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Child Beauty Pageants, Negative or Positive?

February 2nd, 2009 by Veronica

Child Beauty Pageants, Fun Or Foe?

Are Child Beauty Pageants harmful to our children? Some argue it has the potential to be dangerous to a child’s development. Others argue it gives children an early advantage by learning them to be competitive.

Are Child Beauty Pageants Dangerous

They Sport the finest make-up, their cheeks blushed with beauty and their smiles are one in a million. Thing is that there still in the third grade. We all have heard the stories. Children in their fragile stages of development participating in beauty pageants. Is it all or fun? Or is it more poisoning to a child’s upbringing?


There are many different type of feelings about this topic. Many good and others bad. Should a child participate in a competitive atmospher sporting a face full of make up, fake smiles and gleaming tiaras? Are they allowed to act as kids, is this what they truly want or are they just being pushed into a career which their mothers seem to be forcing them into.

We have to weight the good and the bad of the situation.

The Good: These pageants require a form of disipline and practice. It also forces the kids to be poised and graceful. It also is actually a good bonding time for the mother and daughter and some girls leave with a boost of confidence.

The Bad: The social interaction these children are getting may not be a good one. Kids are forced into perfection. They are minors, so their guardians are suppose to make the decision for them in order for their own betterment.  A lot of these children develop a negative image of themselves, despite how truly gorgeous they are. Eating disorders and promiscuity are often developed in the child’s later years due to the constant emphasis on their physical attributes, leading them to believe that that is the way they can get somewhere in life.

Our environmental factors shape us many times into who we are as adults, so why rush growing up when these children don’t have a clear understanding of who they are as yet? Is it Innocence Vs. Winning?


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31 Responses to “Child Beauty Pageants, Negative or Positive?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I do Beauty Pageants and I am 6 years old (My mum is typing this for me). I love to go on stage and perform. Is there anything wrong with that? My mum used to do Beauty Pageants but quit when she had me. My mum and dad are split up because of my pageants. I started pageants when I was 3 months old. I won my first pageant. But when I went to this one pageant when I was 1 years old, I lost. I did not get a crown, money or a trophy. My dad was more upset then my mum and I. He was more upset because I did not win the money back. Because I did not win the money back my dad was sad because we spent alot of money on that pageant. My dad was so sad and angry infact he started fighting with my mum because they would not have enough money to pay for bills and things. My mum did the write thing and left my dad. I have not seen him ever since. We dont keep intouch either. I am glad because my dad hurt my mum alot. When he left when I was 1 and a half I started pageants again. I won the next won and re invested in the next pageant. After that I just kept winning untill we came to another hault. I lost a pageant. I was so sad and so was my mum.Ì could not beleive I lost. But we decided to keep going even if we did loose some pageants. “ÏT DOES NOT MATTER!” I yelled when i lost that pageant. My mum thought the same thing too so we decided to keep going with the pageants. I am glad my mum got me into pageants because I get to wear really nice clothes. Once i went to a glitz pageant and I won a car and $2500 dollars. I was so happy. When i have kids I want them to do pageants because it is really fun and they get to do what there mother says. I hope my husband does not start hurting me. If he does I am gonna do what my mum did. GET OUT! I have got another pageant coming up in 4 days and I want to win the money so I can get a better phone then I have now. I have to go now and get ready to pack ‘cuz tomorow we are driving to Florada. I can’t wait!

  2. disgusted by people pretending-be real about it. Says:

    okay,did your daughter ask to be placed in a pageant at 1? no, you forced her to be in it. no one year old child would say they wanted to be in a pageant.
    your child won a car, what does that say about the pageant? its directed towards the parents, which mean alot of those children are being forced into the pageants for the parents benefit,not all, there are few that want it themselves, but a 1 to 3 yr old child doesnt ask for things like that and i doubt the money you win is going to the child either?
    you cant say you entered that pageant and were planning on giving the money to your child’s future and you prob used the money you won to pay the taxes on the new car she won you. that or you prob pocket it for yourself and maybe get her a toy or two.
    “When i have kids I want them to do pageants because it is really fun and they get to do what there mother says.” —what their mother says? like your going to be in pageants because i miss them and im trying to live through you? or to force a smile and flirt with the judges so mommy can get a new car?!
    im not wanting to be mean but you dont need to be acting like your child is saying all this-its you or whatever ideas you put into their heads because children are very impressionable and easily mold into whatever you want them to be.

  3. This Is Stupid. Says:

    Wearing this amount of make-up is even too much for an adult! Some argue that these discustingly fake competitions boosts the young girls confidence? Shouldnt their confidence be boosted by their mothers praising them for doing well at school?
    Kids pagents are f***ing stupid, end of.

