Politics - News Analysis

If Ron DeSantis Cares So Much About ‘Grooming’ Children, Why is Florida the Capital of Child Beauty Pageants?

I’m going to be straight up honest with you. Child beauty pageants make me freaking sick. SICK. Personally I think beauty pageants for adult women are gross, where women wear their skimpiest clothing to often be judged by men on their “beauty” and “talent”. It’s sick. And it’s even sicker when CHILDREN, including toddlers and babies are participating in the same events. (And the fact that Donald Trump owned and bragged about owning pageants should say something, but that’s a topic for another day.)

And it got me thinking…I know a lot of people in the child pageant industry (long story). And these pageants are predominantly held in the south, and mostly in Florida. They are usually held at low-to-mid-tier hotels, often in tourist friendly cities like Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. They often cost up to $1000+ to enter, and the ultimate winner maybe wins $500 and a tacky crown. Most go home with nothing but a $3 plastic crown and participant’s sash.

Ron DeSantis is the Governor of Florida, and he’s just SO CONCERNED about the children. His “don’t say gay” law bans public school teachers from holding classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity. Because LGBT people are dangerous apparently. DeSantis is preparing to sign bills that will allow the state to remove transgender children from their families. Another bill DeSantis plans to sign is one that will ban gender-affirming treatments for trans youths.

If DeSantis cares about children, why are teachers’ salaries are among the lowest in the nation? If DeSantis cares about children and their families, why is the minimum wage still a paltry $8.65 an hour? More than four years into the DeSantis governorship, Florida continues to languish toward the bottom of state rankings assessing the quality of health care, school funding, long-term elder care, and other areas key to a successful society, a society filled with children.

It’s all revolting stuff, especially his hatred of transpeople. DeSantis is either evil or has never met a transperson in his life. Probably evil, I know. Children who are trans need gender affirming healthcare to keep them alive. This has been studied over and over again. But hey, Florida has a governor who listens to vile people like the woman who runs the Twitter account Libs of TikTok, who constantly rails against trans people, calling them groomers, pedophiles, and every rancid thing in the book.

But apparently, this is just fine with Mr. DeSantis:

Those little girls are what, 7, 8, maybe 9? And they’re wearing more makeup than I ever have. And bikinis? Really? And that photo isn’t some outlier…here are a few more:

THIS IS A FREAKING TODDLER! MAYBE A PRESCHOOLER!!!
Why the need to blow the kiss? The little pink bathing suit with sexy side cut-outs isn’t enough?
I mean, COME ON!!!

Every year in the U.S. an estimated 2.5 million girls participate in about 10,000 beauty pageants (Women’s News, 2016) many if not most in Florida. Now yes, some of the pageants are considered “natural” where makeup is either not allowed, or must be very mild. But the money and the fame is in the “glitz” pageants, the ones with the fake tans and sexy dance routines.

Young children are being forced by parents to participate in these unhealthy pageants causing them to gain mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorders… all for what? The title of “Grand Supreme”? A gaudy, rhinestone encrusted crown?

Another concern with this industry is the sexualization of the participants. Pageants imply participants must dress in the most exposing, frilly dresses and swimwear in order to get high scores. Also pageants score provocative dancing the highest making parents teach their young girls to act and perform this way all because they want to win. Now, what do they call adults who slowly try to sexualize children? Oh yeah, groomers.

Look at this screenshot, of a child wearing a cone-shaped bra, how is this normal and not damaging to the child?

And of course there was a show all about it, Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC that was incredibly popular.

YouTube video

Mind you, these little girls get their little bodies spray tanned. They wear a full face of makeup. Fake hair and wigs, and even fake teeth. They wear incredibly expensive clothes, the glitzier and sexier the better. It’s a multi-million dollar industry. Apparently this is ok for Gov. DeSantis.

But a child who wants to unalive themselves because they feel they were born in the wrong body will not be able to get medical treatment, and if they try, the state can remove them from their parents and put them in foster care.

So in closing, Ron DeSantis thinks this is ok:

But this isn’t ok, an 11-year-old trans girl recently featured in Vogue:

Kai, an 11-year old trans girl, featured in Vogue.

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