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    The image shows a young girl (a 5-year old maybe) dressed in a flashy dress, with lots of stones and decorative feathers. She wears a heavy make-up, and looks sideways, with her left hand raised parallel to the ground, as though she was posing. The colors of the photo are very bright, the dress is a flashy pink, quite vulgar, the background is a sparkling blue, and there is also the whiteness of a teddy bear behind, which tones all the craziness of the vivid colors.

    Even though I’ve seen these type of shows on TV before, I’m always shocked when I see them again. Children are like sponges, they absorb everything they are taught / shown. In this case, we see a young girl displaying the vanity and insecurities of her parents, which is always tragic to watch. What differentiates this photo from the rest is the freedom of choice (I believe that in this one the voice of the person represented there is the least heard, in the sense that it wasn’t probably her choice to sign up to these type of competitions).

    The photo speaks about a sick society where strangers glare at the others as if it was something normal, about a sexualization of children from very young ages, about human insecurities in terms of beauty, about consent and abuse. It shows that children mirror their parents and their society, and sometimes that’s not very nice to look at.

    Tiziana Heck

    Hello Maria,

    I agree that the child in this picture was most likely introduced to this environment and might not have had much choice. I believe that even if she starts to enjoy the process of the shows, meeting other competitors, and choosing her outfits, that she will also be likely to experience “sexualisation” and “human insecurities in terms of beauty”. What do you think could be a good measure to protect children from experiencing such within this environment?


    I saw a couple of shows having as main topic “Modeling contest for young girls” and, to be fair, there are many girls that are really happy to do this, they feel really encouraged and empowered to continue to participate in the contest. Yes, is true, there are some parents that insist too much on the kids to have a focus more developed towards modelling than school or other educational areas. I think that one good measure to protect the children from experiencing sexualisation and human insecurities in terms of beauty is to have some really defined rules regarding organizing and participation to Modelling Contests for kids under 16.


    This picture also influenced me, and it is not acceptable in my country. I suppose we need to protect our children and explain the limits for their health, and safety.

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