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Baby Beauty Pageants in the UK

Baby Beauty Pageants Move On to the UK

We've talked about this a couple times before, but now baby beauty pageants have moved across the pond, and it seems like Brits are willing to go to even greater extremes than their American counterparts. Baby Beauty Queens, a new BBC3 documentary, follows three girls who are part of the growing UK child pageant scene. One of the girls, at age 7, had plastic surgery to "correct" her ears (her story starts at about the 7:15 minute mark). To find out more about these pageants, read on.

The public fascination with these pageants is perhaps at an all-time high—there have been two television shows about them in the past couple years, and the scary documentaries just keep rolling in—but it seems like no matter how much opprobrium they draw, they aren't going away. It's also interesting that the BBC approaches these pageants from an educational standpoint, as if the world of baby pageants is a subculture to be documented and explored, while American shows like Toddlers & Tiaras exist solely as voyeuristic vehicles to mock and judge pageant families. I guess that's what separates a documentary from reality television, which feeds on easy snark. But it begs the question: why do we spend so much time making fun of these children if we think this is shameful and wrong? And if the parents are unstable or harming the child, why is no one reaching for the phone to call Child Protective Services?

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