Psychiatrists from Australia and New Zealand believe that child pageants should be banned, as they have reason to believe that pageants boost the sexualisation of children which in effect causes great developmental harm to minors. The psychiatrists believe that the scheduled July beauty pageant at Melbourne will just promote an adult’s perception of beauty. Phillip Brock, the chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of psychiatrists even revealed that they backed the ban for these competitions. Mr Brock said that these competitions just give young children the impression that their physical appearance has more value than their personality and inner self.
Mr Brock further elaborated that when you look at Eden Woods’ (the American pageant participant) pictures she barely resembles a 5 year old child; her photographs can be viewed as being alluring and appealing in a sexual way by the observer and if the observer is an adult then the situation is completely voyeuristic. He further elaborated that sexualisation of a child can pose serious developmental harms and nothing positive really comes out of holding pageants like these. During the course of these pageants, young girls are just objectified and judged against adult sexualisation standards or ideals.
According to Phillip Brock all these things have a serious effect on the development and mental health of children and their consequences are significant as they make an impact on a child’s identity, body perception and self-esteem. The chair of the college also revealed that there is enough statistical evidence available that can confirm the negative effects that these pageants have on mental health and development of minors. Other consequences of these pageants include depression, anxiety and body image issues. Many Australian parents are opposing this pageant and earlier this week several social commentators and parents were seen rallying on the steps of the state parliament in Melbourne.
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