Toddlers and Tiaras (and Tantrums)

Jessie Anderson, Writer

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If you have ever seen Toddlers and Tiaras, you have witnessed the spray tans, extensions, diamonds, dance lessons, and money that all go into creating the perfect pageant contestant. Let’s see if these pageants are worth the investment.

 

Pros:

  1. Contestants learn the value of hard work. The pageant coaches push their clients to practice until the routine is perfect. Coach Cambrie, a coach on the show, says that in the glitz world, you “ need to have a good body even at 5 years old,” to win.
  2. Contestants gain more confidence. Pageants teach the contenders to perform under pressure in front of the judges and the audience. Contestants are forced out of their comfort zones when they must memorize routines and perform for the audience. Winning competitions teaches kids that hard work pays off.
  3. They are exposed to job and internship opportunities. Although the pageants on “Toddlers and Tiaras” do not offer these opportunities, pageants like Miss America offer scholarships. According to missmissouri.org, a subdivision of Miss America, contestants are required to complete community service “to discover the impact they can have through service.” Physical recreation is also required to “show perseverance and improve their fitness.”

 

Cons:

  1. Pageants can become “too much about the beauty.” Contestants can begin to believe that winning is all about the outward appearances. Winning can make one become overconfident about their looks.
  2. There is also the crushing pain of defeat. Contestants may believe they were not “pretty enough” to win, and feel that all their hard work was wasted, so they lose self-confidence. Parents place lots of pressure on the kids, and they seem the most disappointed. Kids can feel like they aren’t “good enough” for their parents.  
  3. The excessive exercise can be tough on the body. Exercise is important for staying healthy, but in the pageant world, the types of exercise the five-year-olds on Toddlers and Tiaras do seems extreme. The toll this exercise takes on the body can add up in the long run. If you have seen the show, you will remember Honey Boo Boo, a previous contestant featured on the show, and her  “go-go juice” that she drank to stay awake. Pixy Stix are also a common form of fast energy. The sugar crash must be awful.

 

Overall, beauty pageants are not all bad, but the sassiness displayed by the toddlers on the show and the immaturity from the parents make me wonder if the cons outweigh the benefits.

 

Picture credit: http://viralcircus.com/15-quotes-from-kids-on-toddlers-and-tiaras-hilarious-wise-and-adorable/

 

Sources:

http://www.missmissouri.org/duke-of-edinburgh/Leader-Handbook-for-MAO.pdf