  4. Roxanne Rose Says:

    personally in my opinion kids pageants are the worst things ever. i mean how can you define beauty? and how low must the poor girls feel who arnt in the pagents? watching tv and looking through magazines thinking if only i was prettier. they think to themselves i cant be in a beauty pageant because im to ugly. would we really want to hurt our children like this? no we dont. i say stop beauty pageants. dont just focus on the outside but the ture quality of a person. their personality, good heart, intelligence, faith, will power, friendship and an all round good moral person. to me that is so much more beautiful than the fake tans fake nails and foundation plastered on to little girls faces.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I think that just maybe some folks are forgetting to see this as a child sees it. These kids are not adults nor do they look like adults. Adults do not wear pretty little dresses with short cupcake skirts, now that reality has been exposed lets move on to the rest of the hobby. The look, the makeup the hair the teeth the eyelashes. This is worn maybe once a month by all of the girls in the pageant. Competition standard, the girls are then judged on performance , poise and presentation. It has allot less to do with looks than you think. Unless you are at a natural pageant. Natural pageants are subjective in nature and the winners are chosen on looks not ability. I will not take my daughter to a natural pageant. At a glitz pageant I have never had to explain to my daughter why she did not win, she is usually aware of where she made mistakes. At a natural pageant I would have to tell her that the judges did not think she was pretty enough, not interested in that thank you. The pictures are RETOUCHED to look the way that they do. They are for the most part a digital artists portrait of your child more than a true photographic representation. The kids have fun with this. It is for the most part mommy and me time and extra fancy dress up with neat prizes. My daughter competes three or four times a year and practices about two hours a week. She also has other hobbies like horseback riding, voice lessons, and Harry Potter.She is a straight A student because she knows that pageants do not get attended unless the grades are top notch. My hobbies are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, the only interest that she and I truly have in common is photography. As a parent I consider this a true success. She is growing to be who she is and not a mini me. My hobbies include Grateful Dead concerts and Rainbow Family gatherings. She is 11 and the proud owner of 24 crowns including state and mini national titles. She has no aspirations of becoming a star and she will not wear makeup if it is not for the stage or pictures. She is not skinny and this has never prevented her from winning. Arbitrary criticism of the hobby is a misplaced effort. Most of these kids see it as simply a hobby, and I can assure you place none of the adult views on what they do that I have seen mentioned here. This is a kids hobby and try to look at it through the eyes of the children that are participating in it before you make rash judgments based on editing done for a tv show.

  6. Jessica Says:

    i agree. beauty pagents should be fun and a hobby.. don’t listen to what the media may dictate all the time.. it isn’t as bad as people might make it seem.

  7. Em Says:

    I think they are good fun to a certain point. Once they start getting bratty and meanish, it’s not fun anymore. I should know because I was in plenty of beauty pageants but not the ones that go all across the country. It was fun because my mom didn’t let me get too tangled in a mess of overly dressed too into it kind of people. My sisters did it too and they knew some people who made it sound terrible and a bad thing to do. It’s not bad at all.

  8. brittany Says:

    beauty pageants are soo much fun! i live in australia and here we dont have as many pageants as in the U.S. My sisters are doing them to0 and its a chance for us to get dressed up and be pretty and feel pretty for a day! we make new friends and we feel happy for eachother when we loose! i wish to compete in pageants in the U.S and i am going to next year! my mum doesnt force me to do them! i have now been in the pageant industry for 14 years and have won over 150 crowns!! i love wearing the makeup and wearing the pretty dresses and so do my 3 youner sisters (ages 1, 4 and 8)! if you look at the children on stage in a sexual disgusting way you are crazy! when we all go to pageants we look at how the beauty from the inside comes out through their personality and their beautiful faces!

  9. I LUV PAGEANTS! Says:

    I am ten years old. I love pageants! I started last October and have already competed in 3 pageants. On my first pageant I didn’t place, but it doesn’t matter. On my second pageant I won 2nd runner up. And on my latest pageant I won 1st runner up. My parents did not fource me to do pageants. Accually, I begged them to do them. We do not go overboard with make-up and things. Never in my life have I worn fake teeth. Well I am going to be in a pageant in August. Wish me luck!

  10. Alarmed Says:

    This is absurd. If your little girl wants to dress up, go find some old clothes and let her play dress up and throw a tea party with her friends. It will save you tons of money and she can have real social interaction with children her own age. Instead of spending thousands of dollars to parade little girls around and have them judged on appearance (which will happen for the rest of their lives… why not give them a break in childhood!?)… put the money in a college fund so the girls can have a real future. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with children learning poise and discipline, but there are much better ways for that to be taught to young girls. No child under the age of 7 is going to voluntarily enter a pageant because SHE wants to. That’s the parents, 100%.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    If a child likes to participate in beauty pageants, IT’S OK! If you child doesn’t like to participate in the beauty pageants and you force her into doing it, it is not ok. Lots of little girls love playing dress up and looking like princesses. They enjoy it.

