2011/13: Should children be involved in beauty pageants?

Introduction to the media issue

Video clip at right:
A July, 2011 ABC news report following the Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant held in Northcote, Melbourne. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.

What they said...
'There really is no place in Victoria for these pageants ... they are not some innocent baby bonnet parade, they are something a bit more insidious'
Martin Pakula, the Victorian shadow attorney-general

'If you are looking at children in a sexual way, you should be ashamed of yourself and something is wrong with you'
Annette Hill, owner of the Texas parent company Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant

The issue at a glance
On July 30, 2011, protesters gathered in Melbourne to rally against a child beauty pageant being held at Northcote, in which children as young as two months old were to be competitors.
They called for new laws to ban young children entering beauty pageants, and a code of conduct for the children's performances.
The competition, the first of its kind in Australia, was organised by the United States-based group Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant. Texas-based Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant is heavily featured in Toddlers & Tiaras, an American reality TV show.
Event promotional material mentioned optional extras such as tanning, dressing like a celebrity for a $50 fee and the chance to pose for photographs with America's reigning child beauty pageant queen, six-year-old Eden Wood.
The anti-pageant protests were largely organised by a group titled Pull the Pin on Child Beauty Pageants. The group has a Facebook page. Supporters of the pageant established their own Facebook pThe Age:  Australians Who Love Beauty Pageants.
More than 100 contestants from around Australia registered for the pageant, which is open to all ages from babies to adults. The entry fee was $295.