When you have a beautiful little girl, it can be tempting to sign her up for a beauty pageant here and there. What’s the harm, right? Sure, not everyone is as seemingly awful as the people on “Toddlers and Tiaras,” but reality isn’t too far off. There are a few things you should seriously consider before enrolling your child in one of these events. The Child Development Institute reports:
- Exorbitant Expenses—Manicures, spray tans, and hair extensions can get expensive. Imagine how much those things can cost if your child needs them every weekend? It turns out that “many pageant moms report spending tens of thousands of dollars each year for their daughters to compete in pageants.”
- Catty Competition—Extra curricular activities should be fun for kids, and offer them opportunities to make friends, get some exercise and learn a thing or two. Unfortunately in the pageant world, a few too many moms “target their child’s biggest competitor with gossip and criticism.” More often than not, the unsuspecting kids are disqualified because of their parents’ bad behavior.
- Super Sexualization—There’s not such a thin line between a cute little girl and a child who is dressed far too maturely for her age. And yet, many parents seem to cross that line when they enroll their daughters in these pageants. “Provocative clothing, dirty dance moves and makeup artistry that turns the face of a seven-year-old into that of a 17-year-old are commonplace in the pageant world and soon become the norm instead of the exception.”
- Predator Potential—Of course, while much of the pageant audience is comprised of parents, other competitors, and judges, there is often the concern that people with other intentions can attend the events. “Whether pedophiles attend the pageants or simply collect the adult-looking photos that many pageant moms love to post online, the mini contestants may easily be exposed to those with a sick interest in them.”
So the next time your daughter is just too cute to handle, capture the moment on video and share it with friends. Spare her the dark side of the pageant world.