The 'wonderful' world of pageants


Oh my God, a toddler should not be made up to look like this:

Note: the previous photos have been removed by the original source, so here's a lovely video. The images may continue to change, but I stand by my opinion, no matter how many personal insults continue to come my way. I can't see anyone changing anyone else's mind on this one.

Lindsay from Surburban Turmoil was a spectator at a recent child beauty pageant in Texas, and she witnessed the trials and tribulations of the little beauty queens.

Check out her funny, sad, and enlightening stories:

Barbie Girls

The Problem with Pageants

I just can't comprehend the rationale of people who put their little ones in beauty pageants. It's one thing if a teenager or adult makes a choice to be in one (although I'm still not a big fan), but forcing your 2-year old to wear wigs, false teeth, and parade around on stage when they don't want to be up there?! That's so much pressure for a child.

I want my children to be able to stay kids for as long as possible.

I love this exchange between Lindsay and her 3-year old daughter, after watching the pageant:

“Did you have fun today?” I asked her as I strapped her in for the ride home.

“Yeah,” she replied.

“Hey, you don’t want to be in a pageant like those crazy babies, do you?”

“No!” she shouted. “I wanna crush bad guys! An’…big spiders!”

Thank God.

Update: Okay, comment moderation has been turned on, and foul comments have been deleted and will not be approved. I don't have time to deal with personal attacks (all coming, interestingly enough, from people who have only been registered on Blogger for a day). If someone has a persuasive argument, I'll post it. Otherwise, don't waste your time and mine.

Update: Also in the category of 'Ways To Sexualize Your Child Way Too Young'... I bring you:

Padded bras for little girls (starting at size 6)

Yes folks, you read that right. Click on the link above for the news article. IzzyMom and Feministing have more information on the "bralettes", which are being sold by Target in Australia.

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  1. This is the single scariest thing I've seen today. Are you sure the parents can't be charged with child abuse or something? Because reall, I don't like the odds of those kids growing up to being even half way normal if their parents are subjected to this kind of thing that young.

  2. the whole thing is deplorable. I remember when all the Jon Benet stuff hit the news that pagaents were in the media a fair bit and that's when I got my first eyefull of it all.

  3. Can you imagine what sort of a teenagehood those kids will have if their parents are like this NOW? Sheesh. I'm surprised that those pageants are legal, really. Poor, poor girls.... come to think of it, is there a male equivalent for little boys?

  4. None of you have any idea what you are talking about. I know many successful and famious ladies who use to compete in pageants. Not everyone uses the falls and flippers either, but what's it to you if they do? As with any other sport, it's almost like equipment. Most pageant kids are extremly talented and very smart. The majority are in Gifted classes in privat schools and are also involved in other hobbies such as dance and softball. Jon Benet's death had NOTHING to do with pageants and everyone should let her rest in peace. Also, I do believe that the posting of the pictures on this site are in violation of the Copyright Laws. Everyone of thise pictures are copyrighted by the photographers. Get off your computer and get a life.

  5. The person that started this site is the one that is exploting the children. When we do pageants we do it in a ballroom and not out for everyone to view. You are putting these kids photos on websites without their parents consent. That is what should be illegal. You should ask someone of these little ones if the like pageants, you can almost bet they will say yes.....

  6. Maybe you should take a moment off the subject and call yourself a thief before you point your finger at pageant parents. Stealing online photos of children that you have no clue who they are is a bit disturbing.
    Please post your photo so we can pick you apart.
    Also, it is a known fact that the ones that put down pageants either, do not have children...and if they do then their either ashamed of their childs looks and do not wish to showcase them for that reason. The reason being embarressment.
    Also..its easier to put down pageant kids than to pay for your child to do pageants. Pageantry is expensive, and putting a child down in a public blog is free. You do the math.
    Lastly..please remove Cali-Reese's photo that you have stolen.
    Thank you.

  7. When and only when you get behind the scenes of a beauty pageant and get one on one information by being involved with these beauty queens can you judge who or what they do. you are only judging by the pictures that yes are photoshopped to make them look like they have that much makeup on. Sorry to bust your bubble but it is all done from a computer. And also by what all the documentaries that have been made are saying. Knowing that noone is going to actually put the truth in these documentaries because NOONE would want to watch the truth. Instead they twise, lie, and change it to make it look as they want to sell to idiots like you.
    Noone could care less about them until the murder of JonBenet and because the case was misshandled and the killer was never found because of lazy buracratics so the public had to place blame on the few pageants she had done. Can any of you tell us how many pageants she actually did. Nope!!!! If you would put just as much time and effor into stopping pedaphiles (sp?) as you do in bashing these children and their families for doing a hobby they so love maybe you would make a difference in the world.
    You want to say we are abusing our children for spoiling them rotten, letting them play dress up and allowing them to show off on stage while spending every moment with them then go ahead I will be the first to say that if that is child abuse then i "abuse" my child!!!! She goes to bed every night with a smile on her face knowing she is loved and wakes up every morning with the same smile knowing she will be loved even more.

