Sophomore guest columnist Sam Anthony reports on the latest progression in the world of pre-natal pageantry.
The moment you are born, as the saying goes, you begin to die. Few are more aware of that sad fact than those who make their living hosting childrens’ beauty pageants. Increasingly, these professional pageant hosts from all around the country are complaining about the poor standards of beauty that must be set when the even the very youngest contenders are over-the-hill four year olds.
As prominent Floridian baby-pageant host Harvey McDiddle explains, once an infant’s skin is exposed to oxygen at birth, it rapidly pickles and deteriorates until nothing short of thousands of dollars of cosmetics and corrective surgery can render a child presentable. “It breaks my heart when I have to tell one of my 10 year old contestants that their modeling days are over,” McDiddle laments, “but there’s just no way we can all go on pretending that we’re impressed by their community service and academic accomplishments when they come in here looking like a bloated old hippo.”
The solution arrived at by many of the most forward-thinking child exploitation professionals is to take advantage of modern ultrasound-scanning technology to compare all the nation’s most charming-looking youth before birth wrecks them forever. After the first such pageant was held last week somewhere in Nebraska, one of the judges described the whole experience as “… a really refreshing change after years of having to judge a bunch of wrinkled old farts with a smile on my face.” Along with their superior natural beauty, each of the fetuses boasted an impressive array of skills and interests, ranging from swimming around in their own urine to high-kicking, breath-holding and cave-art.
Some contestants came to the competition with inspiring stories of lifelong struggle to relate. One of the most controversial of these was young Jeffrey, hailing from New Jersey, whose mother admitted his ongoing struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. “It’s like, I don’t know what to tell him. I know he’s a really good kid, but some of his life choices I really don’t understand,” she said tearfully in an emotional, behind-the-scenes interview. “Whenever I try to confront him about it, he gets violent and starts kicking and beating me. He won’t stop lashing around until he’s gotten his fix. Sometimes as a concerned mother, I worry that it’s somehow my fault he’s acting out this way, but I don’t know what to do except stick by him and encourage him to seek help.”
Stories like Jeffrey’s call into question whether the parents and judges fully consider the pressure to perform put upon these fetuses, or the blow to to their self-esteem when all they get is a participation award or runner-up for best response to visual stimuli. According to Shirley Johnson, founder and president of “Glam-Queenz in Utero”, it’s important to focus on the many positive effects participation in her pageant can have on the nation’s unborn youth, such as being born with an innate sense of superiority — or at least an awareness of the need to get their shit together so they can be something by nursery school.