Over the weekend I was contacted by the group Australians Against Child Beauty Pageants. I have been reading about their protests of a child beauty pageant that will be held in Melbourne in July for a few weeks now.
Basically a US pageant system, Universal Royalty (which I write a bit more about below), is hosting a pageant and bringing over Eden Wood, who has been featured several times on Toddlers & Tiaras (her mom thinks of her as a star in the child beauty pageant world– I’ve written about her before here). A group of Australians, upset over this development, have formed a protest group that is circulating an online petition and planning a rally. Others have have counter-organized, supporting the pageants in Australia, and Eden Wood.
[After watching Kate Gosselin and her eight in Australia for the past two weeks on TLC, I can't help but wonder if the producers of these popular TLC reality shows featuring kids have some sort of relationship with/affinity for Australia?! Don't get be wrong, Australia is definitely on my bucket list of places I must see in my lifetime, but it seems like a strange publicity coincidence.]
One of the organizations members sent me a thoughtful email, which you can read by clicking HERE. Below is part of my response. Note that I can’t say if Australia should or should not allow this event to be held, but I do not believe that by US law child beauty pageants are illegal or child abuse. Do people do things around child beauty pageants that could be considered illegal and or/child abuse? Sure. But I’ve seen the same things around soccer clubs and chess tournaments.