Online Beauty Contest Site Slammed for Publishing Vital Statistics of Teens

by Gopalan on  May 26, 2009 at 9:03 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
 Online Beauty Contest Site Slammed for Publishing Vital Statistics of Teens
Online contest Miss Teen Queen UK, a web-based pageant, has been slammed for publishing vital statistics of girls as young as 13. It is a virtual invitation for sex offenders, it is contended.

All the girls are named in full and their hometown is listed on the website, thus making it easy for predators to access the electoral roll and track them down.

In total the site shows photos of 51 finalists, with 24 of the girls pictured under the age of 16, many of them posing provocatively. Four of them are the minimum age required - just 13 years old, complete with details of their cup measurements as well as hip and waist sizes.

The site's home page reads:

The UK's first teen beauty pageant was launched in the UK in September 2006 and could help you enter the world of modelling,
If you are aged between 13-19 you could become the UK's Teen Beauty Queen! Amazing prizes which include free clothing and cosmetics as well as international travel!
Have you got what it takes?

Children's charity Kidscape director Claude Knights said the site needs to conduct an 'urgent review' of how it treats young models and the offending breast measurements should be removed immediately.

Referring to details posted, she said: 'This is inappropriate and gratuitous information and should not be used to exploit young girls - this information should be removed.

'We are disturbed and concerned by how a website marketing itself as a teen beauty contest can deem it suitable to use intimate measurements of schoolgirls to judge them in a competition.

'It is very difficult for girls of 13 to be fully aware of the consequences of exposure like this.

'We do a great deal of work in relation to asking young people to think carefully before they put up profiles of themselves online, especially provocative details.

'This kind of thing only undermines that and serves as a portal to justify the sexualisation of children.'

She said that Kidscape was also worried that children could register online without parental consent.

'There is worrying potential that they can be easily exploited and in some cases actually be pursued online by predators.'

On earlier occasions too, Ms.Knights has spoken out against early sexualisation of children. In one such outrageous event, Mini-Miss Model UK, parents paraded their children up the catwalk.

Some were only a year old and were unable to walk, while others wore make-up or gowns made for adult women.

Former glamour model Jayne Harris, who entered 11-year-old daughter Sasha and seven-year-old son Max, encourages her children's behaviour, it was then reported.

She said: "Looks are everything. No one is going to talk to you if you are ugly. If you've got it, flaunt it."

Both children have extensive beauty regimes - Sasha idolises glamour model Jordan and loves having spray tans, highlights, acrylic nails and hair extensions.

Kidscape Director had then commented  such events could prove psychologically damaging.

She said: "Parents are so over-ambitious they lose sight of all reality.

"It's no surprise that the children often get bullied ,with many showing signs of depression and low self-esteem in adulthood."

 The Child Exploitation and Online Protection - the UK's largest law enforcement agency for tackling child sexual abuse - cautioned parents about allowing their children to post personal and sensitive data about themselves online.

Source: Medindia

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