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Miss Universe has just finished, little girls the world over watch these freakishly tall skinny giraffe women and think to themselves “I want to be like that girl!”

For a lot of little girls and more importantly, parents of little girls around the world, the road to miss universe starts with a child beauty pageant, and now us Australians can join in. Melbourne hosted our first American style child beauty pageant where little girls and boys between 0 and13 can compete to be crowned little Miss/Mister Bayside, that’s right, there are tiaras involved.

The pageant, which costs $100 to enter, will judge the girls and boys on modelling, talent, how they photograph and answers to a series of questions. Organisers of the Pageant insist it will not be “over the top” like US versions where pre-schoolers are plastered with fake tan, make-up and big hair, but a quick google search of “Little Miss Bayside” brings you to the kidspot website which has the details of the pageant anda photo showing two very young girls in swimming costumes plastered with make up and smiling like there lives depended on it. The pageant organisers may claim that the competition is merely for fun, but things quickly get out of hand.

When children are that young, their personalities are still forming, their sense of identity and self-esteem are still being built. Family psychologist Andrew Fuller said pageants could lead to competition, anxiety and embarrassment.

“This is a good recipe for how to predispose your daughter into having an eating disorder,” he said.

“The risk is that they suddenly fear that their body shape is more important than their intellect.”

Five year old girls should not have to worry about whether they are “too fat” or how they compare to the beauty of other girls.  There is enough undue, exaggerated focus on superficial beauty in this culture without children being pitted against each other in a contest of looks.

There are so many things about these pageants that just don’t sit right with me, children and toddlers with make up plastered over there faces, hair sprayed to the point it wouldn’t move in a hurricane  it’s all just a bit… bizarre and disturbing. 

These freakshows are not cheap either, according to the Pageant News Bureau the pursuit of a title and a tiara has grown into a $5 billion-a-year industry in America. An estimated 3,000 pageants draw 250,000 entrants a year, and parents spend thousands of dollars on pageants. Some want their children to gain extra poise; others hope that their children will become the next supermodel or a movie star. You can even hire yourself a pageant coach, that little “neccesity” could cost you up to $1000 a day.  Not to mention wardrobe consultants, physical fitness trainers, speech coaches, voice coaches, etiquette lessons, salon services, talent coaches, resume writing, tanning, evening gown, rehearsal attire, bathing suits, opening-number outfit, interview suit, talent costume, accessories, and many, many more things. It is entirely possible to spend upwards of $100,000 dollars to get a little girl ready for one national contest.

Of course, anybody associated with these pageants is quick to jump to their defense, apparently these competitions teach children “poise” and “confidence.”  That’s right, because nothing brings a little girl confidence like being compared unfavorably to other little girls. Lets cut the bullshit here, becuase for all their cries of “poise and confidence” these competition are called “Beauty pageants” not “Poise and confidence pageants.”

Don’t do it Australia, lets nip this thing in the bud and say no more pageants, don’t exploit your children to live out your own failed dreams. Let children be children, let them enjoy their lives without pressure and dissapointment.

Having said that, it does make for awesome reality televion.


Comments on: "Child Beauty Pageants, Harmless Fun? Or Vomit-Inducing Child Abuse?" (30)

  1. i think beauty contest are stupidd.the picture of the five year old gurl was horrible….

  2. Child beauty pageants are vomit-inducing child abuse that should have banned in the first place. But no, all we get is a bunch of really dumb parents who think it is okay to sexualise their kids who cannot make any informed decisions in regards to beauty pageants. A child should be allowed to be a child, not be made into a mini-adult.

  3. I keep on wondering and I cant find any single reason why any mother or father would like to see their 10 year old girl haired-up and painted as a prostitute…
    I don’t know if it can be considered abuse, but it is quite vomiting for my taste, and I fear that these girls grow up, gain weight, turn emo and end up getting a shotgun and shooting people at a MacDonalds.

    • Well said, Cris. Maybe it could be worse if some of these girls grow up, turn wild and end up becoming train wrecks who are unhappy on the inside where they turn to booze and drugs to drown their anger and depression.

  4. Eden Woods Mom said:

    Look at my daughter shes rich famous beautiful and giving me all the big bucksI made her to that beauty pagent and I regret it now because now shes a brat I dont even include her as my daughter because shes so stuck up

  5. Eden Woods Mom said:

    HAHA psyhc you did not really think I was eden woods mom did you? cmon she is a @#$%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. American Anti-Pagent Mom said:

    You guys want to put a stop to this before it gets to where it is in the US. It’s a pastime of trash, which should be obvious since anyone with any taste or brains would not want to tart up their babies like this. Go to You Tube and watch some of the stripper moves they teach toddlers. Gross!

