It's almost freakish, isn't it? Little girls dolled up to look like… dolls. Pageants designed for children 0-18 occuring across North America that help these petite darlings "be all they can be". How repulsive. How can they be all of who they are when they are preened, primped, plucked, waxed, nipped, tucked and made over? These are little girls we're seeing. These are little fantasies. And who can forget the Jon-Benet tragedy?
I want to speak more to the pageants featuring girls from around 5-11 years of age. I cannot emphasize it enough: these events are a predator's playground. Displaying both the provocative AND the innocent in one dazzling package, pedophiles, traffickers and other exploitative elements are drawn like moths to a flame. Sexualixed children. Addictive candy.
While it may sound repulsive to us, the pre-pubescent body — free of any adult development yet – acts as an almost irrepresible urge for pedophiles, who all the while fantasize these children acting out grownup sexual experiences. We're putting on public display loaded pistols and handing them out for all to try out… to ooohh and aahhh at. Traffickers see dollar signs. Yes, we as adults must take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, but knowing what we do of pedophiles, why does our society insist on making targets so easy for them to get?
More frightening, pageants can act as fantasies only for some and then predators prey on local children… whoever's around. If you can't take what you see on TV, take what's next door.
Might I say that the parents of these girls, however, are just as guilty? Exploiting natural beauty (of which everyone has) to create what the world would define as beauty and set on staged, marked, judged and rated. It's reprehensible. Do you know how many girls who go through this process end up addicted to substances? Low self-esteem (they've never had to develop it themselves because it's always been rated for them)? Suicide? Empty relationships? The list goes on…
You see it everywhere you go now. Even stores like La Senza offer push-up bras for girls barely needing training bras. We are sexualizing our children at younger and younger ages! We could blame it on society, we could blame it on marketing, we could blame it on 'the system', but really… WE ARE THE SYSTEM. Parents, educators, marketers, business owners… we all make up the system that cranks out little Miss Americas. Why in the world would we want to have our 9 and 10 year old daughters look like they have breasts when they don't????? Why are 12 and 13 year olds wearing 5-inch spike heels to school when their bodies aren't even capable of handling that kind of physical demand on legs and spine????
We complain and whine that sex is all around us and our children are suffering for it. Perhaps we should take a good, hard look at how we're presenting our children to the world. No child deserves sexual abuse. NEVER. But when we doll up girls or put them into skin-tight clothes with fake boobs and dye their hair and make them up… we're putting them on display. And some people watching are those predators everyone fears will pick their little girl up from school one day.
True, refusing to allow your little girl to wear a push up bra won't stop predators in their tracks. But it would go a long way to insist our children BE CHILDREN. They will grow up soon enough. Why do we insist on rushing it and making them something they're not?