As I'm still suffering from my usual insomnia, I was watching a programme last night on how beauty pageants have migrated from the USA to the UK, although I only caught the tail end of it.
On one level, I think these things are utterly anachronistic in this day and age, but on another level, I'm amazed that any parent would even think of dressing up a young child as an adult (some of the 13 year olds could could easily have walked into a bar and bought a drink by the time they were dressed and made up), plastering them in adult style make up and training them to walk in a certain way on stage. Not being a parent myself, perhaps I'm wrong of course.
Some of the parents seemd utterly driven in their desire to see their kids win, whilst the kids themselves seemed to have little choice in the matter, and goodness knows how much was spent on the costumes etc (there was a prize for 'the best dress' for example).
One parent when interviewed came out with a statement I found quite telling. She revealed, with a big grin, that if her thirteen year old daughter was invited to an MTV party, then she would have have to go too.
Is this the way we really want kids to grow up? Forcing them to enter competitions to see who is best dressed and best looking is, in my view, hardly constructive when we need to demonstrate to them the importance of seeing beyond an individual's appearance.
This is one American import I really hope never, ever catches on over here.