  12. Michelle Says:

    My Girl USA is a great pageant. The girls have so much fun! Their website is http://www.mygirlusa.com

  13. doodie Says:

    Apparently it’s acceptable in the United States to dress toddlers up like full grown women and parade them on a stage in their swimsuits so they can be rated on their body, face and outfit by a panel of judges. This is not only a waste of time but it’s totally twisted. I sure these pageants are swarming with dirty old men too.
    http://doodiepants.com/2009/08/19/pedophiles-wonderland-the-world-of-kiddie-pageants/

  14. Dudettes Says:

    This is an outrage! You’re all twisted psychos. We don’t think forcing your baby into this slutty hobby is very moral, even less tarting them up to look provocative. There are enough sluts in the world without encouraging them from an early age. What kind of sad parents are you for having to live this life through your child? Have you not considered how many sweaty dirty old men come to paede on these little fake barbie dolls?
    Oh and we can spell. Unlike some of the ‘mothers’ here.

  15. T.D.S Says:

    i think that pagents are not a bad thing when you give your child the choice to do it. being 10 years old and asking to do it is one thing. Being 3 and younger your child isnt doing it because they want to. At those ages little girls should be interested in barbies and dress up not fake teeth fake makeup and spray tans. so i agree that the parents force their children at young ages.

  16. whats the big deal!? Says:

    ok whats the big deal some people love pageants and some dont, my mom is not a fan of pageants and for years i have been trying convince her to let me try one, but all the negative people keep telling her no there bad because you have to wear fancy clothes and make-up and act all fake! this is not true, you were clothes that make you feel even more prety then what you are you wear make-up because you want to and think hey i look good like this and you smile! whats so wroung with a smile?! i think beauty pageants have there ups and downs but as long as you know you are beautiful with and WITHOUT make-up and fancy clothes then your ok. pageants are fine people are just only focusing on the negative when really they should just give it a chance, i mean if you talk to girls off stage there so happy to be doing pageants.

  17. Torri Says:

    Pageants are not bad. Many girls enjoy them! All the press about child beauty pageants is nonsense. I am a pageant girl and have done pageants since age 2. When I was little I did not like to practice my routine. When i was older i was glad i did them. Pageants are a BIG CONFIDENCE BOOSTER! Pageants make you feel pretty and when you lose it’s because you messed up your routine, not because you aren’t pretty! They do not cause eating disorders, they are just fun! Yes, some people involved in pageants are, unfortunately, dangerous. There are very few of them and they are in every sport, so everybody, pageants are a good thing. If a parent makes their kid play soccer it’s the same thing. i wish everyone would stop saying pageants are bad. PAGEANTS ARE GREAT!!!

  18. Alyssa (: Says:

    Okay so me and my best friend are in a debate class. We have the topic “Beauty Pageants do more harm than good.” We are con so we disagree with that. Im starting to agree with that even though i was agreeing with it before we got the topic. Im in the 7th grade and really need research so if you are in a beauty pagent thing or whatever its called leave a comment or email me.
    Email: ilovecheer112@yahoo.com
    Sooo yeahh. Thanks if you email me or comment :)

  19. Charlie Says:

    I have grown up in pageants and now I have grown into a beautiful young lady. At 13 I have won enough money to pay for college. Pageants have urged me into becoming a great student-a 4.2 GPA! Did you even know that was possible? They have also helped to become a great athlete-a state swimmer, the tenth grade basketball team, and varsity track-remeber I am only in eighth grade! I have a great image of myself so I do not understand the “negative” image.I also have great social interaction. Whether it is between my fellow contestants, my acquaintances, my friends, or respected adults. This is because pageants give me great people skills.

  20. Charlie Says:

    I forgot to include that my mother and father never forced me to be in pageants-I actually had to beg them!

  21. phyllis Says:

    Beauty pageants are a sport. Just like basketball or football. These girls work hard to do their very best. Also, for most kids in pageants they only wear make up and things for stage and pictures. To everyone complaining get over it. You most likely have never even been to a pageant and DON’T know how much work the child actually puts in.And they love it and if they don’t, then you take them out of it.IT IS THAT SIMPLE

  22. natalie Says:

    some beauty pageants can be good. but some may not be. it can have you grow onto a good life. but life is just not about you. its about all beauty pageants contestants. some have a bad life being in the pageants

  23. Anonymous Says:

    i am a paegent girl. I ALWAYS win you can find ton of pictures of me on the internet. Im practucly famous. Oh my names Jordan)

  24. Brooke Says:

    When you are a child, is when you have your most natural beauty,! Why waste it with, overloaded makeup, and fakeness.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    I am a pageant girl and I do not see any problems with pageant for young children. No matter what someone does in life, the seed must be planted first otherwise the child will not know about it or find out that she/he likes it until long afterward. It is always a good thing to get ahead and start early. Yes some start their children before they can talk but that also means that the child has no idea what is going on and could really care less. As the child grows older the decisions have to be made by the child with the parent helping to guide her. If the child enjoys it, continue but never force your child. As for the makeup and costuming…I’ve seen more seductive and provocative clothing and makeup at dance competitions on little girls then I’ve EVER seen at a pageant. At least at pageants, the girls are required to be elegant, poised, and professional.

