Should child beauty pageant models wear make-up?

Should child beauty pageant models wear make-up?  A child beauty pageant is a beauty contest featuring contestants under 16 years of age. Competition categories may include talent, interview, sportswear, casual wear, swim wear, western wear, theme wear, outfit of choice, decade wear, and evening wear. Depending on the type of pageant system (Glitz/Natural) contestants may be found wearing makeup to fake teeth, known as flippers, as well as elaborate hairstyles and custom, designed and fitted, outfits to present their routines on stage.

Beauty pageants started in 1921 when the owner of an Atlantic City hotel struck upon the idea to help boost tourism.  However, that idea had already circulated through “Most Beautiful Child” contests held in major cities across the country. The Little Miss America pageant began in the 1960s at Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. Originally, it was for teenagers from 13 to 17 years old, but by 1964 there were over 35,000 participants, which prompted an age division.  The modern child beauty pageant emerged in the early 1960s, held in Miami, Florida. Since then, the industry has grown to include about 250,000 pageants. It is an increasingly lucrative business, bringing in about twenty billion dollars a year to the Americas with its popularity spreading worldwide.

However a new hotly debated topic has recently arisen; should child models be allowed to wear make-up?  This question may seem strange as we all automatically associate models with make-up, but the issue is slightly different when considering the age of the model.  For example adult fashion models often wear an excess of make-up to hide imperfections and to appear younger.  Make-up can also be used to present an artistic look.  Make-up is used by actors, newscasters and everyday people.  It has become a standard practice in our society and a highly profitable industry grossing.  According to the revenue of the U.S. cosmetic industry, make-up sales is estimated to amount to about 62.46 billion U.S. dollars in 2016!

The history of cosmetics spans at least 6000 years and includes almost every society on earth. Some argue that cosmetic body art was the earliest form of ritual in human culture, dating over 100,000 years ago from the African Middle Stone Age.  During the early years of the 20th century, make-up became fashionable in the United States of America and Europe owing to the influence of ballet and theatre stars such as Mathilde Kschessinska and Sarah Bernhardt. But the most influential new development of all was that of the movie industry in Hollywood.  It is now a common practice.

However there have been recent arguments as to the use of make-up in regards to children, especially when competing in child beauty pageants.  Many regard the use of make-up as a tool to ‘sexualize’ children.  This also raises the question, is the goal of using make-up on adult women to ‘sexualize’ women?  Or is make-up simply used to enhance ones appearance of beauty and health?

This is currently a hotly debated topic with advocates on both sides.

The interesting thing about this debate is the fact that people wear make-up for a wide range of reasons and most are not to enhance a sexual presence.  For example actors spends hours with make-up artistic prior to a movie shoot or commercial.  The demand is so high that make-up artistic and earn an average of $50,000 a year for their services.  Virtually every photo-shoot has a make-up artist on staff.  So the question is, does make-up on a child sexualize the child?  We spoke with Kaley (a full-time make-up artist working in the fashion industry) about this topic to get a better understanding of this issue.  According to Kaley the use of make-up as a way to enhance ones healthy appearance is not in anyway akin to bolstering or achieving a a sexual image.  “Make-up is a valuable tool to help us achieve a healthy and more aesthetically pleasing appearance and in no way does automatically result in a sexual goal“.

Of course this is not to say that make-up cannot be used to enhance the attractiveness of a person which could then lead to a more ‘sexy’ look.  Attractive people (especially females are often viewed as sexy) and this is simply a product of nature.  The key is how you apply the make-up and what type of look you are seeking.  It seems odd to think that simply adding make-up to a child would change the child into a sexual object, but there are many people that believe this is ultimately the end result of such practice.

According to a recent poll on the use of beauty enhancements in child beauty pageants, one posted related the following; “I firmly believe that the use of cosmetics is okay. It’s a beauty pageant. I understand all the “natural beauty” stuff, but if the goal is to get the child to look prettier I think that cosmetics should be allowed.”

