Children and beauty Pagents....Good or bad?

Canada
February 17, 2009 9:23pm CST
So I have been watching this show on tv it is called Toddler and Tiaras. It is all about child beauty pagents. Each week it follows a few different families with children competing in a pagent. The child ages range for babies to older children (I think the oldest i have seen so far is 10). So do you think these pagents are good or bad. Me personally I think they can be good if the parent is not pressuring their child into doing the pagents. It can help boost self confidence, it also gives them something to work towards. On the other hand many parents seem to pressure their children. Not all children have as much interest as other children and I think if a child does not want to they shouldnt have to. What are your views on children competing in beauty pagents?
2 people like this
16 responses
@Galena (9123)
18 Feb 09
I actually find the whole thing very disturbing. for a start, I really don't think it does help self esteem. it just teaches children that physical appearence matters far more than it does. and children shouldn't grow up being judged on their looks, and having to face being told "this other child is prettier than you" that's not good for self esteem. and also, the values of beauty in these competitions is not an appropriate kind of beauty to apply to children. they are put in make up, fake tan (or worse, real tans) , some even have their hair bleached. they are made to conform to ADULT ideals of beauty, not those that should apply to children. I find it very very disturbing, on a lot of levels.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
18 Feb 09
It bothers me. I've watched the show and it bothers me. I saw a 4 year old getting tanned and crying because she was getting tanned. She HATED it. And the mother and grandmother said "if she wants to win she has to do this." What kind of choice is that for a 4 year old? I just don't get it. I have 5 kids. They have all cried when getting shots or getting their ears checked....these are necessary things. Tanning is not necessary for a child and that would hurt my heart. It just bothers me. Whose dream is this, when the child is in these contests from infancy? It's not the child's dream.
• Canada
18 Feb 09
I have seen that one, but i have also seen an episode where the mother did not force the child, she did not put any make up on her or tan, or eyelashes...she went natural is a cute dress and she looked like a child not a mini adult. The child was excited and happy becuase she said it made her feel like a princess. She liked doing the pagents and the mother was only doing it becuase it was really what the child wanted. I do agree the extents some mother go to is crazy...however if a child want to do this naturally, and the mother is not pressuring them...then maybe it would be ok...i dont know just a thought
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
18 Feb 09
And how old was this child? I have no problem when a kid says, "hey mom, I want to be Miss America." and the parent goes with it. I would do that as well, for as long as my child wants it. And when they decide they want to be a firefighter the next day, I'll go with that as well. My problem is when the parent says, "Hey sweetie, don't you want to be miss america?" When the child is too young to decide for herself.
• Canada
19 Feb 09
I believe the child was 6 or 7. Her family was much different...they dont spend 1000's of dollars on dresses and such. They dont force her to practice, she was doig it on her own...they were supporting her and helping her...but she was comming to them. Actually watching this family is what made me think...that is some circumstances it is ok. This little girl...she just liked being on stage and performing i think. It wasnt her parents it was all her. She had no coach or anything and beat girls who had coaches, and fake tans, and make up...it was cool.
@MeganK (88)
• United States
18 Feb 09
My views are exactly the same as yours. I think it's wonderful when parents get their children involved in fun activities. But I've watched a few of these type of shows and most of the parents take it way too far. They are making their children look like creepy dolls, and to me it isn't cute, it's just weird. No child needs to have a set of fake teeth to make them look prettier.
• Canada
18 Feb 09
I totally agree who puts fake teeth on children! All children lose thier teeth it's part of being a kid...feeling like that has to be hidden is crazy. From my understanding there are 2 types of pagents, normal ones and glitz. The normal ones are much better they expect the kids to look like kids and be kids...the glitz one they tan them, teeth the, give them hair pieces, fake eyelashes, they dress them like little adults! If a child has fun doing pagents...and looks like a child when competeing then maybe it is ok...im still not sure how i feel though to be honest lol
@Jae2619 (1484)
• United States
18 Feb 09
Pageants can be very good in boosting children's self esteem. We put our son in them when he was younger. We were busting time at the mall one day and seen they were having one, so we entered him. He managed to win, and we took him all the way to the international level, he loved it. He made alot of friends and with him being in pageants it's taken him to another level. He now has an agent and gets called for photo shoots for catalogs, and weekly flyers. My little girl isn't in to that, she's not a people person, so it would be almost like forcing her to do one, which I would never do. We stopped the pageants with our son when he said he didn't want to do them anymore. That was fine with us, because they are time comsuming.
• Ireland
18 Feb 09
I think it's great that you didn't force your son to do those competitions, so many parents force their children into these things. I really admire that you were doing this for your son, and not for yourself.
• United States
12 Mar 09
Although a Pagent can boost a child's self esteem it can also lower it if they don't win. I think there sould be more natural Pagents so a child could just be them self and have fun. Every child should get a reward just for being them self and not caring what others think. I have a 4 year old daughter and she wants to be in beauty pagent but i won't let her for two reasons 1.I won't put make up on her and let her go out,we do play dress up but she must wipe her face before we go out!!! 2.I can't afford to spend a lot of money on clothes and other thing she really don't need. I have 2 other children. I let her know everyday how beautiful she really is inside and out. We have our own beauty pagent at home without make up and the fancy dresses and she loves it!!!!
