Young girls are sharing their self-taken snaps – known as “selfies” – on the photo-sharing website Instagram to compete in pop-up beauty contests on the site.
Adolescent girls – some as young as 10-years-old – upload their photographs with hashtags like #instabeautypageantawards or #instabeautypageant and are willing and ready to be judged on their pictures.
Fresh competitions are popping up daily. As soon as one pageant ends, another hashtag and account is set up to award young girls who accrue the most “likes” as the winner.
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The prize? Validation of their beauty, in the form of a “shout out” from the creator, earning them extra followers.
But experts warn that contestants are opening themselves up to harsh criticism.