America's Perfect Teen Pageant Stirs Controversy

The so-called controversy is for all the wrong reasons.

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anyshapanesar
America's Perfect Teen Anysha Panesar

Anysha Panesar, 16, won the America's Perfect Teen pageant, held in Florida. People are up in arms because the biracial beauty is actually Welsh. She and her wealthy parents own a vacation home in Kissimmee, Fla., and the teen entered the pageant on a whim. She didn't think she would win because she is British. Lo and behold, she actually won the pageant. Some parents of the fellow contestants, pundits and bloggers are up in arms that a Brit won the title of America's Perfect Teen, even though there is no residency requirement. They are now lobbying the pageant director to rescind the crown. Really? How embarrassing is it that people are more concerned about who won the pageant than the fact that there is a pageant seeking the "perfect teen"? With all of the issues that young people in general, and girls in particular, face involving self-esteem and body image, the fact that there is even a pageant entitled "America's Perfect Teen" is abhorrent. What kind of parents would willingly expose their teen girls to this type of rejection? The same type of parents who would be concerned that a Brit of Indian and Welsh descent would win a contest supposedly for Americans, instead of the impact that this beauty pageant may have on the self-esteem and identity construction of their daughters. How many more reports of teen girls mutilating themselves through eating disorders and drug abuse to reach "perfection" have to come out before parents and adults stop holding pageants like this? As usual, we are focused on the wrong thing instead of the right thing, which is to leave Panesar alone and to stop beating young girls into womanhood through ridiculous pageants like this.

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