageants its not unusual to see children with bleached highlighted hair Today participating in pageants can cost up to 3000 to 5000 dollars Sometimes the parents even spend more than the amount of money the 1st place winner receives Many of the young girls who are entered in these contests and continue them for years can suffer from bulimia anorexia and other major eating disorders One of the big issues for the girls is low self-esteem Child pageants often require crash dieting This means they eat sugary food and consume highly caffeinate drinks for days before pageants to make them more enthusiastic This can trouble growth and cause other health issues Many contestants suffer from forms of anxiety when they are put into stressful situations They can also have paranoia from their mothers telling them that no one in the pageant is their friend and that they have to beat them There is at least one mother who will tell their child that every pageant Pageants can lead to eating disorders and selfishness If these are possible outcomes why do parents continue to put their children in the pageants Over the years beauty pageants have changed drastically Mental health experts pointed out that eating disorders are starting at much earlier
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