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    Down with pre-school beauty pageants...

    One thing that really horrified me about the ‘Toddlers and Tiara’ show was watching a mother making a child accept being spray tanned by her. The 4 year old did not want the spray because it was too cold.

    To persuade her the mother eventually (after a lot of other quite intrusive cajoling took her on her lap. She pointed to her cute little legs – normal, fairly pale white, kids legs and said (I can’t remember verbatim): ‘Look at your ugly coloured white legs don’t you want lovely tanned legs?’ The child shook her head, looking down. Defeated and ashamed.

    Do these misguided, insensitive, unable to see their children as separate beings mothers have any, any idea of what they are doing to their children’s self concept, self worth, self-acceptance and self confidence in their own bodies, needs and wishes? Or their ability to make choices? Or their right to want and need and be something different to mom?

    Unfortunately, probably not. Probably their parents had difficulty seeing them as separate or good enough just the way they were. Their parents had an equal difficulty to be mindful, thoughtful and interested in their child’s needs and healthy emotional, social and physical growth.

    One can see it in the mothers. They are often quite overweight, probably with painful self-worth issues. They live through their cute under 5’s...Or they are manicured to the nth degree. Presenting to the world as perfect as possible picture – one that cannot possibly be the real them but rather a mask hiding something they feel is unacceptable. What are they masking...? Probably a dreadful feeling of not being good enough.

    The never ending circle of a kind of child abuse. This same mom plucked her children’s eyebrows! Can these poor little ones not have the childhood feeling of all being right in their bodies? That the body and mind are one, comfortable, growing, ever-increasingly skilful and bringer of joy and feelings of strength and mastery?

    Down with pre-school beauty pageants...

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