I just watched a bbc3 programme on beauty pageants for little girls. While it obviously brings them joy, I find myself appalled at the amount of stock these girls’ parents put in the need to look beautiful. To them, looking good is everything. It may surprise you, despite my obsession with feminine clothes, that I disagree. What matters is the person inside the dress, so what does it matter how you look? Whether I’m in a skirt, trousers, or a leotard, I’m still me, and I think by going out in such things I demonstrate that. I know that, to some, I might look ugly, but that’s the point. We are all different, all equal, all special and all beautiful. But such competitions help to uphold a very narrow definition of beauty, quantifying it, saying some are more beautiful than others. I wouldn’t mind the dressing up and dancing and stuff – it lookss like fun – but at the level at which it teaches kids that some are beautiful but most are ugly, I find them harmful and repugnant.
It’s strange. I’m aware of the contradiction in liking to dress up and looking pretty, but knowing too that beuty is only skin deep.