Children as young as five years old are having their bodies waxed and tanned, while eight-year-olds are getting botoxed, as part of a controversial beauty pageant coming to Melbourne in July.
The pageant is ringing alarm bells for parents and experts, who say young girls are under too much pressure to conform to adult ideas of beauty.
And while pageant participants argue that the event builds a child’s self-esteem, there’s only ever one winner.
According to child psychotherapist Collett Smart, girls who don’t win learn early that they’ll never measure up to unrealistic ideals of physical perfection. She added that there is a high correlation between pageant participation and later depression and anxiety. Collett also outlines the campaign to keep Australia free of child pageants.
Listen Now – Child psychotherapist Collett Smart on beauty pageants.
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