@lynnemg (4538)
• United States
19 Feb 09
I think that if the kids really want to do it, and they are enjoying themselves, they can be beneficial. If it becomes a full-time job for a child, I don't think it is good at all. To me, the whole idea is for the kids to have fun and learn how to be good winners and losers. All too often, it appears that the parets are trying to liv their dream through their kids rather than allowing the kids to have dreams of their own.
• United States
18 Feb 09
As growing up i was in many pagents. I loved doing them so much. Usually you always have the prelimaries that are fun with the local girls then you have the state pageant with alot of girls from around the state and then of course nationals which is ridiculous. I was pleased to meet really nice girls once of the girls that i was in pagents with was a really goo ballet dancer and she tried out for So You Think You Can Dance and made there top 12. My mom didnt pressure me at all to do them and i enjoyed them alot they are alot of money and when you have a seamstress and makeup artist its even more.
• United States
18 Feb 09
I think that pagents can be fun and good for a kid if the parent is not forcing them. My cousin did pagents when she was young, like 3 to 5 and then she told my aunt she did not want to do them anymore and they stopped doing them. Then when she was 16 she wanted to start doing them again and they did. Its scary to see how overboard some parents go. I think the only pagents kids should do are the ones were its a rule that you can wear makeup or a two piece swimsuit. Those are the kind my cousin did.
• Ireland
18 Feb 09
I think they are a bad idea. I was watching a programme once about a little girl in one of those beauty pagents. In one bit she was getting her hair done, and the mother said 'Oh she loves getting her hair done, it makes her feel like a princess'. But the girl was almost crying because the curlers was burning her scalp. And when she was getting her make-up done the reporter asked if she liked getting all done up and she said 'I need to wear make-up to look pretty, otherwise I'm just ugly'. This girl was about 4!
@nmw2005 (1197)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I think it depends. There was one little giil who dodn't wear make up and was natural. I think as a confidence builder that it great. When I see these little girls in make up, false teeth and flirting with the judges I am disgusted. They only have one chance to be little kids. Personally I would never do that to my daughter.
@lisa0502 (1726)
• Canada
18 Feb 09
I personally do not agree with beauty pagents for kids. I think that it is way too much pressure for these little kids. There is no way I would ever do that to my kids. But everyone has their own views on this type of thing. They may be doing what they think it is right for their child. there are many other ways to give your children confidence.
@22angel22 (451)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I feel that they are ok if they don't pressure the child and if they don't do all the fake stuff to them. I hate these little mini barbie dolls that I see on TV that go to pagents. They look so fake. They are putting in these kids head at an early age that its ok to be fake and that being perfect is the only way to get anywhere.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I think it is completely wrong, and the mothers are trying to force their daughters into it and make themselves feel better. The mothers probably feel bad about themselves and want to live vicariously through their daughters. So they end up putting a lot of pressure on, even when they say they don't-- they do. They have to, any toddler would rather be playing with playdoh than spending 2 hours having their hair and makeup done. It has little to do with the child's confidence. It does nothing more for the children than teach them that they are valued for their looks. They wear ridiculous amounts of makeup, false eyelashes, false teeth, and there is even a swimsuit competition. How does that boost self esteem? If anything it teaches them not only that society values them only for their looks, but also that they are not pretty enough to be accepted unless they wear all of those things. And no matter how hard they try, only one girl wins, so most walk away disappointed and often with their mothers scolding them for not doing a good enough job. So for the majority it probably ruins their self esteem. It is sad that people put their daughters through this and they end up missing out on the opportunity to just be kids. In my opinion it's a form of child abuse. I watched that show and all I could think of was it is exactly like a dog show. Groom them and then parade them around to be judged based on their appearance, then give them a little treat when they do a good job. Good dog. It's sickening.
• Philippines
18 Feb 09
Hi there, I think this kind of contest is both good and bad for the child. Self-confidence is developed. They can interact with different types of kids. But this will be bad if the parents put so much prepare for the kids. They should let the kids enjoy. They don’t have to expect the kid to win. They should be proud of whatever the kids can do. It is just a start or stepping stone. Have fun
• United States
18 Feb 09
I'm not sure how I feel about it. I don't like the idea of kids being put through the rigors of competition at such a young age. I think it does more harm to the self-esteem then good. At age 10, there is already such a struggle for how they feel about their body, why put more stress on them and do potential damage? I suppose if the child has an interest, maybe, but there are too many moms that get far too into it that they begin to try to live vicariously through their children.
@daneg33 (1131)
• Canada
18 Feb 09
I think many of these women are forcing their kids to do something they either wished they had done when they were kids or were forced themselves to do as kids. There is so much pressure to be the best, these mothers only care if their kids wins, they don't care about what happens to the poor kid's ego. These little kids don't get a childhood, they are caked in make up and spray painted with tan stuff, etc. I find it disgusting.