Pretty VS. Smart?

[deleted account] ( 24 moms have responded )

GOD HELP ME I was watching The Tyra Banks Show and it was about the TLC show ' Toddler and Tiara's '! Anyhow, don't even get me started about the whole beauty pageant thing for toddlers but they allowed the audience to ask the little girls some questions and one lady in the audience asked, " Would you rather be pretty or smart? " and one of the little girls answered PRETTY! OMG! It makes me sooo sad!

Any thoughts?


Charlie - posted on 03/19/2010




I dont understand why being pretty or smart have to be separate , I think little girls and women should strive to educate themselves but i also think women should have enough self respect for themselves to make an effort to look nice regardless of color , age or size , being "pretty" is not all there is to life which is where i think a lot of girls are going wrong , finding a balance between respecting your mind and body/image is important , we dont like to think people will judge based on appearance but when it comes down to it , a person who is smart AND takes pride in their appearance will always come off better than JUST the pretty girl who refuses to learn or JUST the smart girl who doesn't take care of her outward appearance .

Lea - posted on 03/22/2010




I think that girls have it so much harder than boys in this world and this is just one of the many ways they are being screwed up from birth. I don't see why parents don't think their kids can be BOTH pretty and smart! I tell my son every day hes cute and adorable and tell him "very good!" when he counts and tells me his letters. I really don't see why doing both would be hard to do with a girl. Girls are being short-changed BIG TIME!

Ez - posted on 03/20/2010




Pretty and smart are not mutually exclusive, but I do think we need to be careful that our daughters understand that being smart will get 99.99% of people further in life than being pretty. My daughter really got the best combination of genes from her father and I and is a gorgeous girl, and I am constantly having to remind my mother, and other family members, that she has other qualities besides her looks that are worth praising. Tell her she's smart, funny, strong, or sweet (all of which she is). Being physically attractive is only one facet of life, and is realistically the one we have the least control over. So I just don't see the point in emphasising it when there are so many other things a young girl should be concentrating on.

As for pageants, absolutely no way in the world!!! I have been approached three times in regards to putting Milla in modelling, and each time I have declined. It just doesn't feel right to exploit the fact that my baby got lucky with her gene pool.

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Lindsay - posted on 12/28/2010




I'm locking this thread because it's been inactive for more than 3 months. Please see the "Old Threads" thread pinned to the top of the page. I know that this is a hot topic so feel free to start a new thread about it and to get fresh and new responses.

Lindsay DM Mod

Bridget - posted on 12/28/2010




I'm not surprised. Let's face it, women are still judged by appearances first, and the most successful, even when they are absolutely stupid or immoral, seem to find the spotlight. Media makes it look like that's all that matters, and don't really balance out the image. When I was a kid, I loved acting, dancing. Did it for years. I loved writing more, though. Anyway, I am a burn victim, and as un-blonde and un-blue as you can get, so I decided not to pursue it at age 21. That was media influence, image. I'm a published author now, still the struggling writer, but in the end, I'm glad to be WHO I am.

Lindsay - posted on 03/23/2010




To be completely honest, if someone asked my 5 year old daughter this same question I wouldn't be shocked with the answer to be pretty. Does that mean that she doesn't want to be smart? No. She's a little girl that loves "pretty" things. She's also very competitive in school and every other aspect in her little life. She strives for perfection in everything from making sure her hair and outfit looks good for school to making sure all of the letters written on her assignments are very neat. She works so hard at home because she doesn't want to be bad in the classroom. I signed her up for soccer. She's been practicing everyday because she wants to be good at it when she has her first game. So while she may answer pretty, her actions don't reflect that it's the only important thing. I would never discourage her from feeling and wanting to feel pretty. She's gaining self-esteem that is so valuable in life and a luxury that many people, sadly, don't have an abundance of. In our home if Madeline needs to wear this or have her hair like that and be pretty, that's fine. But I guess the more important factor not to be lost is to not stop at just being pretty on the outside. It's the starting point and then we make sure and emphasize being pretty on the inside, treating people with respect and doing your best in everything you do. To me, that's the combination that will set her up for a successful life.

Sharon - posted on 03/22/2010




It is sad - but I'm glad my kids aren't ugly. Being attractive and smart - you can go further in life. bill gates is soooooo the exception lol.

Honestly there aren't many ugly people in this world. I mean truely ugly, plastic surgery and pancake makeup is no help for them, kind of ugly. There are just people who don't know how to dress to their best etc.