  7. Caitlin said:

    Well i’m 17 and I do pageants, i”ve only done them for a year now, but i haven’t seen any of the things ya”ll are talking about, there are also natural pageants, where there is no makeup and no “stripper moves”. I got into pageants when i was 16, but i’ve wanted to do them since i was little. Some girls like dressing up, and i was deff. one of them when i was little, pageants give girls the opportunity to dress up in the most sparkly dress they can find and since ya”ll seem to watch the TLC show, i’m sure you’ve noticed that most of those girls WANT to be in the pageants, so if the kid wants it, i see no harm in letting them participate. its like baseball, without broken bones and more shinny trophies, who wouldn’t want to show off how beautiful their kid is?

    • grumpy-guts said:

      Kids that age don’t need makeup, they have the most beautiful skin, and people pay thousands of dollars for chemical peels to try and get their “youthful” skin back. These poor little girls are going to look like leather handbags, covered in acne, by the time they’re 16.

      If a kid wanted to smoke, would you hand them a cigarette and a lighter?? Kids don’t always know best. You’re different, you’re 16, and old enough to make decisions for yourself.

  8. i think the parents that enter their child in to the comp do not deserve to be parents!! all children are cute!! WITHOUT make up!!! SICK!!

  9. I’m loving that this has got people talking. Thanks for the comments guys.

  10. Clpp&Smidd said:

    Me and my friend are doing a podcast on this topic personaly I think its soooo gross…. little kids deserve to have a normal child hood they have their whoooole life to worry about how they look, girls this age should be riding around on their dads shoulders instead of worring about weight!!! Alot of dance parents are like this too and hockey dads…. but at least hockey players dont look like tramps

  11. Clpp&Smiddy said:

    My friend and I our using this as a school podcast topic. Seriously little girls should be running round get piggy backs from their dad’s instead of worring if they weigh over like 40 pounds. It’s sad, Dance is the same way the girls have years to be dressing like tramps and wearing to much makeup *hello highschool*.Let the kid pick dont keep them in it cause you are a little pysco, let kids be kids

  12. localpageantmom said:

    I have seen many child pageants and both my daughters have done a few and have won trophies. I have NEVER seen anything like these little girls or the pageant girls on tv. Where are these girls??? Fake hair, fake teeth, fake tan?? These girls would not be allowed to compete at our pageants.. They would look so completely out of place. My little girl is five and she is a huge ham and loves to get up on stage and have fun. She doesn’t wear any make up but she did get to wear a pair of tiny high heels which she was very excited about. Anyway, she does local pageants and we have a lot of fun shopping for her pretty gowns and hair bows, getting dressed up and practicing her wave and walk. IT is all for fun, but the girls can win money for college when they get older and even win money in her age group. Also there are scholarships available to the girls in pageants. Of course the media is going to blow everything out of proportion and put only the freaks on tv or NO ONE would care. The pageants, for the most part, are quite tame and boring. But all pageants are different,keep in mind that anyone can start a pageant tomorrow: rent a ballroom in a hotel, charge hundreds of dollars to enter, buy some cheap sashes and trophies and call it MISS ?? whatever. Some of the pageants even help the community and donate money and food to charaties. My point is………..you cannot judge all pageants because there are a few moms out there dressing their little girls this way. The pageants we are involved in say specifically: no hair pieces or make up. There are “glitz” pageants and “natural” pageants. I could go on and on, One must educate themselves on all the vaious pageants. I can only speak for my family. I have five children. My little 5 year old princess and I use the time preparing and going to the pageants as “our special time” together. She laughs and giggles a lot, she makes friends and talks to EVERYONE. She can’t wait until her next time on stage. She feels beautiful and is proud of her huge trophies. Big deal. I also believe ALL girls are princesses and beautiful just the way they are.

  13. Thank you.. I do not understand why all pageant are classed as these high glitz pageants. Whats the difference in high glitz and pee wee motor cross? At least a dare devil jump that killed a child has never happened on a pageant stage. My daughter competed and won many titles. I do not for one second think that a small child needs taught the crap some of these people are pushing. But here’s the thing, it’s their child, their money and their choice. I do not have to agree with it. Neither do you. We had cotton ball swab testing and a cup handed to the judges for each section of the competition.. make up = no no.. So as far as pageant being a bad thing. No, they are not. They teach poise and confidence, public speaking skill, and the ability to follow direction. Much in the same way dance class builds their bodies, pageants build their minds. As far as sexualizing their children.. You are sick to think a baby girl in a fancy dress has anything to do with sexualizing a child.. Maybe you are just a pervert that needs slapped.

