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Beauty Pageants Moms: The Stereotype

the real glitz pageants moms

You've seen the stereotype with glitz pageants. And if you haven't seen it, you've surely heard about it. You know - the typical beauty pageants mom. The one with bad teeth, ill-fitting clothes, and a fifth grade education. The ones who live in seedy singlewide trailers. Sometimes they're called "trailer trash." Instead of spending their money wisely to improve their station in life, they blow it all on beauty pageants for their daughters.

I'm here to tell you, that is NOT the typical pageant mom! Sure, I'll admit there are a few of that type, but that's what they are - few. Most pageant moms are middle to upper-middle class, with nice homes, nice cars, a college education, and a sense of family values.

All kinds of kids enjoy competing. Some are children of doctors, some of lawyers, some of teachers, and some of accountants. There's absolutely nothing wrong with beauty pageants as long as the kids want to do it and the parents have the right attitude.

Contestants who enjoy competing can gain a lot from the experience. It improves their self confidence, it allows them to make new friends, and it gives them a chance to be a "princes" for a couple of hours. They can also win money, savings bonds, scholarships, and all kinds of prizes. My granddaughter and niece have won bicycles, DVD players, cameras, toys, luggage, stuffed animals, dolls, jewelry, and furniture, along with the monetary prizes.

I must admit, however, that I have often wondered about people who obviously could ill afford the inherent costs involved with pageants compete. I remember once my granddaughter was in a pageant out of town. We were out in front of the auditorium when an old station wagon pulled up. Out piled a large family who definitely fit the stereotype. I'm not sure they had a full set of teeth among them. Some were barefoot, and the men wore overalls with no shirt underneath. As they parted, I saw their little girl that was going to be in the pageant. She was beautiful, with long blonde hair, big blue eyes, and a smile to die for. She had on a pageant dress that must have cost close to $2,000.

I wondered why they didn't put that money into dental work, or clothes, or shoes. But after I thought about it a while and watched the obvious pride they had in their little princess, I began to see the other side.

Maybe this was the only thing in their lives that made them feel good - that made them feel accepted. Even though they were poor and uneducated, they had something beautiful that they wanted to show off. Maybe they thought that the scholarships the little girl could win would be her only chance for a better life. Maybe they thought that by learning interview and speech skills and how to carry herself and dress for success would be her ticket out of poverty.

When the judges see the contestants on stage, they don't know the girls' backgrounds. Reputable pageants use out-of-town judges who don't know the girls competing. The girls are judged solely on their stage presence, personality, dress, poise, and facial beauty. The older girls are often judged on interview and speech, also. Maybe this family felt like a pageant could be one of the few places where their daughter would be judged fairly and not for who she was or who her family was.

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Bubber on August 08, 2013:

I relaly needed to find this info, thank God!

Ailec on August 05, 2013:

I think s long as the children are happy and not prreeussd or forced to do them then its okay!! but you also have to make sure that the glitz girls that young in age understand that they are still pretty with out all the make up caked on their face. Its also hard to have both natural and glitz girls in pageants because if the glitz ones win more than the natural then the natural girls will be lead to think that they can not be pretty or they can not win without make-up!! no one or nothing can be categorized or put down as a whole! every situation is different depending on the person!! No one can tell you what you are doing is right or wrong!! they are your children and i would hope you only wanna see them happy so they must be!! Good luck to your girls in the pageants to come!!!

MommaFox on April 08, 2012:

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I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate that you took the time to look at that family though a different set of glasses. I was that little girl. Perhaps not to the extreme of bare-foot parents but I came from a poor background non-the-less. I raised money to compete by seeking out sponsors and selling advertisement spaces in program books. I found businesses that stood behind me and supported my efforts to advance myself. Through pageants I gained composer, people skills and most of all confidence. Neither of my parents graduated high school but they are both very successful in their careers fields. They supported me but if I wanted extras I had to fund them. I do agree with Steve though pageants today are not above child pornography. There are natural pageants that do not allow enhancers or skimpy outfits. Ms. Crystal I understand your angst however there are programs offered to children for dance, karate, etc. at little to no cost for children that comes from low income families. Every child should be given equal opportunities to succeed no matter what educational, social or monetary background. On a side note my parents had all their teeth. I have all mine. I do not allow my children to compete in any pageant other than natural. My girls compete when they want to and not because I make them and only when I can afford them.

Crystal on April 07, 2012:

If someone wants to do pageants that's their business. I do think some take it to far but that's not fore or anyone else to judge. My daughter competed twice when she was small and done very well. I just couldn't justify the cost. Alisha your comment bothers me for one reason and that's because you state you receive government assistance and your child takes dance, ice skating, and now pageants. Wow!! What nerve you have. We have been blessed with the means to support our family and your child's extra curricular activities! I'm thankful we do not need government assistance but we also can't afford all the activities your family seems to enjoy. Guess I can tell my daughter it's ok that she doesn't get to take dance because my taxes are paying for your daughters classes. Btw your welcome!!!

Steve on January 26, 2012:

These pageants are a disgrace. Spin it any way you want, but it doesn't change the fact that CHILDREN are made up to look like sex objects. It makes me sick to my stomach.

If you want to have pageants, then why not just have liitle girls step onto the stage and be CHILDREN??

Maybe someone defending these sick spectacles can explain to me why 7 year old girls needs to shake their bodies in a provacative manner while being adorned with $2,000 dresses, spray tans, false teeth, makeup, wigs, false eyelashes etc.


alisha on January 25, 2012:

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about this subject. I guess im one of those poor people you are talking about. But i have all my teeth and have done a year of college at 23 maintained 8.3GPA while being the single mother of an 2 year old. I ended up having some personal difficulties and now I have to receive state aid for me and my little girl who is 4 now. She will be going to her first pageant this weekend (natural). I don't have the nicest clothes because everything i have i give for my daughter. She does dance and ice skating. I get her the best because I don't want her to feel like the poor kid. I want her to do better than me. I love her.

Emma on December 24, 2011:

Wow... the last part about the girls coming from troubled backgrounds really made me think. We're so quick to judge people based on their appearances and who they're related to but we never really stop to think about the other side's point of view. Very beautifully written article, and I look forward to reading more tomorrow (or at a later date). :)

all on November 01, 2011:

soooo stupid.

cheap lace front wigs on March 21, 2011:

Reasonable.I agree with you.

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