For more information on beauty pageants and currently active events, please check out our webpage.

What are your thoughts?  If you enjoyed this article please share it and leave a comment below.

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How to start a career in modeling

Modeling?  Where to start…

It can be a difficult task to consider all of the potential options when it comes to starting a modeling career.  Before the internet there were very few options and most were very expensive.  Fortunately you can now gain instant exposure by using social networking tools and websites.  But this still leaves you with the difficult choice of where to start and what type of modeling you wish to do.



For example many people are under the impression that you must be tall to be a model.  While this is true to certain types of modeling, it is not required for all types.  Runway models and high fashion models usually need to be at least 5’9 to qualify.  However there are tons of other exciting and profitable categories of modeling that do not have a height requirement.  Modeling categories such as sport, casual, swimwear, promotional, testimonials, YouTube videos, and much more!  In fact there is a high demand for average appearing models that can portray customers of promotional products.  Think about it from the perspective of the company that may hire you..  If the company is promoting a product in which they plan to advertise to everyday people then most likely they will not seek a ‘super model’ to present the product.  Also think about the various commercials and shows you watch on TV.  Many of the models are of average height, appearance and beauty.

In some cases very attractive models have been turned away from roles that require a more ‘real’ appearance.  Now this is not to say that tall and attractive models are not hired for modeling jobs, as we all know that they are. But it seems to be less known that there are a vast amount of jobs out there for individuals of all genders, age range and body types.

So this still leaves the question, where to start in your quest to find modeling jobs?  The best option and most relevant in today’s age is a modeling social network dedicated to companies, agencies and independent models.  Think of Facebook, but dedicated toward models!  The concept is to provide a website in which people of all ranges of appearance, age and gender can easily display their talents and gain the exposure needed to succeed in the field of modeling (or acting).  Such a website can be found at MyModelPlace.com and the best part is that you can register and start your own online model portfolio free.  This is another important aspect to consider, the cost.  Many companies actually charge modeling talent and this can be an indication of a potential scam.  Consider the fact that you are the talent.  This means you are the person that provides the fuel to run the modeling agency and you should never be charged for such a service.

It is also important to consider the list of services you will receive from an online modeling agency.  In order to be successful you must gain the maximum amount of exposure and have an online portfolio that can be viewed from any internet connected device.  Think about the ‘instant’ fame that can be achieved these days with viral videos.  This type of instant exposure was impossible 10 years ago.  However if the online agency offers promotion via their website, social media (including FB and YouTube) private blogs and networks, and newsletter listings then you stand a much better chance of success.  Some clients may find you through the agency website while others may find you through a YouTube video or FB post.  Either way the more places you are the better chance you will have in being hired for modeling jobs.

Another important way to start your modeling career is to apply for various casting calls.  A casting call is a pre-production process for selecting a cast of actors, dancers, singers, models and other talent for a live or recorded performance.  The casting process somewhat involves a series of auditions before a casting panel, composed of individuals such as the producer, director and/or choreographer. In the early stages of the process, performers often may present prepared audition pieces such as monologues or songs. These audition pieces are usually video taped, attached with resumes, and head shots and then shared with producers, directors and studio representatives. Later stages may involve groups of actors attempting material from the work under consideration in various combinations; the casting director considers both the talent of the individual actors and the chemistry of their combination. MyModelPlace.com provides a free listing of current casting calls from all over the world and this list is updated regularly.  You can apply to any casting call you feel matches your talents free and the companies you apply to will be able to view your online portfolio, list of talents and connect with you securely through a private message system!

Location is also no longer an issue.  In the past potential models needed to move to New York, Paris, or some other large city in the hopes of being discovered.  This is no longer needed.  If you have an internet connection and you are listed on MyModelPlace.com you will be seen by the top agencies and clients from anywhere in the world.

For more information on modeling jobs, please check out the webpage modeling jobs. Take a moment and visit the site casting calls section for further details on available castings, the main categories, the list of jobs opened and other important terms and conditions.

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