Ban Child Beauty Pageants

Target: Vice President Kamala Harris

Goal: Ban child beauty pageants to protect our children from exploitation, physical harm, and long-term psychological damage.

The world of child beauty pageants is a toxic and dangerous one, yet, each year an estimated 250,000 kids under the age of sixteen and as young as 6 months are pressured by their parents to participate in the over 5,000 pageants that take place nationwide. There have been very few studies and investigations into this subject, so we are left to get our information from TV shows such as “Toddlers and Tiaras” which glamorize the pageant life, not showing the truth of the physical and mental anguish that goes into this lifestyle.

Long-term psychological impacts are numerous and impactful. Over-reliance on physical appearance, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders are common in these children, and these issues undoubtedly follow them well into adulthood. Pageants have a huge role in molding these young and impressionable minds when they are in the midst of forming lifelong habits and core values. These children are being taught to rely on their outside appearance rather than the content of their character and that mindset is setting them up for future pain and failure.

Children have been quoted as saying that the process of preparing for and participating in the pageants is physically painful. In fact, many of the practices behind “glitzing,” or the physical prep for the show, border on child abuse and especially exploitation. Full makeup, false eyelashes, spray tans, hair extensions, fake nails, waxing, and in some rare cases, even botox are painful and can do permanent damage to young and developing bodies.

France’s Senate has banned child beauty pageants and Costa Rica and Russia have made moves in that direction as well. We have the responsibility to these children who can’t yet make their own informed decisions to follow suit. Show that we care about how they’re treated now and the health of the adults they’re going to one day become.


Dear Vice President Harris,

We are imploring you to take the initiative to ban Child Beauty Pageants. They are very harmful to our children who benefit in no way from participating. These competitions are all about the parents and the money they spend on clothes, makeup, spray tans, fake teeth, fake nails, and the myriad of other products which are dangerous to use on a child. The contestants are being held to unrealistic expectations for people their age, and the values that are instilled in them are not that of the wholesome adults that we wish every child would strive to be. Instead, they’re immersed in a world where looks are everything and there’s something wrong with you if you don’t win. 

The psychological effects are even more detrimental. Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are certainly not uncommon, even in elementary school-aged pageant children. Disorders and diseases such as these have been proven to lead to life-long struggles and even death. We need to put an end to this now for the physical health and mental well-being of our children. The only ones who will miss it are the parents.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


  1. People should “Do something useful with their children”

    Save Animals & the Planet instead.

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