June 04, 2004

"Little Miss"

Alas a Blog recently discussed the aborted attempt by a Florida Hooters to host a "Little Miss" contest in which five year olds would get to dress in those ever so well known costumes. As an aside Ampersand states

(It's notable that the widespread disgust for "Little Miss Hooters" in the blogosphere isn't matched by a similar disgust for all the other "Little Miss" contests out there).


I do object. I do have disgust for all these types of beauty contests for children, because they are not for the childs benefit, they are for mom and dad.

It isn't what the child is wearing it is why the child is wearing it. Children like costumes; they like being ballerinas and apes, scientist and kittens. They like looking around at the world and pretending they are mommies and daddies and off to do whatever the mommies and daddies around them do. They beg to be this or that and most parents try to do their best to get the child what they want for Purim or for Halloween or whatever.

This is different than a contest which has set ideas and in which the children are dressed up according to strict rules and regulations.

Some may object and say "well what about people who dress their children in fancy clothes for Shabbat, or Weddings/Bar Mitzvahs?"

There is a concept of proper dress for proper times; hopefully parents will choose or better, help their children choose, clothes that are appropriate, comfortable, and wanted by the child.

But anytime a parent is using a child for their own sake, to enhance themselves, there is a problem. Parent do take pride in their children, and there is nothing wrong with feeling wonderful about how a child carries themselves in a given situation, but there is a problem in having the child BE for Mom or Dad. The children then becomes a thing.

And this is what happens with "Little Miss" Beauty contests. These contests make children into nothing more, nothing less, than living dolls for parents, mostly moms, to play with.

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