pageant moms: how much is too much?

Pam - posted on 01/31/2012 ( 38 moms have responded )

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I'm watching Dr Phil and it showcases two pageant moms head to head, one is condemning the other for dressing her child in a hooker outfit, the other is fighting back and saying there's nothing wrong with that and accused the other one of having her 5 year old sing a "I'm sexy and I know it" song in a club. What do you think? Is make up too much? are the dresses too much? Where should society draw the line on pageants, what effects do you think they will on your daughters?

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Mrs. - posted on 02/01/2012

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I think, if you want your kid to become a famous performer, which a lot of the moms say they do on TandT, you should actually train them in a performance art. Seriously, put your money and time into acting classes, music class, dance classes...whatever floats their boat.



The pageants teach you nothing about what it is really like out there as a professional, unless we are talking about the oldest profession. I've know a few girls who went through the pageant circuit when they were little and then went on to try to be actors/singers/dancers. They had to unlearn EVERYTHING they learned in them. The teachers, casting directors and directors would always be riding them about looking too fake, too polished and not believing a word they say (oh and being too done up). You are not doing your kid any favours by coaching them to be tiny beauty queens if your goal is to make them adult performers.



That is my main beef with the whole thing.

[deleted account]

I don't have issues with little girls wanting to dress up all pretty, wear a little make up, parade around a little. sing and dance etc. But what I find disturbing about the pageants is the fake tans, fake teeth, hair pieces, the overly cutsie-pie gestures and the Mums in the wings doing the routines to prompt their kids. Getting tiny children up at the crack of dawn to drive half way across the country to win a ridiculously large trophy and yet another sparkly tiara. Kids and Mums that frown and pout when little girl does not win the ridiculously large trophy and sparkly tiara. It's not the concept of pageantry I object to... it's just the silly extreme it has become that I find offensive.

Jodi - posted on 01/18/2013

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If you read the research, Latonya, the only ones who end up building positive self-esteem and self-confidence are the ones who win more often than they lost. And there are a lot of girls who don't win much. So sorry, I disagree with you TOTALLY. Judging children on how they look is sending all the wrong messages.

Stephanie - posted on 04/16/2012

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As a parent who has a daughter in natural pageants ( her choice), I think that many people don't know anything about pageants other than what they see on T&T. Not all pageant girls are tarts as many people have claimed in this discussion. Just because the only thing you see is them walk pretty across a stage doesn't mean they don't have brains. Do you think it's easy for these young girls to remember routines and such? I don't agree with the glitz side of pageants (fake tan, hair teeth, nails, eyelashes, etc.) but not everyone involved in pageants acts the way these parents and children do. My daughter told me she wanted to do a pageant, so I found a natural system. I didn't think she would like it because when she is one on one with someone new she hides behind me. However, when she got up on stage the first time she lit up and told me that she wanted to do it by herself. When she is up on stage has so much fun. She is getting confidence to talk to others in a public setting because of the pageants. And no I don't make her practice or learn routines, I let her go up there in her Sunday best and show her personality. She has been lucky enough to win a lot of the time, but when she doesn't, she is still smiling and tells me she is a winner because she did her best.



And as for those who think those girls are home schooled to do the pageant circuits, more than 90% of them are everyday kids except during pageant weekends. They don't practice for pageants any more than an athlete would practice for a sport. Most of them even do gymnastics, dance or some other physical sport, so they have other interest.



There are always going to be bad examples out there but that doesn't give people the right to judge the rest.

Some take it to the extreme but others let their kids just be kids. In letting my daughter do what she wants and be herself on stage, she is already putting money into her own savings account because of her wins.

[deleted account]

I think the whole thing is too much. One, what type of message are you sending your daughter about her value? That she's only valueable if she's dolled up? Nice message. Second, maybe it's just editing, but it seems like the pagents are more about the moms dreams than the kids actually doing something they enjoy. I've watched T&T a few times and it seems like the moms are always claiming their daughter "loves" pagents while the daughter is always crying and having to be bribed to participate. Third, the amount of money spent on those pagents is absurd. Lastly, all the makeup, spray tans, hair dyes, etc. -- I don't agree with that for adult women, let alone children, but at least adult women know what they are exposing themselves too. Why not give your daughter a paraben/phthalate/carcinogen sandwich while you are at it?

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Latonya - posted on 01/18/2013

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I think pageants are great way to build self confidence and sportsmanship. I think the pageant agencies should set stiffer standards on what is or isnt acceptactable since they are responsible for the event.
Personally my daughters have had great success in the pageant industry and I think its great!

[deleted account]

Stephanie, I understand what you're saying but pageants imnho will always be about who is prettiest bottom line. If your daughter wants to be in pageants as she gets older those natural options you like now simply will not be available and she'll have no choice but to apply the makeup with a trowel and be judged solely on her appearance. If pageants weren't about physical beauty then YouTube wouldn't be loaded with Pageant Girls answering simply questions like idiots.