    Now for the person who created this site and stole these pictures off of the net you are doing it illegally and breaking the law. All pics are copyrighted and you must have permission from the parents to do so. Just because we allow them to be posted on PAGEANT sites and PAGEANT PHOTO CONTESTS does not mean you can take and do whatever you want with them. Also just a little FYI, most pageant mommies are VERY protective of their children and are very well off and will SUE your ass in a heartbeat. They love their children and the only exploitation is you posting their pictures so that you can get a thrill out of bashing innocent kids.
    And your little artical you swiped from another site without the authors permission is not factual. I for one know that the pageant she went to was not in Texas.
    Who takes the advice of anyone that will criticise a mother for putting her kids in pageants but then turns around and calls babies crazy. Come on now I know your mothers taught you better than that.

  8. Thanks for all your sweet comments.

    For those who have concerns about copyright, I have linked the thumbnails back to their original source, and they are used as 'fair use', a legal exception to copyright.

    Jokeronmars, I have no idea who Cali-Reese is, but I will certainly replace her photo if you specify which child she is.

  9. Cali Reese is the beautiful little girl in blue...with the remarkable blue eyes...and doesnt need makeup to win anything, but she sure loves wearing it.

  10. After seeing Cali Reeses photo on someones public blog..and that person pointing out all the negativity on the pageantry subject..I have to wonder.... What kind of weirdo goes to a childs beauty pageant, that does not have a child there competing? I this person a stalker..or maybe a child molester? As a pageant parent, I have to wonder why on earth would you go to a pageant if your not interested in pageants? To simply pick it apart? I have to say this...watching ONE pageant from the side lines does not make you a pageant expert nor does it give you the right to put down pageants because you obviously know nothing about them. The kids that compete in pageants actually LOVE being on the stage. Its true alot of parents put their infants in pageants for the fact that they think they are the most beautiful baby in the known universe and want everyone else to know it too..but by the time they are two years old they are a natural on the stage. They have confidence and love being in front of an audience. So they wear make up, who cares. Dont little girls in a ballet recital wear make up? And what about little cheerleaders? They wear make up too. The truth is, any child, or adult on a stage with lights is going to wear make up. Its funny how people are so quick to pick apart little pageant children and not one thing is said about children in tap or ballet wearing makeup. And you want to talk about overbearing parents? Try looking at little league. Those parents get outright ugly. In fact, I have never seen a pageant parent on the news beating up a pageant child or another parent like weve all seen about sport parents. Soccer moms, little league dads and football dads seem to be psycho. Maybe you should attend more than one pageant and see how things really are. Kids love to dress up. They love the attention. Any negativity is brought on by outsiders, not the pageant family. Outsiders love to point fingers and pick kids apart but are never one to see the real side of things. The confidence pageants build, the friendships that are made, and the one on one parent/child time that the child loves to have. Any child will tell you it isnt about the awards, its about the fun they are having. While the person that started the original post was only a bystander at a pageant and wanted to pick pageantry apart....perhaps that person should get to know the people that compete in pageants next time, and write about that. I would however like to know why she was even at a pageant to begin with.

  11. Jokeronmars - the blonde or brunette in blue?

  12. oh duh. lol. i didnt notice their both in blue.
    The one in the middle.

  13. Done.

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  16. Okay I just have one or twothings to say about this. First of all, people like this are usually the ones with kids who don't win pageants and never could to begin with OR-the moms are so jealous we have beautiful daughters that they cannot see straight. No one on the outside looking in can judge us because they have no idea! As far as i am concerned, Karsyn, Kennedy, Braley, Cassadee, Cady, Brylee, Baylee, etc, etc, etc, LOVE doing this and it has become a routine in their lives because they love it sooooo much. I don't know about all of you, but if there is an upcoming pageant and I even mention it to Braley, she is lit up and ready to go. This is not just competition. It is family. It is a love that these girls have for dressing up and feeling like a "queen for a day". They love the fellowship with their friends and we moms love to hang out and get to know each other. I fully believe that the pageants give our daughters a foundation that they carry with them for all of their lives. They achieve self esteem, confidence, poise, and a sense of belonging. I cannot express enough that if you are not a member of the pageant world, and you are out there bashing these kids, you never understood to begin with and you dont fit in, so you never will!!!!!. Stop bashing our kids and come to our side and try it. It is fun, and there is NOTHING -wrong with fun .

