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Baby Beauty Queens

Filmmaker: Steven Rosenbaum
Year: 2002
Length: 42 Minutes
Color: COLOR
Details: HDTV
Cast: Baby Beauty Contestants


Some stage mothers call child pageants the “little league for girls.” A pastime
consumed with sticky hair spray, thick make-up, and five-year-olds striking
promiscuous poses in fancy dresses. And like little league, some pageant moms
can take it a little too seriously. But take an even closer look and you will see it’s
not just the trophies and crowns that these mothers are striving for, but also a
need for social status and a sense of belonging.

Ever since the murder of child beauty queen, JonBenet Ramsey, child pageants
have come under fire - their reputations tarnished after an unforgiving media

frenzy. Chilling images of the six-year-old dressed like a sexy showgirl were
broadcast across the nation. These photos raised serious questions: what
messages do pageants send to little girls who are judged on beauty, is this a form
of exploitation or a harmless hobby, the likes of dancing schools?

Despite the negative publicity and a loss of popularity, thousands of pageants
continue to be held each year. Inside Story takes a look at the mothers and
daughters on the beauty pageant circuit to explore who really enters these
competitions and what motivates them?


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