Child beauty pageants should be scrutinised over sexualisation concerns

ABC News 27 June 2014
Child beauty pageants should be scrutinised as one of several ways to tackle the sexualisation of West Australian children, a parliamentary report has recommended.

The report, prepared by WA Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for Children and Young People, has labelled the sexualisation of the state’s children as a “priority issue”.

It states sexualisation can affect a child’s body image, emotional development and physical health, and also provoke sexual harassment in schools and workplaces.

In 2011, there was a protest in Perth against plans to hold a child beauty pageant modelled on the Texas-based Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant.

The parliamentary committee said it wrote to the WA Attorney-General Michael Mischin last year asking what action was being taken to address the issue, but was informed there were no initiatives in place.

Teaching little girls to preen and to strut, to look sexy for the judges, to emphasise sexualised behaviours [is] totally inappropriate for children.”