    • As I stated above in my post, it’s all very well and good to say that the pageants promote “poise and confidence” but in the end they aren’t called “talent and poise pageants” are they? They are beauty pageants and I am personally hugely opposed to children being judged and competing over how they look. How do you think that may affect the values of a small child with malleable mind? If you as parents place them in pageants that focus on looks then it is likely they will grow up believing that their looks are their greatest contribution to the world, and the world is already shallow enough. As for the bizarre allegations that I am a “pervert” who needs to be slapped, well that’s hardly worth responding to, but I’ve got a spare minute so here goes: if these pageants are supposed to be about fun and glamour and being a kid, then why on earth do they need the wigs? The flippers to cover the fact that they are missing a tooth (yes children lose teeth, how abnormal) and why do we need to see and judge them on their swimsuits? You say that you don’t compete in pageants that promote these things, good for you, but they DO exist. If it makes me a “pervert” to think that children should look like children rather than trashy 21 year olds then that’s fine with me. Thanks for reading but you don’t need to threaten the author of a blog that offends you. Just try and relax and remember it’s a comedy blog, not the New York Times.


  14. I don’t see anything wrong with it. I definately would not call it sick and stupid. I took dance classes growing up. They held recitals and we had our costumes made and wore makeup. IT WAS FUN! What I dont like is perhaps the choice of song and dialog in some of the acts today. I also dont think its healthy to have pushy parents. THAT is the sick part. I think I was lucky in that respect. Let me remind you critics out there: No one complained about Shirley Temple and look how popular she became!!!

  15. I will admit the “pageants” are a little extreme. Not too healthy at a young age. Why cant they just hold their little recitals and be happy with it? As a child, I was too busy to worry about becoming Miss America! It’s laughable.

  16. All forms of dance is an art! Yes, even pole dancing!

  17. I guess the sad part is that there are kids on stage without an ounce of talent that have been pushed to the front of the line by their parents. They have no voice training, no dance training, just getting out there all dressed up and shaking their booty (as they say). I would think if you were going to get a child involved in something as importants as a “pageant” you would see to it that the child was prepared first and enjoying it. I can see Caitlins point and the benefits of scholarships as being a good thing, but like everything else, doesn’t it take a little WORK?

  18. What do you people do, post and RUN?

  19. wow..are you kidding me? some of these comments are just so ignorant and goes to show people really shouldnt be talking about things they dont understand. Being in a pageant isnt stupid or vomit inducing. It teaches these girls more good than it does bad. Just because they have their hair and make up done doesnt mean anything. little girls all over the world play dress up and im SURE they get into their mommys make up and hairspray and have a blast, the only difference between that and this, is that these girls are on a stage having fun and those girls are at home having fun. Its cruelty like this that makes the innocence go away, let these girls have fun and love what they do. It teaches them discipline, manners, self confidence, to be outgoing, it helps some pay for college and has MANY more benefits. shame on you to say such hurtful things!

    • So now, people trying to protect childhood, innocence, and dignity are ignorants.

      Try to read La societe du spectacle, from Guy Debord, you will see, how putting everything into a spectacle is a form of taking out the person, and making a product. Basically this parents are selling their daughters. And the girls are understanding that their only value is
      sexualising themselves, faking, and being completly artificial, who are they really? Are this barbie android postal? or are they a sum of doubts, emotions, imagination, and uniqueness? were is this last at this overdone makeup, false teeth, and high heels?

      And the mothers,,,how pathethic,,,monsters against the gender,,,provoking this poor girls to exchange their own sanity for the crumbs of love they throw to them,,,thy should be put in jail

  20. Vomit inducing, peagents must have been created by pedofiles. Think about that PARENTS, it’s a show off to pedofiles

  21. EDith Karcag said:

    This practice should be against the law. In the meantime, put these parents in jail!!!

  22. its just kids dressing up and having fun winning crowns and money! it makes the feel like a princess but on the other hand if the child doesnt want to do it them its different then!!! x

  23. […] there they are. Like some kind of vocal Child Beauty Pageants. Tiny girls singing these very grown up texts of love, horror, horniness, death and the beauty of […]

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