ETA: I have never watched T&T because I refuse to watch any show that objectifies and promotes children as cattle. I include with this any reality show that puts children on display for the amusement of others such as Wife Swap (one episodeof that was more than enough thank you.)

Alahnna - posted on 04/17/2012

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I think my main problem with pageants is the fact that we're basically telling the girls that are getting all dolled up that they aren't good enough they way they are. Their eyelashes aren't long enough, their teether are crooked, their skin too light, something has to be fixed because something is "wrong".

I also don't like the fact that pageants are about "beauty". The most beautiful girl, the prettiest. What is wrong with having crooked teeth but being an absolutely beautiful person on the inside? We need to start having pageants for manners and respect, kindness and generosity. Then I`d buy into the idea of pageants.

Stephanie - posted on 04/16/2012

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@ Sally, thank you. I know many people think differently about natural pageants. I do know mom's who have children in glitz pageants and quite a few of them are not like the mothers they show on TV. Many of them (even after spending all of the money) will leave in the middle of a pageant if their child is misbehaving or not having fun. I just want to point out that all aren't that way. I have even seen episodes of T&T where a girl with no make up or anything fake has won over those kind of girls.

As for myself, I am not even a big fan of going, I am more of a tomboy and would much rather watch my daughter (the one in pageants) play her t-ball games. But as long as she wants to do them and is having fun I will go watch and cheer for her. Because the only thrill I get out of pageants is watching her come off the stage at the end of the day with a big smile on her face.

Sally - posted on 04/16/2012

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@ Stephanie. I think you will find that most parents would support you in what your doing. I think that the prolem we have is the parents who do use the fake tan,gake eyelashes and tarty clothrs. Its just a shame that the media do not follow the natural beauty and talent.I know it must be very annoying to read posts about pageants where people don't agree but i think if you wete to post a question asking are naturel pageants the same as others., you would get a different answer. Hope you and your daughter keep on enjoying what your doing.

Sally - posted on 02/04/2012

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I can only put it this way. MY DAUGHTER is 30 and was never brought up this way and i never cheapened or under-valued her and i wouldn't do it to my beautiful grandaughters. One is a tomboy the other a prancing princesss but thats for indoors. I wouldn't dress my daughter as a tart and she wouldn't dress her daughters like it. She allows them to be just what they are. KIDS. Have these mothers fogotten they are children and just allow them to be carefree. Its not right for a 3/4 yearold to be worried about nails, eyelash's etc. Sorry if i offend but why do you want to turn your beautiful daugthets in to tarts

Merry - posted on 02/03/2012

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It's all too much. I've seen a few toddlers in tiaras shows and while I understand those are the extremes, I just don't see the benefit of pageants in general.

We all want to hear our baby or girl is the cutest but pageants are so vain. I just can't stand them

Kate CP - posted on 02/03/2012

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It's not a once a week thing, Sherri. This is how they live their lives. They are usually home schooled so they can travel the country going to different events and spend time practicing for their pageants. They have to learn how to walk, how to talk, how to do whatever talent it is they do. Then they have to make appointments for things like hair, make up, dresses and tailoring. THEN you have to add in all the normal kid stuff like doctors appointments, dentists, birthday parties, holidays. This isn't just a "for fun" thing. It costs TONS of money and takes up a LOT of time.

Janice - posted on 02/02/2012

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I haven't watched an episode in a long time but I see the commercials. It is sickening to even see the commercials. It would be one thing if these little girls were dressing up a bit and being judged on their natural beauty - not the best message but whatever.



What I think is terrible is that these parents are saying you are only beautiful IF you are tan, with long fake eyelashes and hair, ect. They are essentially telling their daughters that they are not good enough. You are only good if you are fake, yes thats what we should teach our daughters. Its very, very sad.

Sally - posted on 02/02/2012

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I dispise everyrhing to do with these shows. Sorry not much of an answer but if i started i would never stop.lol

Caitlin - posted on 02/02/2012

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Most of it is too much.. I hate the idea of teaching my daughter that her worth is based on her looks.. If she chose to do it, it's one thing, if she wants to do dance or cheerleading or whatever later on, fine - but I will be her grounding force, not her corrupter in it.



My 3 year old is in karate - we do it together.. I love everything that it teaches her, respect, discipline etc.. and i'm sure eventually she will catch onto that. I'm all for self empowering them, and teaching them a skill on top of it all is great! Pageants don't do that...

