October 30, 2018
Title: Toddlers in Tiaras by Skip Hollandsworth
In the article: Toddlers in Tiaras by Skip Hollandsworth, he uses ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade the audience to be aware of sexualization in little girl pageants. The purpose of this article is to get the parents to rethink putting their young daughters in pageants. By putting that type of pressure on them at a young age hinders them. Doing pageants sometimes doesn’t help the young girl’s self-esteem in the long run. Hollandsworth uses credibility by giving the opinions of other professionals. One of the people he uses is the Universal Royalty Pageant owner, to give her insight on how they sexualize them to little-grown women.
She says, “We love the beautiful dresses and big hairstyles…bling and makeup…our girls showing lots” (Hollandsworth 492). This makes the young girls to be perceived as sexualized, yet they are only looking to compete for the prize of the trophy and a lump sum of money. A journalist named Peggy Orenstein says, “that pageant girls are being taught to see themselves as objects of others’ pleasure” (493). Her statement backs up Hollandsworth because it links the sexualization of young girls to others (Daniesqu 1). He lets the audience see that research was done and backed up his main purpose. In the article, he also says, “Sexy dress-up in the pageants has gone mainstream…it draws 1.4 million viewers per week” (Hollandsworth 1). That’s one of the explanations of how they dress and act on the shows.
He grabs his audience emotions by showing them just how much young girls are being sexualized. He does this by following and keeping up with young Eden Wood’s story. Interviewing her shows a child’s mind of pageants. Hollandsworth believes that “She doesn’t completely understand the sexualization going on with how she performs on stage” (Hollandsworth 1). This might make the audience feel bad about the situation. It also gives you imagery about how they don’t understand this is really hurting them in the end. He also interviewed a grown woman named Thumper Gosney, who grew up doing pageants as a young girl. She says, “looking back on videos of herself she felt her identity was gone” (Hollandsworth 497). This perceives that the pageants do affect young girls as they grow up (Daniesqu 1). Another example is that these girls take away from the experience that their natural beauty isn’t enough (Hollandsworth 493). The audience probably feels pity towards the girls. Parents never want your daughter to grow up thinking that her appearance is more important than her intelligence.
One of the main appeals to logic is him using products to help them better their looks to appeal to logos. For example, “flippers” are little teeth they use to cover up their gaps. Hollandsworth uses this example to show that they are hiding from the truth. This scenario proves as a fact that the girls do and mostly do like to hide their flaws. Hiding your flaws isn’t always the best route. No one wants to be perceived as fake. Also, uses a fact that Walmart has makeup lines for little girls. That product shows sexualization of little girls to make money. They are basically making money off those little girls looks. This persuades the audience on how some products aren’t always kid-friendly. Plenty of people criticize parents who let their daughters do pageants. For instance, “Sharon Osbourne on The Talk says, parents need to let their children be a normal little girl” (Hollandsworth 1). Most parents would argue that they aren’t forcing their child to do anything they don’t want to do. Even though parents think this about the situation. It still backs up Hollandsworth main argument on pageants being sexualized.
Hollandsworth uses the appeal to fear as a fallacy. He uses the JonBenet Ramsey story of how the young pageant star was murdered. Her murder was very controversial in the media back in the day. Every little girl in the pageant feared for their lives when that tragic murder happened. He makes sure that the audience feels more alert to the situation at hand. Which makes them more aware of the pageant lifestyle that these young girls go through. He kept the audience intrigued the whole article (Hester1). Overall, Hollandsworth used an enough information to persuade his audience to understand his main argument.