10-14-2019  8:25 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Founder of Black Panther Challenge Creates Brand To Support Mental Health

The launch comes during Mental Health Awareness Week. The creators say they want people around the world to know that they aren’t...

Oregon may allow BYO food containers in stores, restaurants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.The Statesman Journal reports that's not currently allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which Oregon has...

Some states honoring indigenous people instead of Columbus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A handful of states are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday as part of a trend to move away from a day honoring Christopher Columbus.From Minnesota to Vermont, at least five states and Washington, D.C., have done away with Columbus Day...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ole Miss honors student wears blackface, prompts warning

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A University of Mississippi honors student has reported himself to the college for posting a photo online of him wearing blackface, prompting the school to issue a warning about costumes.Citing a school email, news outlets report the student told the college he...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.The two approaches, documented by The Associated Press, come amid...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for 'Jackie Brown,' dies at 78

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Forster, the handsome and omnipresent character actor who got a career resurgence and Oscar nomination for playing bail bondsman Max Cherry in "Jackie Brown," died Friday. He was 78.Publicist Kathie Berlin said Forster died of brain cancer following a brief illness....

Jessye Norman, opera icon, memorialized at hometown funeral

Jessye Norman's illustrious opera career and extraordinary artistry was honored at her public funeral. So was Jessye Norman the loyal friend, the humanitarian, the teacher and the person not only celebrated for her golden voice, but for her heart of gold.Several speakers at Saturday's four-hour...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

Japan looks for missing after typhoon kills dozens

NAGANO, Japan (AP) — Rescue crews dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and...

Far-right groups protest Ukrainian president's peace plan

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Shooting off flares and shouting "glory to Ukraine," thousands of far-right and...

Trump says he'll look into case after Fox appearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll "be looking into" the case of a U.S. financial adviser...

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

McMenamins
By Kelly Wallace CNN



Pageant child(CNN) -- Child beauty pageants are a lot like crime coverage on local news. Stick with me. This will make sense. I promise.

Viewers complain there's too much crime in local television news reports, and yet, the stations covering crime enjoy high ratings. People complain that child beauty pageants exploit young girls -- some as young as 3 or 4 who are donning makeup, high heels and fake tans -- and yet, the ratings for reality television shows such as TLC's "Toddlers & Tiaras" are sky high.

We don't like the idea of these beauty contests for kids, but it seems we can't pull ourselves away. But what if there were no pageants for kids to begin with?

If French lawmakers get their way, there would be no French version of "Toddlers & Tiaras" and no French "Honey Boo Boo," referring to another child pageant reality star. The Senate in France voted to ban child beauty pageants for kids under the age of 16 and now the measure goes to the country's lower house for debate and a vote.

Where did this anti-pageant momentum come from on the part of the French? Some lawmakers point to a controversial photo spread in Vogue back in 2010, featuring a girl as young as 10 in high heels and sexy makeup.

The pageants are sexualizing our young girls, said lawmakers in France, and judging by the response to our request for comment on CNN's Facebook page, many people in the United States agree.

"How pleased I am that, finally, some are fully awakened and realizing that child beauty pageants should be banned," said Darlene Eckerman of Amarillo, Texas, in an e-mail message. "The mothers are the culprits here: teaching your child to be sexy and alluring at such a young, tender age when they are not ready for such exploitation."

Samantha Biswas, also via e-mail, said, "It is not about living vicariously through your child. It's about letting your child's childhood and youth get stolen by makeup, fashion shows, heels and dresses."

"To paint makeup on their faces and do up their hair, etc., OMG, wake up people," said Charlie Caissie. "These are children for heaven's sake, not adults. Let them decide for themselves at an appropriate age if they want to pursue this when they are adults."

Psychologist Wendy Walsh said the danger here is normalizing behavior that once would have been considered extreme and weird. "And now it seems perfectly OK for a little 6-year-old to be walking around in thigh-high boots and short booty shorts and smacking her butt when she dances down a runway? Come on! That's what a stripper does."

Others expressed fears about who may be watching these pageants.

"Every time I think about child beauty pageants, my heart sinks at the thought of all the pedophiles watching them. Why in the world do children need to be so sexualized?" asked a CNN reader.

On the other side are moms like Anna Berry of Littleton, Colorado, who said her 13-year-old daughter Ashley was so shy she couldn't even order for herself at a restaurant. After she started appearing in "natural" pageants (no makeup allowed), she blossomed. And now, as "Miss Heartland Junior Teen," she speaks to young girls across the country about her experiences with bullying, something she encountered when girls were jealous of her success on the pageant circuit.

"She's a role model to many and her confidence to stand up and speak out came from her improved self-esteem through pageantry," said Berry, who says Ashley can out interview and speak more confidently than most adults."These are skills that will benefit her for a lifetime ... just as they did for me growing up in pageantry."

Valerie Best, director of The BEST Shining Stars Pageant located in Southern Indiana, is also strongly against banning pageants for young girls and boys.

She said just because some pageant systems "push it too far" (hers, she said, does not allow "fake hair, fake tans, fake teeth or a lot of makeup"), they most definitely should not be outlawed.

"Society is too quick to judge something they are not familiar with," said Best. " A pageant (run) properly is no different than a young girl competing in gymnastics, a school function or anything else that has a score kept or judged upon. Teach these girls to be strong, confident individuals and see how far they go in life."'

Wynn Westmoreland of Atlanta appeared in school pageants beginning in the sixth grade and competed in the University of Georgia pageant, which is part of the Miss America program. She does not believe in a legal ban.

"It's not a government issue," said Westmoreland. "It's a social issue and it's a family issue."

She believes the pageant bodies should get together and create a new rule only allowing girls to enter when they are at an age when they can choose what they want to do for themselves, around 9, 10 or 11.

"I do not like it when children who are not able to make choices on their own are forced to be in pageants and that is when I see the over-glamourization of young girls," said Westmoreland, who is a media coordinator and writer for CNN's food blog, Eatocracy. "They don't even look like children anymore. They look like objects."

Tish Howard, a former school principal, is no fan of child pageants, but like Westmoreland, thinks government should not be deciding what programs are acceptable for children.

"I think outlawing them is a slippery slope where the government starts dictating what activities parents can or cannot make available to children," said Howard. "I do believe we could set guidelines on what does and does not constitute promoting sexual exploitation of children as far as routines and dress."

I always try to approach these stories, as a mom of two young girls, with the question of what would I do? In this case, how would I feel if my girls wanted to enter a pageant?

Full disclosure here: I did compete in the New York Miss T.E.E.N. pageant in high school, but let me stress it was not a beauty pageant but a pageant based on talent, interviewing skills and community service. It was a terrific experience for me, and as many other women said earlier, it only added to my self-esteem, confidence and fire to achieve my dreams.

So back to the question, what if my girls, ages 5 and 7, wanted to be in a pageant?

I think I agree with the sentiment that they can do what they want when they are old enough to make that decision for themselves, which means I don't have to worry about this one.

At least not yet.

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