According to Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment, child abuse is "the physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, of a child under circumstances that could harm them" (Merino 82). Beauty pageants for children are doing just this, exploiting them to certain people's eyes, who shouldn't be looking (Merino 79). They are also known to cause developmental problems as well as eating disorders (Brooks 24). For years, experts have been saying how much damage it can do to place young children in these events (Brooks 24). Beauty pageants have a negative impact on children because of the exploitations of the child and the lasting effects on them. .
The vast majority of parents that have children competing in this type of show, have no problem supporting the provocative image of their child that is being displayed (Davidson 60-62). The parents also don't have any arguments towards the perks that they are receiving (Brooks 24). They don't get just the cash or other prizes that their child could win but they are also cashing in on higher egos for themselves, the competitiveness of the sport, and self –fulfillment and securities of knowing that their child is the best (Brooks 24). It is said that the parent also gets the most satisfaction out of the whole process as compared to the child who should be having the most pleasurable experience (Brooks 24). Many parents' needs are being placed over the child's and the neglect to see this is harming their children more seriously than they realize (Eder, Rebecca, Ann Digirolamo, and Suzanne Thompson). .
Beauty pageants are just another way adults can relive their past through their child (Brooks 24). They desire to have their child known as the prettiest and the best child out there, and they are willing to place them on national television for this (Brooks 24). Many would ask if the parents of these young kids have any shame (Merino 82).