05-29-2023  12:53 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Former Senator Margaret Carter Receives Honorary Doctorate of Public Service

Margaret Carter was the commencement speaker for Willamette University's Salem undergraduate commencement ceremony

Ex-Seattle Man Gets 8 Years for Stealing $1M in Pandemic Benefits

Bryan Sparks, 42, was indicted for the fraud scheme in November 2021 and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in January. He was also ordered on Tuesday to pay more than jumi million in restitution.

Boycotting Oregon GOP Senators Vow to Stay Away Until Last Day of Session

The walkout, which began on May 3 ostensibly because bill summaries weren't written at an eighth grade level as required by a long-forgotten law, has derailed progress on hundreds of bills

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon and Washington Memorial Day Events

Check out a listing of ceremonies and other community Memorial Day events in Oregon and Washington. A full list of all US events,...

Communities Invited to Interstate Bridge Replacement Neighborhood Forums in Vancouver and Portland

May 31 and June 6 forums allow community members to learn about the program’s environmental review process ...

Bonamici, Salinas Introduce Bill to Prevent Senior Hunger

Senior Hunger Prevention Act will address challenges older adults, grandparent and kinship caregivers, and adults with disabilities...

This is Our Lane - Too: Joint Statement on the Maternal Health Crisis from the Association of Black Cardiologists, American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association

Urgent action is needed to combat the maternal health crisis in America and cardiologists have a vital role to play. ...

New Skateboarding Area Planned for Southeast Portland’s Creston Park

Area has largest number of overall youth and of people of color out of locations studied ...

4 of 7 teens who escaped a juvenile detention center remain at large

SEATTLE (AP) — Law enforcement officials continued their search Monday for four of seven teens who escaped from a juvenile detention center after assaulting a staff member and stealing her car. The seven teens, ages 15 to 17, escaped from the Echo Glen Children’s Center campus in...

Historic acquittal in Louisiana fuels fight to review 'Jim Crow' verdicts

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Evangelisto Ramos walked out of a New Orleans courthouse and away from a life sentence accompanying a 10-2 jury conviction, thanks in large part to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision bearing his name. Ramos v. Louisiana outlawed nonunanimous jury...

Foster, Ware homer, Auburn eliminates Mizzou 10-4 in SEC

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Cole Foster hit a three-run homer, Bryson Ware added a two-run shot and fifth-seeded Auburn wrapped up the first day of the SEC Tournament with a 10-4 win over ninth-seeded Missouri on Tuesday night. Auburn (34-9), which has won nine-straight, moved into the...

Small Missouri college adds football programs to boost enrollment

FULTON, Mo. (AP) — A small college in central Missouri has announced it will add football and women's flag football programs as part of its plan to grow enrollment. William Woods University will add about 140 students between the two new sports, athletic director Steve Wilson said...

OPINION

Significant Workforce Investments Needed to Stem Public Defense Crisis

We have a responsibility to ensure our state government is protecting the constitutional rights of all Oregonians, including people accused of a crime ...

Over 80 Groups Tell Federal Regulators Key Bank Broke $16.5 Billion Promise

Cross-country redlining aided wealthy white communities while excluding Black areas ...

Public Health 101: Guns

America: where all attempts to curb access to guns are shot down. Should we raise a glass to that? ...

Op-Ed: Ballot Measure Creates New Barriers to Success for Black-owned Businesses

Measure 26-238, a proposed local capital gains tax, is unfair and a burden on Black business owners in an already-challenging economic environment. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Why do Kosovo-Serbia tensions persist?

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo flared anew this weekend after Kosovo’s police raided Serb-dominated areas in the region’s north and seized local municipality buildings. There have been violent clashes between Kosovo’s police and NATO-led...

What California's Ravidassia community believes and why they want caste bias outlawed

In California, members of an under-the-radar, minority religious community are stepping into the public eye to advocate for making the state the first in the nation to outlaw caste bias. They are the Ravidassia — followers of Ravidass, a 14th century Indian guru who preached caste...

Historic acquittal in Louisiana fuels fight to review 'Jim Crow' verdicts

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Evangelisto Ramos walked out of a New Orleans courthouse and away from a life sentence accompanying a 10-2 jury conviction, thanks in large part to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision bearing his name. Ramos v. Louisiana outlawed nonunanimous jury...

ENTERTAINMENT

CBS is television's most popular network for 15th straight year

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS claimed the distinction of most-watched television network for the 15th straight year, even as those bragging rights don't mean what they used to. The network averaged just under 6 million viewers on a typical moment in prime time for the season that just...

Country singer Tyler Hubbard's growth expands beyond Florida Georgia Line

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer-songwriter Tyler Hubbard was fully prepared to hang up his boots so to speak when his duo partner in Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley, said he wanted to go solo. The pair had been together more than a decade, and whether you were a fan of their bro...

Movie review: Julia Louis-Dreyfus reteams with Nicole Holofcener in 'You Hurt My Feelings'

If I didn’t like Nicole Holofcener’s latest film, would I tell her? OK, sure, it wouldn’t be so odd for a critic to give an unvarnished opinion. But what about a sibling? Or a spouse? If they didn’t care for Holofcener’s movie, what’s more important: Being honest or making...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump's welcome of Scott into 2024 race shows his calculus: The more GOP rivals, the better for him

NEW YORK (AP) — When Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina launched his campaign for the White House last...

Casteless utopia: California religious group backs bill to ban caste discrimination

FRESNO, California (AP) — For decades, worshipping in temples, Ram Asra has sung spiritual songs known as...

Alcaraz, Djokovic face brief trouble late in straight-set victories at French Open

PARIS (AP) — Pretty much everyone expects to see, and likely wants to see, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic...

China plans to land astronauts on moon before 2030, expand space station, bring on foreign partners

BEIJING (AP) — China’s burgeoning space program plans to place astronauts on the moon before 2030 and expand...

4 dead after tourist boat capsizes in storm on Italian lake

MILAN (AP) — A body was retrieved early Monday in a northern Italian lake by police divers, raising to four the...

Poland imposes sanctions on 365 Belarusians over 'draconian' verdict against journalist

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland imposed sanctions Monday on 365 Belarusian citizens and froze the financial assets...

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.