Are Kids' Beauty Pageants Good or Bad?
Child Pageants—Glitz Pageants
Have you ever been involved with child pageants? You know—beauty pageants for kids. Maybe you're one of those people who thinks beauty pageants are bad for the contestants. Or maybe you think they're okay for older girls, but that they're not okay for young children.
There has been a debate raging for years about beauty pageants, especially about entering young children in glitz pageants. Many people think they're evil, claiming that the beauty pageants are more for the parents than for the children. Aficionados swear that their kids love doing the pageants. So who's telling the truth? And more importantly, are child pageants good or bad?
Child Pageants Can Be Good
Actually, there's some veracity on both sides of the debate. My granddaughter and niece have been doing child pageants for several years, and they both love pageantry. My granddaughter started when she was two. She won her very first beauty pageant, which started us on the road to other successes. She's won many times, and she's lost several times, but she always enjoyed the process.
Fun and Friendships
For one thing, she absolutely loves her pageant dresses. In fact, once the beauty pageant is over, she doesn't want to take the dress off. She also enjoys playing with the other little girls backstage and has made several friends that way. She likes being on stage, too. In fact, when she was younger, we had a problem getting her OFF the stage. She would have been perfectly happy to frolic on the stage for the duration of the baby pageant.
I'll be the first to admit, she doesn't care for the makeup session. It was a real problem when she was two. She just didn't want to sit still that long. As she got a little older, however, she understood more about the necessity of the makeup and began to enjoy "getting on her pageant face."
Participating Is the Child's Choice
My granddaughter and niece are never in beauty pageants unless they want to be. When we see an interesting pageant, we tell the girls about it and ask if they'd like to compete. They almost always answer with an enthusiastic "yes!", but when they don't, we don't put them in the pageant. If we go too long between beauty pageants, they nag us about doing another one.
On the other hand, one of my younger granddaughters hates being in pageants. She asked us if she could be in one, so we allowed her to compete. She didn't enjoy it, however, so she never competed again. She's very shy, and being in front of so many people onstage made her uncomfortable. Beauty pageants aren't for everyone!
Child Pageants Can Also Be Bad
On the flip side, I can understand why child beauty pageants get a bad rap sometimes. I've seen a few moms backstage who were awful. The kids did not want to be in the beauty pageant, and it was obvious, but the moms threatened and intimidated them into going on stage. When the kids didn't do well, the moms were angry with them. What did they expect? Stage personality is important in the total score, and the judges can tell if a child is happy or not.
Some pageantry moms and grandmoms are terrible losers. They blame everyone else when their kids don't win, instead of using the experience as a learning tool for sportsmanship. Kids are smart, and they absorb everything. They quickly pick up on the negatives of child beauty pageants. Or should I say on the negatives of bad behavior of some moms involved with child beauty pageants.
When my granddaughter has lost in beauty pageants, we always congratulate the winners. She usually runs up to the winner and gives her a big hug! This is the kind of adult we want her to grow into. We never dwell on a loss. We just discuss what we might want to do differently in future beauty pageants.
Believe it or not, there are also bad winners at beauty pageants. Some moms absolutely gloat when their kids win. This isn't attractive, either. Being a bad winner is just as bad as being a bad loser.
The Final Verdict: It Depends
My final verdict on beauty pageants is that it depends on the individual child and on the parent's attitude. If the child wants to compete, and the parent can handle defeat without showing anger or frustration, then I think child pageants are a nice way to spend a few hours.
Pageantry can be a lot of fun. Most larger child pageants have a fun, upbeat atmosphere. These beauty pageants often sell snacks, toys, and pageant jewelry. If it's a baby pageant, they'll often offer baby toys for sale. Also, lots of child beauty pageants have costumed characters there to help entertain the kids. The child contestants enjoy playing with each other, and sometimes they wind up being good friends.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.