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Should You Put Your Toddler In A Tiara (Child Beauty Pageant)?


Beauty pageants are as controversial as they are glamorous. They are certainly a polarized but highly publicized activity that many people, especially women, participate in at least once in their lives. Whether they're a spectator watching The Miss Universe pageant on television, a guest supporting a friend at a competition or they actually were a queen themselves, studies suggest that the majority of supporters and participants have done so on more than one occasion! But, what about kids? Are the stereotypes true that all pageants teach young girls is how to model in pictures and be overly competitive? Here are three things to consider on both sides of the argument.

They're Expensive

Beauty pageants are far from a cheap hobby. The term "pageant poverty" isn't just a funny phrase. The average children's pageant has an entry fee alone of at least $300. That does not include the cost of costumes which can cost several hundred or even a thousand dollars, travel if the pageant isn't local, coaching which can cost up to $150 an hour and hair and makeup.

They're Time Consuming

If you are competing to win, pageants require a large time investment from the child and the parent. If you are competing in a small local pageant, you can still expect at least a few weeks of prep time for the event. If you are competing at a national or even international pageant, most contestants would need full commitment to preparation and training for at least 4 to 6 months in advance!

They're Difficult

While outsiders might feel that competing in a pageant looks easy, it is far from that! Not only does the financial and physical preparation take a tax on the participant, the mental impact can be very stressful. Quite literally, the fate of your victory or loss could be determined by something as small as the color of your dress or how you phrased a 10-second answer to an on the spot question.

They Build Confidence and Sportsmanship

Beauty pageants have a strong element of performance involved. Whether it be through a talent show, a runway walk, public speaking or a combination of the three, they push contestants outside of their comfort zones and teach them great stage presence. The confidence that contestants build when being forced to put themselves on display has a great carry over into other areas of life such as interviewing for jobs, applying to college or building social skills! Also, learning how to lose and accept that absolute perfection is unattainable can be a priceless principle to learn in your youth. Similar to playing soccer or football on a team or doing competitive gymnastics or dance, beauty pageants can teach young girls to have great sportsmanship!

They Build Friendships

Many pageant queens report having long lasting friendships with their former competitors. While it won't be the case with every queen you come up against, many of the relationships you build while competing in pageants can follow you for a lifetime. In fact, former national titleholder Alycia Darby of the Win A Pageant Podcast has been quoted multiples times speaking on how a large number of her coaching clients enter pageant competitions with a goal to network and build relationships with other strong, successful, driven women!

They Can Be Immensely Rewarding

The prize packages for many pageants are quite lucrative and very rewarding! And, many pageant systems have prizes available not just to the overall winner but runner ups as well! According to a study on Pageant Planet, approximately 67% of Pageant Directors offer a cash prize and scholarship to winners up to $10,000 plus other endorsement deals, free items, photoshoots and publicity! Upwards of 12% offer up to $100,000 in cash prizes alone plus all of the other standard perks!

The above mentioned factors are just a few of the many that you may want to take into consideration. However, whatever the decision, it should be made with your child's best interest and that of your family in mind!

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