I personally know a beautiful and talented girl who will be participating in a local beauty pageant next month. Her family and friends are all excited to see her on stage in her glittering gown, performing one of her many talents and sharing some of her vibrant charm with the world.

What makes us all so confident that this is the right choice for her? She’s 20 years old!

TLC’s new show Toddlers & Tiaras paints a different picture of beauty pageant life. I think there’s something disturbing about little girls who dress up and act like grown women, but the mothers of children who participate in pageants argue that it teaches them poise, self-confidence and public speaking skills.

I’m quite certain that someone with two decades of life experience behind her can decide for herself whether or not participating in a pageant sounds like a fun and rewarding experience, but I don’t think a parent can realistically expect their six year old to make that choice.

What do you think? Are child beauty pageants too intense for impressionable young girls, or are they just a fun way for mothers and daughters to spend time together? You tell us!

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22 Responses

  1. Jenna says:

    Toddlers in Tiaras reminds me of the crazy little girls in Little Miss Sunshine.

  2. penny says:

    when it comes to these sort of events, i really don’t know… i don’t think i would even let my child participate in something like this. but what if you had a daughter who really wanted it and wanted to try it. just like little miss sunshine – her parents gave her the opportunity to give it a shot. however, when it’s a mother’s dream for their little girl to fulfill some sort of fantasy for themselves then i am against it.

  3. Sally says:

    I think it’s really creepy when the little girls have fake nails, false eyelashes and hair extensions. Is that what we want to teach our daughters? That beauty requires a bunch of synthetic products? What about natural beauty?

  4. catnip says:

    A toddler beauty pageant is about money for those conducting the pageants. The people who organize these pageants are not very nice people and many have criminal backgrounds and prison time for theft and other crimes.

    This is a pedophile’s play area. Mother’s who expose their babies as sexual are asking for trouble and can’t handle it when they get it and many can’t even recognize it.

    This is about a mother’s insecurities; not about beautiful babies. All babies are beautiful and most mothers don’t have to prove it to anyone. Somehow these pageant junkies can’t help themselves. They assume everyone involved in these pageants are not criminals and leave their babies wide open for unsafe elements. What idiots.

  5. against it says:


  6. against it says:


  7. The thing most people don’t realize is that there are different types of child pageants. I am a former child pageant queen and I begged my mom to enter me in the pageants. I had been dancing since I was three and loved to perform. Personally, I loved the Miss Cinderella system – it’s more of a natural pageant. No fake hair, or flippers (the fake teeth.) But, if you do choose to enter a glitz pageant, you need to know what to expect. My mom and I were clueless when we went into pageants, and I wish I would have known more about it, so I wrote an ebook to help other mom and daughter teams to have a positive pageant experience!

  8. Outraged Exhusband says:

    Um, yeah… My daughter was a playmate of Jon Benet Ramsey’s. NO kidding.

    My stupid ex-wife couldn’t help herself. She lied to me and kept entering her in pageants. She committed financial infidelity by continually making up pretenses for going to Denver, spending hundreds of dollars on entry fees, hundreds more on dresses and still more hundreds on makeup, photography and coaching. For a SIX YEAR OLD.

    While I was working two jobs and doing my own meals and laundry… My lying

    Husbands, don’t let your wives go down this slippery slope. DON’T allow your little ones to be exploited to serve some sad, perceived need of theirs. DON’T allow them to guilt you into it, sweet talk you into it, sex you into it, ANYthing you into it. The price is too high. This is pedophile and sicko city, and if you don’t admit it you are stupid too.

    I got off easy… being weak and stupid and not stopping my wife when she still could be stopped ended up costing me my marriage. It cost John Ramsey his daughter.

  9. Outraged Exhusband says:

    WHoops I was saying in the third para… my lying spouse would do or say anything to squeeze out the tiniest advantage: another set of sequins on a dress, another photo in a different setting… and I would end up ponying up the dough whether I was on board with it or not. Husbands, don’t believe for a second that “this is the last one…” GET YOUR WIFE HELP or get the hell out with your child and let the courts figure out if you were right.

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  11. Emily Dawkins says:

    My opinion would be that if your child is interested in beauty pageants then you should motivate her in a positive way. By letting her know that winning isn’t everything, and if she loses let your child know she’s beautiful and she did her best.

  12. Pam says:

    I completely agree about the glitz pageants. Those sweet girls are being turned into sexual objects and I can’t believe that any mom would put those clothes or that make-up on their child and coach them to move their bodies in that way. I don’t, however, see any difference in that and the new cheerleader craze that has hit our world. The little “cheerleaders” wear just as much make-up, just as little clothing and move just as provocatively as the pageant girls do, sometimes more so. This idea that we are teaching our little girls about the importance of being “sexy” is horrible! They are children! My daughter is 9 and she loves dressing up and being “pretty”. She does compete in natural pageants that judge a girl as much on her poise and personality as they do on beauty. In these pageants, the girls can wear no make-up until they are in the teen division and they must wear age appropriate clothing at all times. The sweet little girls wear pretty church dresses with mary jane shoes and white ankle socks. Their hair is all their own and is usually brushed neatly with a bow. The girls walk from x to x on the stage and turn with grace and poise to show all sides. During the interview process, the girls sit like a lady and answer questions using no ma’am and yes ma’am when they speak to the judges. I put my daughter in her first pageant because she was clingy and shy. I could see her potential but no one else could because she refused to interact with anyone but me. After her first pageant, she was hooked because the other girls were so nice and she had so much fun! She LOVED going on stage in her pretty dress! Before I knew it, she came out of her shell and began to really shine on stage and off. We do one or two pageants a year and she is always eager to go! As long as she wants to continue, we will. I see so many wonderful things she gains from this, things society doesn’t teach girls anymore…how to dress, how to have a conversation, how to act and sit like a lady, self confidence and assurance, etc. The day she days she’s done, we are through, but until then, we are moving ahead!!!

