Ryan Chartrand

This whole JonBenet Ramsey ordeal is weird. It’s been weird for 10 years and it keeps getting weirder. The newest addition came with the arrest of former Sonoma substitute teacher John Mark Karr, who has admitted guilt in what he said was a failed kidnapping attempt.

The only problem is, whether Karr likes it or not, he has an alibi. Karr’s ex-wife, Lara Knutson, told San Francisco’s KGO-TV that Karr was with her in Alabama at the time of Ramsey’s Boulder, Colo. murder. All of this coupled with Karr’s shady, shady past, which includes two marriages to teenage brides and an obsession with the 1993 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old Polly Klass, in which he even received mail from her murderer. And he was picked up in child-porn central Thailand. Any wonder what he was doing there? Weird.

Then Newsweek publishes an interview with Pageantry Magazine CEO Carl Dunn, in which Dunn said the whole debacle, dating back to the 1996 murder, brought light to child pageantry, therefore expanding the industry.

That’s just perfect.

At least the teen and grown-up world of pageants tries to hide behind the thin mask of scholarships and world-peace platforms, but what positives can be claimed by child pageants? For young children introduced into the world of pageants, make up tips are not the only premature life lessons they are getting.

I’ve seen Tiara Girls; I know it just gets worse and worse. What the MTV series portrayed was not a group of scholarship-needing, world-peace-wishing young ladies, but rather one crown-hungry girl after another. One hungry girl after another. Girls going on crash-starvation diets to fit into their eveningwear selections and put on a fit front in the swimwear competition.

Perfect. Just perfect.

And then more ridiculousness still. Following recent crowning of Puerto Rico native Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza as Ms. Universe, the 18-year-old fainted under the weight of her gown.

So with the plethora of cons surrounding the pageant world, I am still searching for the pros of 5, 6, and 7-year-old beauty queens. It seems that, if nothing else, a crown is a curse that stands for endless expectations and pressures of perfection that outweigh even the Ms. Universe dress. What’s the point of subjecting children to this?

Yes, your child is adorable, but a child nonetheless. Parading a youngster in grown-up garb that all-too-often creates a sexual effect only works to attract the likes of John Mark Karr.

If anything, let JonBenet Ramsey be a lesson, not a precedent.

The entire case is bizarre, founded on beginnings in a strange and pointless industry, in which old men can claim to fall in love with young girls, regardless of whether or not Karr did murder Ramsey. The whole thing is just plain weird.

Katie Hofstetter is a journalism senior, Mustang Daily staff writer and this quarter’s MVP.

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