The cult of the child beauty pageant

 
meloncolin
 
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meloncolin
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Joined  05-12-2006
 
 
 
21 January 2008 01:05
 

Manic mothers, grown men leering at children through video cameras, 5 year olds wearing makeup and formal attire…..


Cult?

 
 
Lapin Diabolique
 
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Lapin Diabolique
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21 January 2008 09:09
 

In extremely bad taste, creepy and obnoxious… yes.
Cult… no.

 
 
 
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Carstonio
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21 January 2008 10:55
 

Not a cult, but definitely symptomatic of poisonous beliefs and attitudes.

Harlan Ellison wrote the definitive critique of child beauty pageants in “Our Little Miss,” an installment of his Glass Teat column in 1970. It was reprinted in his Essential Ellison collection. I just Googled “our little miss” and realized to my sadness that the pageant that Ellison eviscerated is still in existence.

 
 
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uli
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Joined  26-02-2008
 
 
 
03 April 2008 13:05
 

Shall check out that Harlan Ellison thing.  I think it depends on how you define ‘cult’.  There certainly seems to be a lot of emphasis on beauty and youth, yet I don’t think we ascribe supernatural powers to those qualities.

Imo child beauty pageants are exploitation and abusive and (not being American) it always amazes me how such a puritan culture can produce something so dodgy.  Maybe it’s because it’s such a puritan culture that it can and people don’t bat an eyelid?

Here in France it’s perfectly ok for very young kids to run around naked on beaches (it’s pretty natural after all).  Beauty pageants for children would be unthinkable.

 
 
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Carstonio
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03 April 2008 19:11
 
uli - 03 April 2008 05:05 PM

Imo child beauty pageants are exploitation and abusive and (not being American) it always amazes me how such a puritan culture can produce something so dodgy.  Maybe it’s because it’s such a puritan culture that it can and people don’t bat an eyelid?

If you hadn’t identified yourself as from France, I would have assumed that you were British only because of your use of the term “dodgy”...

You have an excellent point. Most recent sex scandals among Democratic politicians have involved heterosexual infidelity. Jim McGreevey was a prominent exception. The sex scandals on the Republican side have tended to involve “deviancy” such as Larry Craig and Mark Foley. But I doubt that puritanism itself directly produces such impulses. Instead, puritanism may encourage them to suppress their personal issues instead of confronting them.

My reference to “deviancy” reflects puritanism’s failure to distinguish between the gender of Craig’s and Foley’s targets (males) and the inappropriate nature of their acts. It would have been just as inappropriate if Craig had trolled for anonymous sex in a public place with a woman, or if Foley had sent explicit e-mails to teenage female pages. The puritan focus on the homosexual aspect of those acts says much about puritanism’s twisted sense of morality.