[deleted account]

Also there's nothing beautiful about fake, teeth, hair, eyelashes, tan and inappropriate clothing and not to mention dance routines.Natural beauty means nothing in these pageants..natural beauty is what our children have(all of our kids) not what pageant kids have.I choose natural beauty any day.If you strip away all of the fakeness from those pageant kids ,you find..beautiful perfect children, the way kids should look.Making up a child to win something is wrong in my eyes.

[deleted account]

When your little darling daughter does not look like your child anymore put more like a mini woman.... well....its to much.:-(

Bonnie - posted on 02/02/2012

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I think it is completely wrong and disgusting when a pageant mom comes out and says, "I always wanted a daughter, just so I can enter these pageants":-O



I hate that comment and I have heard it a few times on those shows.

Stifler's - posted on 02/01/2012

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The whole thing is repulsive to me. Cute pageants sure if the kid is interested and having fun, but um sexy and I know it and dressing like a hooker and yelling at people and going off at the kid is disturbing. what are these people thinking.

Kate CP - posted on 02/01/2012

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Uhhh...Sherri...don't you have like a five year old girl?



Edited to add:



My bad, I was mistaken. Don't know why I thought you had a girl...but I did. :/

Amanda - posted on 02/01/2012

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ok its one thing when ur TEENAGE child wants to wear all that stuff because she CHOOSE to be put in pagents or to take up dancing or cheerleading but its another thing to dree ur baby in all this rediculous stuff. yes i am absolitly gaga for the cute little dress and buckles and shoes for my little girl on special occasions but on other days she is in some pants and a shirt and playing with all the rest of the kids. no make up or wigs or dresses that cost thousands of dollars ( although if i had the money i would buy one just for kicks and get pics of her in the dress but that is about it) but i was watching a show the other day and they had babies just over a year old in make-up! to me that is crazy...my daughter is beautiful without make up and frankly these girls are going to grow up thinking that they have to cover thier faces in make up just to go out, now i mean most teens do that anyway i know i did but i was a teen not a baby. also i noticed that the moms wanted there kids to practice all the time where is the normal play time for these kids and all the moms said was she is beautiful well what about how smart they are or how nice they are..there was one mom on the show that i watched that said the word beautiful a dozen times in one sentence when talking about her daughter...me personally i really don't agree with it!

Katherine - posted on 02/01/2012

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my older girls dont even like that show. THey dont even think the girls on the show look pretty. They feel they look fake like a barbie doll and they dont want to look like a barbie doll.

Lisa - posted on 02/01/2012

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My hubby and I always snicker at the commercials for T & T. I think it's disgusting & wouldn't dream of doing any such thing with my daughter.

Katherine - posted on 02/01/2012

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I dont feel the girls look normal when all DOLLED UP- Sherry. Its not okay to me to have that kind of image portrayed through children. I will not do it to my kids. The are naurally beautiful with out all the crap on thier faces and the costumes on.

Kate CP - posted on 02/01/2012

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I used to date a guy who did solo and pairs, and coached when he got older. Maybe it's just where I'm from, but I never saw teased hair and sexy outfits on little girls. I saw bawdy makeup and some outlandish costumes but none were ever cumbersome or inappropriate. Skaters are constantly being encouraged to lose weight and it's a bit creepy. For pairs it's so their partner can lift and throw them farther and easier...but sometimes it just gets out of hand.



I have no problem with sports that requires a bit of "glam". I have a huge problem with sexualizing children and judging them based on appearance.

Starfish - posted on 02/01/2012

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I'm a former figure skater. I did it competitively as a child for the better part of a decade until a spinal injury ended my career.



And I have to say, while there are differences, pageants and skating are very similar. Yes, it's a sport - but all the dancing and other talents pageant children do is equally athletic. The makeup isn't solely for facial expression recognition...it's done dramatically for a variety of reasons, and things like red lipstick, and heavy eyeshadow is often highly encouraged backstage...even required if it's a group number like for Drill Team.



The flashy costumes aren't always made for ease of wear, either. I can't tell you how many times I've competed in a cumbersome outfit that I've had to learn how to work around having.



Also, you'll find hair teasing, dieting, extensions, makeup, facials, and fake tans, and everything in between in skating, too. I remember comforting friends whose coaches refused to train them until they lost another 20 lbs. These weren't big girls, either. Hell, I was frowned upon for having boobs once I started hitting puberty.



Child sexualization, while never called such, is allowed and sometimes encouraged as well. You're told to "make it sexy", and things like that. I repeatedly took first or second in very large competitions for a stripper routine when I was all of about 10 yo. No one ever seemed to find it weird...neither did I till I hit adulthood, and had kids of my own. Now I can't imagine what made that seem like a good idea to anyone.







Both things are about performing. You do your little dance and song in skates or shoes, it's still just a performance. It's really disturbing, truth be told.



