Exploitation of Children in the Media

Society needs to become aware of the exploitation of childrenin the media, and the problematic outcomes that children face. From child-stars, actors, little miss sunshine, and pageant contestants, all of these are forms of public exposure and can turn out to be the down fall of a child’s career.Parents that recognize any spark of talent in their child at a young age takes advantage of the opportunity to make their son/daughter a star. Living this dream through their child does not occur over night. Children are placed in talent shows, auditions, and attending different events in hopes to be signed with an agency that can help kick start their career in “Hollywood”.

The American reality series on TLC Toddlers & Tiaras, displays little girls from the ages of 2-10 that are paraded across the stage, fake teeth, fake tan, and real determination according to their parents. This is a prime example of the soliciting of these little girls that is causing major issues of child exploitation.

Pageant contestant Karen’s, mom “is not afraid to have a couple tears shed in the quest for the crown”, these parents are willing to put their child through it all and most importantly are not aware of the danger they are putting their son/daughters in. Parents exploit their daughters by changing their innocent youthful appearance to emulate that of a teenage girl. From big hair, tans, make-up & high heels society views these underage girls as a “sex symbol”. There are child molesters that purposely attend pageants to prey on little girls.

Eventually one of those little girls will be noticed and elevate their career to the point where they will need a publicist. ‘Think Public Relations’ discusses the topic of “Entertainment, Sports, and tourism, it illustrates the personal publicity the celebrities and athletes receive to remain an icon image in the public eye. “A dominant aspect of today’s mass media is the cult of celebrity.”

Cases like JonBenét Patricia Ramsey, shows the deadly outcomes of children put in the public eye. According to Wikipedia, Ramsey was born on August 6, 1990 and died December 25, 1996 “she was an American child beauty pageant contestant who was murdered in her home in Boulder, Colorado in 1996. The six-year-olds body was found in the basement of the family home. She had been struck on the head and strangled. The case, which after several grand jury hearings remains unsolved, and to today it continues to generate in public and media” She would have recently celebrated her 21st birthday.

Not at all, in no way shape or form, am I against children reaching towards the stars or getting involved in extracurricular activities or anything of that nature, I welcome it being done the right way. My niece was recently crowned Miss Michigan Princess 2011 with the National American Miss Pageant organization.

This is an all-natural beauty pageant and it requires contestants and winners to be involved in community services and other volunteer work to give back. Their mission as the NAM is “dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders. Each year, the pageant awards one million dollars in cash, scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist the development of young women nationwide.” I believe that whatever parents chose to have their child partake in, they need to get a positive message out of it and not just look at it as a competition.

My goal as a Auntie and Student is to make parents all across the world aware of the severities of exploiting their children for fame and fortune, and when it involves the harm of children some action needs to be taken place.The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a private, non-profit organization established in 1984 by the United States Congress. This PR firm is taking steps at creating awareness of this issue………………..

Brittany K. Thornton


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. cupcake
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 02:07:00

    A lot of mothers live their dreams through the little girls they have and see no wrong in what they are doing to them. As they grow older they become out of control, some girls have a hard time understanding how to love themself and not be so competitive.


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