  17. Well, after my dismay at finding my child's photo on this site, I must respond to some basic misconceptions. First, if the problem is with pageant participation, the photos shown do not reflect that situation. My daughter does not compete in glitz pageantry but has won several photo shoots and loves the "girly" fun that goes along with it. To her it is rather like Turbo Glamour Shots lol. I don't take her to the mall much less church or school looking as she does in her photo. Second, no fake hair or teeth have been used in her photo either. I will not begin to debate either side of the pro/con pageant issue. There's not enough time in the world;o) My request is simply that you refrain from using photographs without parental consent especially given that they don't support your claims.
    That being said, kindly remove my daughter's photo from your blog (the brown feather boa and grandma's vintage hat), thanks.

  18. Hi Val, the photos have been rotated. Sorry for the delay, I was out of town.

    I agree that there's not enough time in the world to debate this issue! ;) There are plenty of people with viewpoints on all sides of the issue, and I'm sure we're all tired of it by now. I appreciate your polite request, by the way.

  19. God, people, give it a rest. You pageant moms are making yourselves look worse by talking about how poor and ugly other people's kids must be.

  20. Thank you :)

  21. What's with all the wacko parents who come here ranting and raving like lunatics? Maybe if they spoke intelligently about their beloved pageants people would better understand why it's so fricken fantabulous to parade your small child around while they're made up like hookers.

  22. This scares me too that people will actually do this. I must admit however that my mom wants me to enter my 5 month old in the local Teeny Tiny Miss Swee' Pea Pageant. I have been considering it just because I think it would be nice to meet some new people in the area and maybe make some friends with kids her age to play with. Luckily this pageant is very strict about now fake hair, eylashes, and no makeup for her age the older age groups have to have age appropriate attire and makeup none of that babydoll stuff that makes a 5 yr old look like a teenager of worse a very little trashy adult. I think it might be nice just once for the reason stated earlier bc we dont have friends in the area and don't know anyone with kids her age. They don't even care how fancy the dress is and all the contestants get medals. First place gets trophy crown and sash, 2nd and 3rd get trophy and sash and all others get medals and titles of future Queens. She won't even remember this but I think it would be cute for her babybook to have a little Queen medal. I wouldn't want to put her in any pageants after this unless she chooses too which she may like to do later with her older cousins they have been in the older divisions the last couple of years and love having a day centered around them putting on pretty dresses and winning something even if they arent first. My girl will probably end up like mommy a tomboy till the very end, which is just fine with me.

  23. Beauty peagant should be ILLEGAL! I saw little girls cry in tanning booth while their fat ugly mothers were yelling at them to stay still. Who put children through this?? This society has lost all sense of respect and dignity. I've heard a little girl say, "my mum doesn't like me if I'm pale!!!!"
    This is pure exploitation and this must be banned.. whomever think beauty pageants are normal and like any other hobbies, is a really sick and BAD mother.
    So, you Miss Pageantmommy! Leave your child alone and stop grading her on how she looks. Shame on you for allowing her to be in an environemnet that requires her to take sexy poses and be dolled up like a small hooker.
    Shame on you!

  24. What I am extremely confused about is the fact that most of the people insulting " us pageant mothers" have never been to a pageant. All pageants are not about glitz, but that seems to be the only pageants anyone every posts pictures in regards to. There is an entire circuit of pageants that are strictly natural. This means no make-up, no tanning, no false lashes and no age inappropriate clothing. Now with that said, I do not see any of you insulting Miss America. Do you think that those women are competing in there first pageant? NO!! It takes time to learn the skills to take part in a pageant. Pageants build confidence, poise, public speaking ability and good healthy competition. These pageants are no different than competing in sports, it is not always the most beautiful child whom wins. I say child because there are just as many boys as there are girls that compete in the pageant world today. To say that we are abusing our children is a major overstep on the part of the accusers. Have any of you been to a ballpark lately? Parents screaming at there small children, belittling them because they made one wrong move. I would say that falls more along the lines of abuse. The point is I myself have never encountered a single girl at a pageant that did not want to be there, simply because there would be no point. If your child is not happy and having a good time on that stage you will not win. Now as a mother whom has both participated in pageants and sat on several judging panels, I would say to all you that do not agree with pageants. I am sure upon scrutiny from other parents, your parenting skills could be picked apart piece by piece, finding many things that are not agreed upon. However since you are the parent, as am I, I believe that is your choice to make and no once else has any right to judge you for it. Especially since most of you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.