Fitzgerald welcomes cancellation of child beauty pageant booking

Minister says event would mean ‘inappropriate sexualisation’ of children

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said heavy make-up and high shoes were inappropriate on young children. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said heavy make-up and high shoes were inappropriate on young children. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 09:31

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has welcomed the decision by a north Dublin hotel to cancel a booking for a child beauty pageant which was due to take place this weekend.

Dozens of babies, toddlers and teens were to participate in the US-style pageant in the Bracken Court hotel in Balbriggan, north Co Dublin, this Saturday.

But the hotel cancelled the booking yesterday, saying the event organisers Universal Royalty “did not identify the true nature of the event”, which was “not in keeping” with the family ethos of the business.

This morning Ms Fitzgerald said she welcomed the decision, adding that these types of beauty pageants are an “inappropriate sexualisation of very young children”.

“Obviously all children dress up, play dressing up — that’s quite a contrast to the sort of dressing up that we see in these pageants. The amount of heavy makeup, the high shoes, the frilly dresses —inappropriate on a child of three, or four or five,” she told RTÉ Radio this morning.

Organisers yesterday criticised the hotel for cancelling, but insisted the pageant would take place somewhere else in Dublin.