Granted, not everyone buys into that aspect of the culture. Some pageants are "natural", and those are nice, I think. And some skaters either just refuse and compete anyway (often to their disadvantage), or just stop competing. But both things are eerily similar. One just gets a worse wrap than the other.

Kate CP - posted on 02/01/2012

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The difference between pageants and figure skating is sports. They wear makeup on the ice so you can see their facial expressions. If you've ever seen a figure skater up close they look almost like a clown with all that makeup on. The flashy costumes are for effect and are made for ease of wear so they can perform on the ice.



I have a serious issue with making an innocent little girl look like she's 20 years old. Wanting to play dress up and be a princess is fine...but teasing hair, dental appliances, makeup, hair extensions, facials, dieting, teeth whitening...yea, that's going too far.



I also don't like the idea of judging a girl based on her appearance (so I really don't like beauty pageants for older girls or women, either). If I wanted to judge something based solely on appearance I would watch Westminster. And I don't watch Westminster because parading around a bunch of pretty bitches who know nothing more than how to stand up straight, trot nicely, and be inspected from head to tail is pointless to me. I would much rather watch agility competitions...or figure skating. :P

Kelina - posted on 01/31/2012

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If my daughter were interested-in moderation. A little makeup in neutral tones, and dresses that covered all the important parts. Like down to her knees lol. Anything more than that-not a chance. I'd rather she were in dance or skating. I'm really hoping she's not into pageants though. Not my thing.

Johnny - posted on 01/31/2012

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Beauty pageants in general I find ridiculous. Not saying I don't watch them. Who doesn't enjoy being entertained, amused and getting the chance to feel superior all at once. But the concept is just silly to me. I have no problem with talent contests or other such things where people need develop a skill and compete with it. Whatever that skill may be. But beauty contests are just rewarding what you happened to drop out of the womb looking like. Big hairy deal. Here's a giant tiara for looking good. Or in the case of toddler beauty pageants, here's a giant tiara for looking like a silly tart in a ridiculous costume and letting your mom pull your hair and spray you with stuff for hours on end.



A couple of my friends have tried to talk me in to doing it with my daughter, hell no! I can find other ways to torture her that might actually build character.

Jodi - posted on 01/31/2012

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I guess for me, I'm okay with it in moderation. A little mascara, maybe some subtle eyeshadow, an age appropriate dress...ok. But having seen the show "Toddlers and Tiaras", I'm not okay with that stuff. I mean, these children have fake lashes, fake hair, fake teeth, fake tans, fake nails; they put on so much make-up that it completely covers any natural beauty they had to begin with. Most of the "moves" or faces they make I'm okay with, a lot of them are natural faces a toddler or child makes, just exaggerated, but sometimes the moves are borderline inappropriate.



I let my child play with make-up, although she's not allowed to leave the house wearing any, she must wear leggings or shorts under all skirts or dresses and I forbid bikinis, halter tops or tube tops in my house. But that's for my child in our home in our daily routine. If she showed an interest in being in a pageant I might bend the rules. Let her wear make-up, let her wear a dress without leggings, although the others would still apply. It's a child's beauty pageant...shouldn't they dress, look and act like children? Instead, they're dressing, looking and sometimes acting like 30 year old single women in a club. (Nothing wrong with 30 year old women doing that, just, a child shouldn't!)

Krista - posted on 01/31/2012

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I think that children should look like children. So for the most part, pageants gross me out, particularly when they tart up these little girls with tons of make up, and wigs, and provocative outfits. Little toddler girls are not supposed to look sexy, thank you very much. A 3-year-old wearing false eyelashes and foundation? Barf.



Now the innocent small-town pageant, where the kids are basically just dressed in their Sunday best, but they still look like children? That's fine.

Elfrieda - posted on 01/31/2012

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Eek, really Sherri? I can't even watch an ad for that show (toddlers and tiaras, I think) without quickly changing the channel or at least muting it and turning my head.



I think that putting babies in a beauty contest in the local country fair is as far as it should go. I wouldn't even do that, but I can see the appeal. (naturally I wouldn't have put my son in because I wouldn't want the other parents to feel bad when they saw how gorgeous he was! Eyelashes a few inches long, gleaming tooth, fat little legs, baby blues, no drool, you never saw such a beauty!) ;) Joking, but you get my point. *I* think he's beautiful, way better looking than any other child, and I don't need anybody else's opinion. Especially if I have a daughter someday, I'll be very careful about this sort of thing.



Everything else is too much. Make-up is too much, grown-up dresses are too much, teaching your daughters that their identities are so tied up in how they look and what other people think of those looks is WAY too much. It gives me the heeby-jeebies even to watch my nieces in their figure skating routines and my cousin's girls in their dance routines especially. It could be okay if they looked like little girls doing some cool stuff, but that's not what happens. It's all a bit more stripper-y than that. Urk.

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