We believe that child beauty pageants instil harmful messages in children (girls in particular as they make up the majority of participants), including that their looks are their currency.
We feel that child beauty pageants are exploitative and not in the best interests of the child, but the commercial interests of pageant promoters and parents living vicariously through their children.
The NZ & Australian College of Psychiatrists have stated that they support a ban of child beauty pageants - "“Direct participation and competition for a beauty prize where infants and girls are objectified and judged against sexualised ideals can have significant mental health and developmental consequences that impact detrimentally on identity, self esteem, and body perception.” (http://www.ranzcp.org/latest-news/child-beauty-pageants-harmful-to-children-s-mental-health.html)
We would like to see age restrictions applied (16+) so that the decision to compete against their peers in a beauty contest is made with full consent, and when their emotional maturity better enables them to fully comprehend and handle any negative self esteem impacts. We oppose the narrow gender messages child beauty pageants help perpetuate, doing nothing to improve the status of women in general, and encouraging ever younger games of 'compare and despair'. We are also concerned about parents engaging young children in adult cosmetic procedures such as waxing and spray tanning, especially against their will (see Toddlers and Tiaras), and believe that children should be allowed to be children without being primped, preened and judged by an adult defined, narrow beauty ideal - or any beauty 'ideal'!
This Pull the Pin petition and campaign is independent and not associated with any party political or religious interest.
Please add your voice to the call to Pull the Pin on beauty pageants for children. To stay informed, please also go to www.facebook.com/pullthepinNZ
The petition of the undersigned shows that we are concerned about the negative impacts of child beauty pageants on children and our culture.
Your petitioners ask that the Minister of Youth Affairs undertakes the necessary steps to create legislative change to end child beauty pageants for children under 16 years of age, and that a code of conduct be created to prevent harm from adult cosmetic procedures carried out on young children.
The Pull The Pin on Beauty Pageants for Children in New Zealand petition to Government was written by Rachel Hansen and is in the category Youth at GoPetition.