Being just pretty isn't enough to go far in life. Being pretty & stupid will make you someones tool. Being smart but ugly ... its hard to get ahead in life when you're the most picked on kid in class and you're to depressed to lift your head....

[deleted account]

I remember watching this episode of wife swap in america and they swapped these two mothers one was all for her daughter being brainy and the other had her daughter doing all these pageants. So the pageant mom tried to get the brainy daughter to do it and she wasnt having none of it lol. The poor pageant daughter had missed so much school and been brought up to think she was so beautiful she'd never need her brain that she couldnt even spell america it was ridiculous and rather sad. She was counting on marrying someone rich to look after her and thats what she'd been taught by her parents. Couldnt believe how stupid this mom was. Personally i think these pageants are gross its like porno for paedophiles.

Ez - posted on 03/20/2010




LOL it's pronounced just Mi-La, as opposed to Mee-La (which I think is spelt with the one L).

[deleted account]

My niece does natural pageants. My sister in law keeps asking to put my daughter in them. Natural or not, they are still inappropriate for little girls. And that show has turned me off pageants all together.

I never considered myself "pretty." My skin is too white and my hair too frizzy and my nose too puggy. But I'm happy with who I am regardless. And you know what? I married a man who is highly attracted to white skin and curly hair. He HATED it when I got my one and only spray tan and groans and rolls his eyes when I pull out my hair straightener. If I'd had tan skin and straight hair when we met, it wouldn't have been love at first sight. He thinks I'm beautiful and it doesn't matter what others think.

Plus, I know I'm smart. =)

I hope to raise my daughter in such a way that she is happy with herself and won't try to conform to the world's view of beauty. She is perfect they way God made her.

And I do agree with Loureen. Being neat and clean goes a long way.

Carolee - posted on 03/19/2010




I'd rather my kids be smart. Land a rich partner (or get a wonderfully well-paid job), and you can BUY pretty!

[deleted account]

I watched that show once for all of 10-15 minutes and was so disgusted by it and anything on that kind of a grand scale that exploits children.

Patricia - posted on 03/19/2010




OMG some days, you wonder who the real children two years ago I took my step son trick or treating and one woman (drunk) had the audacity to ask him "Who are your parents voting for?" I (standing in the unlit shadow) appeared into the light and said "That's not an appropriate question to ask a child." Too many parents (and even some that are childless) Really are immature.

La - posted on 03/19/2010




I personally would never put my daughter in pageants. It is absurd that they spend thousands of dollars trying to make their babies look like grown women with all the fake hair and make-up. And is it just me or are almost all of the pageant moms the type of women who seem to be living their dreams of beauty vicariously through their girls?

[deleted account]

Does anyone watch the show Toddlers and Tiara's? I find it quite disturbing and I'm not surprised that 5 year old answered the way she did........after all she wears fake teeth to make herself look ' prettier "!

Krista - posted on 03/19/2010




Exactly, Loureen. It doesn't have to be an either/or situation. And positioning it as such kind of reinforces the stereotype that pretty girls can't be smart, or vice versa. Which is utter bunk.

There's nothing wrong in wanting to be attractive -- and it certainly doesn't mean that you are devaluing intelligence. And you are intelligent, you're not selling out or cheapening yourself if you also want shiny hair and pretty clothes.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/19/2010




Totally agree with you, Laureen, I think it is definetely important to strive to be as smart as you can but I also think appearance is a big thing too, maybe not "pretty" but taken care of. But thinking you can get by in life on just your looks is not something a toddler should even understand let alone state it on television.
Oh and BTW, I most definetely have both! Brains and Beauty, I surely can't go wrong! LOL!

Shelley - posted on 03/19/2010




I have a 2 year old so i thought i'd ask her the question her answer: smart she came back a little later and said a bit pretty too.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/19/2010




I think that in today's society, they are equally important. Being smart is the best way to get ahead of course, but people are still judged on their looks, and between two women, who are equally qualified, chances are the employer will pick the one who is the better looking. In my personal opinion, it is better to be smart, because you can fix ugly; you can't fix stupid. lmao

Tah - posted on 03/19/2010




and here i am drilling my 8 year old to do her homework and study...well she's pretty so that's enough..what was i thinking...I think it is a symptom of what's wrong nowadays. People raising their children to think that looks are everything....not to be honest, understanding, accepting. Whatever you teach your children are the important things in life, they will learn and they will pick their friends by and so's sad....but the world we live in...

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