Monday 31 January 2011

Time passing and beauty pageants

James worries about time passing. He says that time feels like it’s speeding up. I know that feeling but it worries me that he does. I don’t think I felt like that at his age. I always considered it was a mathematical thing – that, as we get older, each year is a smaller fraction of our life so far lived, so inevitably it feels shorter. But, hmm, is time speeding up?

‘I won’t be a child much longer,’ he said, sadly.
‘You’re not that old,’ I said, smiling.
‘I’m nearly a teenager.’
‘I’ll be a teenager this year. And then in four years’ time...’
‘Oh stop it.’
‘Why can’t childhood last longer?’

Why indeed?

And then, as I idly clicked through Facebook, I saw that my nevermetbutmuchadored friend TL Tyson had posted a new vlog. I love her vlog. I love her, full stop. She’s a very talented writer who lives in Canada; who has just the most fecund imagination and a wild sense of humour. She’s someone who turns your thinking upside down. Anyhow, she’d posted a vlog about child beauty pageants which rams home the point about how, for some children, childhood is being cut short in a pretty dramatic way.

Watch it.

I have no words for this. It sickens me. If it sickens you too, then maybe nick the link for this and post it on your blog, your Facebook page, your Twitter account?  Can we not shame these people into stopping this travesty?

As Tee says: ‘When did child abuse become a source of entertainment?’


Milla said...

hideous freak show. And on the money with all the over excitement to that birdy song thing from the (fatty, unattractive) parents.

Exmoorjane said...

Milla: it is, isn't it? Love the smug 'fatty' comment too... :)

Miss Sadie said...

Poor James. Feels like he's lost his innocence already. Sigh! We all grow up far too fast. Especially children in "beauty" pageants. {GROAN!!! Snarl!!}

BTW, how is your "love nip" from Jack healing up?

Exmoorjane said...

MS: Totally... hmm...the, er, 'love nip'is healing. Looks rather like I've had a vampire attack my knee... Another scar to add to the collection. :)

DD's Diary said...

Those poor little bored and resentful sad faces! What sort of women will they grow up to be? It's quite sick.

Anonymous said...

Childhood does seem to be dwindling, and I don't think it's just in the case of child beauty contests. We're a hyper-connected society and while it has it's upsides I don't see the kids in my neighborhood playing outside anymore. There is a lot of talk about video game and the internet. Which I understand are fun, but come on. Don't we remember how much fun it was to get the neighborhood kids and play a game of hide and seek.

As for child beauty contests, I was sent an invitation to one when I was young and I was so excited because it was mail addressed to me. My mother made me throw it out and I threw a nuclear tantrum because I'd thought it meant that people thought I was pretty. Now I'm glad she never considered putting me through that.

As for my kids, when I have them, I don't think I ever want to treat them like a living breathing Barbie doll.

Kate said...

Just grim. I can't imagine what kind of parent does that kind of thing. My kids are beautiful (aren't all our kids?) and I feel no need whatsoever to share that with anyone else. It's obvious anyhow!

Sessha Batto said...

Let me start by saying that, IMHO, time has completely slipped its bonds and is running rampant - individual days crawl, weeks and months fly!! Lurch will be 15 in a couple weeks - next year at this time he'll be driving . . . (long pause w...(tharr be more)hile I am revived).

I also have to agree, kiddie beauty pagents suck - let's be honest, all the 'emphasis on beauty' stuff sucks, unless you happen to be one of the beautiful ones (and even then it will bite you in the arse at some point). That being said, in the realm of a truly abusive childhood . . . this doesn't even register.

I'm not much for making anyone do anything they aren't enjoying . . . and it's clear that, at the moments we saw, those girls weren't enjoying themselves. But I also know kids, five minutes later they could be pitching the same fit for hearing they COULDN'T compete :( sometimes there is no winning side. I'm much MORE worried about the message such pagents send about the sexualization of very young girls - which makes the parents doubly creepy IMO. But, being told you're beautiful is NOT going to cause the long term damage that I associate with abuse in the same way that being told repeatedly that you're stupid or unwanted will, it doesn't cause the misery that long term neglect does and it doesn't leave the scars of beatings. Is it right - no. Is it selfish on the parent's part - most assuredly. Is it scarring kids for life . . . probably not :(

Exmoorjane said...

DD: yeah, those faces did me in.

Milla: and the bit at the beginning where the girl gets hurt, burned by..what was it? Curling tong or summat? Ugh.

dld: good points. My son plays video games and loves them but his primary love is sport so spends most of his time outside, when he can. Guess we're lucky living somewhere he can do that, with (one hopes) inpunity.

Kate: Quite. But why do they do it? I can't get my head round it.

Sessh: huge thanks for posting this. You raise some really interesting points and I'd love to know what others think.
I hear what you're saying, I really do. But, then, what happens if the child doesn't win? If the parent invests so much in the winning that the child is berated for not being placed; for not being 'beautiful enough'? for not living up to expectations? I dunno. It just seems off to me.

Mrs. Tuna said...

I have to say the girl commenting seems pretty well adjusted and comfortable in her own skin.

family Affairs said...

If your son thinks time is speeding up then we have no hope. Oh dear depressing watching L x

Tattieweasle said...

Beauty pageants scare me but kiddie ones are beyond terrifying, I mean the kids just look like dolls not children...and yes I think childhood is getting a lot shorter...but how to prolong it?

Tee said...

@Mrs Tuna - I am. It's from years of being a fat awkward kid with horrible hair. I really learned who I was as a person and that my beauty was in my unique sense of humour and ability to see myself for who I really was. Unlike the girls in these pageants my parents allowed me to be who I am...not who they wanted me to be. Hell, I didn't even have to bathe.

Frances said...

Yes, Jane, beauty pagents for little children are truly creepy! Parents involved are beyond creepy. You will remember the tabloided Ramsey murder case over here ripped some of the cover off this horrid pagents.

Think that your James is just a wise young lad, who has got a good head on his shoulders. And two dogs round the house to show everyone how to set their clocks and turn their calendar pages. xo