  13. Pageantmama says:

    I’d have to agree that the natural pageants are much more acceptable. My little girl loves them and has so much fun. She said just the other day “When I do pageants it feels like I’m having a bigggg dress up party with all of my friends!” It really has been great for her. We recently found a great website (www.sweetiepiecollection.com) that has perfect Natural Pageant dresses. There is a store in our sleepy little town that carries the collection so we go to the store look through the catalog and pick out what ever dress she wants. (its low cost) Then she orders it for us and we have it in a couple weeks. No making the dress yourself or basically glueing it on your daughter like the glitz pageants.
    The pageants weren’t my idea at all, in fact I hated it when we first started because I was always the “tom boy” type but she is 8 now and we have been doing them for about 2 years and now we both get excited for the next pageant.

  14. lola says:

    well im 12 and been competing in pageants since i was 10 and i think its fun to do glitz pageants we get to wear really fancy dresses and u can get them on ebay for only 10 dollars and are coaches help us out alot to win grand surpreme in over all beauty one time i won 2 million and got a giant pink teddy bear it was really fun!

  15. Donna says:

    The mothers ( and dads) that push their little girls into these pageants should be ashamed of themselves! Every time I watch Toddlers and Tiaras on tv, I get so mad! And it is true. most of the mothers are overweight and not much to look at themselves. So…….. they are trying to do what they were NEVER able to do as a child, through their own kids! And I have seen ALOT of the mothers being total bi***es towards their kids and everybody else for that matter! Some of them are so embarressing that its hard for me to watch sometimes. Actually, the only reason I really watch these shows is not because I am interested to see which little girl will win, but to see how stupid the mothers are gonna act. And believe me, there ususally is alot of that on each episode. Like I said, the parents, especially the mothers of these poor little girls, should be totally ASHAMED!!!!

  16. Very Good Read! I look forward to reading again soon!

  17. well im 12 and been competing in pageants since i was 10 and i think its fun to do glitz pageants we get to wear really fancy dresses and u can get them on ebay for only 10 dollars and are coaches help us out alot to win grand surpreme in over all beauty one time i won 2 million and got a giant pink teddy bear it was really fun!

  18. brittany says:

    some questions for people involved in these pageant activities…

    why did you start to be involved?

    what made you keep participating?
    …especially with all the negative media

  19. Star says:

    I have a grandchild who is begging to be in the local pageant. We have tried to talk her out of wanting to be in it. She’s only 3 yrs old! And there was NO PARENT talking her into this. She heard about it from another little girl. Now she is begging and begging for us to allow her to do this. We have finally consented, telling her that is ONE TIME only. That after this she cannot do it again. I do think any child who wants in a pageant this badly should be allowed to try it for themselves. I truly believe she will decided mud wrestling will be more fun after this.. but who knows. Her older sister did it once.. won.. She’s had cousins that entered ONCE and won, some lost.. but they all had a good time doing it. She won’t be denied her ONE time of this.

  20. pageantgirl says:

    I’m 12, and I got involved last year because I thought it would be fun. I keep participating because it’s fun for me. I compete in natural pageants, but next year I want to do a glitz pageant. The negative things people keep saying are terrible. If you’ve never expeirienced it, you shouldn’t say anything bad.

  21. mary says:

    My daughter is grown up now, but she did several pageants when she was growing up, and some were pretty glitzy. However, we never used fake teeth, hair, tans or anything like that. Just a little makeup to keep her from looking washed out on the stage. In fact, the rule of thumb then was no fingernail polish, no jewlery except maybe small earrings. The little girls were to look like little girls, not miniature cocktale waitresses in Dolly Parton Wigs. I also have judged a few pageants over the years, and believe me that is not what I am looking for. I look for a little girl who is groomed well, has a nice, well fitting dress that doesn’t over-power her. I look for a little girl, that models well for her age, and has an overall look of sweetness.Recently, my daughter entered my 2 month old gradaughter in a local pageant, on her score sheets they gave her a 4 on stage presence lol, she was being held in the arms of my neice and slept through the entire thing…. First of all, she was too young, tried to tell my daughter that, but she wanted to show that baby girl off to the world. And i think that is what a lot of mothers want to do also. Believe me there is worse things in the world than lavishing a child with beautiful dresses and making her feel like a princess. But, as with all things, people tend to go overboard. i hate the toddler pageant shows on TV. Those shows give all pageant systems a bad name. They aren’t all like that. I think that being in pageants helped my daughter as she was pretty shy before doing them. However she was a very well-rounded young lady. She played softball, was an officer for FFA, showed registered cattle as well as did a pageant here and there. She grew up to be a beautiful young lady, now married with 2 children of her own. I don’t think that the pageants hurt her at all..

  22. sarah says:

    ummmm write now we are spending all this money on are little cuties and what not but think we could be helping japan out right now and think if we put all this money towards these dresses then why not take a portion out of that and i know that ur daughter or son may not win with a 3000 dollar dress but woudnt u want help if ur were them
    PLEASE help japan just like you help a dog if itt is hurt japan needsw money clothes shelter airplant tickets baby food supposidly over 400 babies have died of hunger imagine if that was ur daughter PLEASE help JAPAN they are so sweet and considerate

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