American photographer Susan Anderson has released High Glitz, a book that examines the perverse world of child beauty pageants and accompanies her photographic series of the same name (recently on display at acte2galerie, Paris).
The photographer has spent the past three years on the pageant circuit, snapping Southern Belles in between their time on stage and in the make-up chair. Despite minimal encouragement from Anderson, the living dolls ham it up for the camera, flashing their flippers (prosthetic teeth) and sometimes a bit of skin as well.
Some of the girls’ parents were upset with these photos. Why? The shots aren’t retouched and contain ‘imperfections’ that are normally airbrushed out of conventional pageant headshots. While Anderson takes a sociological approach that neither approves of nor condemns pageant culture, the photographs speak for themselves; no child should be preened to look like a mini-hooker, it’s just plain wrong.