As someone who has seen a few episodes of the TLC hit Toddlers and Tiaras I find myself confused about the premise of these child beauty pageants and what exactly they are preparing these little ones for in the future. The “glitz” pageants are just that; glamor, glitz, sparkles, and a gallon of hairspray and spray tan on tots who usually appear to be bored senseless. (Or dead behind the eyes. It’s hard to tell which it actually is.)
Is this a springboard for a future modeling career? Not to be rude, but it doesn’t seem as if many of these girls are going to be tall, lithe supermodels, so unless it’s a career in commercial modeling they are after, probably not.
Is this training for future public speaking and appearances? Possibly. This experience performing on-stage does seem to give the little ones practice with making eye contact with the judges, carrying themselves with confidence before a crowd, and practicing poise under pressure.
Is this a tool to teach children the value of a dollar? Yes and no. These pageants are very expensive (like any other sport or hobby), and like most extracurricular activities, children don’t quite grasp the amount of sacrifice and expense involved. However, they seem to understand perfectly what winning money means and how it can affect their chances to have more “stuff”. (more…)