  26. Truth hurts so face reality Says:

    Beauty is what gets “us” (women) jobs , recognition , praise and so on and on and on… being kind,smart, generous, reliable or honest, etc does not help us at all in the real world..unless ofcourse you’re a man then these qualitites are admired and respected. In our society women have to be attractive whether it be with the help of make-up or God-given natural beauty (which 99.9% of us aren’t blessed with..not enough to count anyway). So get over the bashing of the make-up and the spray tans and the fake nails! Who gives a rats ass…its helping them to prepare for their future and its better they learn how to wear uncomfortable clothing , makeup and nails at a young age rather than in their 20′s like I had to do once I realized what it took to be noticed in life…because it sure wasnt my sweet charming personality or my 4.0 GPA that got me where i am today in life…AND THATS A FACT!!! just sit your little princess down and tell her that if she dosnt win OH WELL! theres always a loser and winner in life and maybe next pageant she’ll do better. tell her the judges dont know their ass from a hole in the ground and are more than likely related to the winner…she might aswell get used to bullshit while your at it because thats what most people are gonna feed her when she grows up.

  27. Georgia Says:

    Im 13 i once thought about doing pageants but i didnt think my mum would let me as she thinks they are bad for you and too expensive. i know you’re probably thinking that my mums right. well she is in a way but only with the expensive bit. they do cost alot and if you win it is reslly worth it but if you dont then you’ve wasted money and lost lots of confidence. this made me see that there not just completely bad but its sometimes a waste of time depeneding on whether you can afford all these things…

  28. Nicole And Kayleigh. Says:

    Yes this YOUNG girl is very pretty!.. but dont u think the parents of hers are ridiculess for letting their child put all this make up on. a child is beautiful without make up and there should be no such contest. i expect no better from america though. as beauty pageants here in the uk are not this full on. im disgusted that a parent would paint there childs face let alone bleach there hair and teeth!.. its child cruelty n the parents are being neglegant to there childs needs and happiness. i will get looked at as someone trying to spoil fun but im a mother and think its ridiculess and would never ever in a million years put my child through all that hard work and torture for money and my own selfish needs!!.. a child likes to go out and play, get dirty and have a bed time story. not sit there 4 hours on end being dolled up…. 4 no reason..!!!

  29. Gina Says:

    I think people can be so judgemental without full consideration of what they are judging. With everything there are those who will be in favor and those against. Children participating in pageants is no more harmful than children playing soccor, baseball, football, or gymnastics. With all things the earlier you start the better you will be later. How are the parents of pageant children any different from parents who force their children to play sports. Or is that called encouragement. How often do we see young boys being forced to play sports when they might want to do something else. We are all a product of our environment. What we are exposed to is probably what we will want to do. I don’t think there is anything wrong with pageants as long as the children want to do it of their own free will and are good at it. It is important that they are well rounded, not simply fousing on the physical. As parents it is our responsibility to teach that beauty is only skin deep. We as women all feel good when we dress up. Let’s face it we will be judged all our lives, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    I have a daughter who competed for the first time a couple years ago. A relative encouraged me to enter her. I was hestiant because I believe if my child is involved with anything it is my resposnibility to make sure she has the best chance of winning. She absolutely loved it. She won high title, her first pageant out. She has every since begged me to continue. She hasn’t since because we couldn’t afford to back her 100 percent. She has a younger sister who is now 4. She saw her in the pageant and has been begging ever since to be in pageants as well. They both will compete next spring and I am excited, but hesitant because I know it cost so much money. The pageants they compete in don’t have a swim wear category. I think that is inappropriate for all ages. It has no meaning what so ever. No plausible justification for it even being apart of a pageant.

    I say if your kids want to do anything positive we should back them. When it becomes a problem for your child, remove them. What may be good for my child may not be good for yours.

  30. against beauty pageants Says:

    beauty pageants are wrong and bad

  31. Satu Says:

    I’m truly sorry about these stupid thing what parents makes kids to do for them. How many little kid want’s to have a car?! How many of them even realize those amounts of money, cars etc?! I have 4 beautiful child, and I won’t EVER make them to go for contest like that! Thank GOD we don’t even have that kind of stupid thing here in Finland! You really should be ashamed! Not those kids, but the PARENTS!!!!!

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