Child beauty pageants are one of the most rapidly growing businesses in the U.S, grossing in over five billion dollars annually. Child beauty pageants showcase children in a dangerous and unhealthy atmosphere. Dictionary.com defines beauty pageants as "A contest based on popularity." Considering pageant history, the hours of preparation, and overbearing mothers, people can come to see the numerous negative effects that come from pageant life. Because of the intense and sometimes brutal competition between the parents, what may have started out as a fun event quite often turns into a miserable experience for the child (Nussbaum). Thus, child beauty pageants produce life-long negative effects on young girls. .
Beauty pageants for adult women were first established in 1920 (Nussbaum), while child beauty pageants were introduced in the 1960s. During the 1920s, the first pageant was held in an Atlantic City hotel (Plecko) as a marketing tool to keep hotel guests in town longer (Nussbaum). As the years progressed, pageants have been used for political, educational, and entertaining events. This phenomenon has assumed global proportions since it was first established (Plecko). Absurdly, there are no laws to protect children in the pageant vicinity (Crandall). No minimum age laws or event restrictions have been put in place. Instead, each pageant director fits the pageant to his or her specific needs. Obviously there needs to be laws put in place to protect the children not only now, but also to guard their futures. Within the pageant world there are two ways a pageant can be run, corporately or by the participants (Nussbaum). In corporate pageants, the children must meet the requirements set by the corporation running the pageant. In participant run pageants, it is the responsibility of the contestants and their parents to set the guidelines. .
In addition to having no laws whatsoever, pageants are generally run by profit-seeking organizers.