Demonology website perspective: Some of the parents take their children to these pageants for the prize money, indicating the abuse we will allow in the name of money and survival. For most thought, it is a matter of the parent living their projected idea of self-image through the child – and within this manifesting the next cycle of self abuse within who the child will become based on the designs these children are molded into. The parents will argue that these pageants are supportive of the child - however, one is able to observe if one looks behind the veil – the starting point of the parents (usually the mothers) and the way on which society manifests the idea of beauty – which is seen in how these mothers attempt to mold the children from a young age – into the image of beauty and self definition as a picture presentation of what ‘adults’ are supposed to be and act like. The pageants then become an energetic possessive state from which the parent participates – through which in time, the child (who from birth did not know about the concepts of beauty pageants and all it entails) is programmed and systematized in their expression. Therefore, the parent brainwashed the child through training facial expression, physical behaviours and personality patterns, until they become the characters through which the parents can make money or fulfill their own self-value, through the appreciation that the child gains by possessing themsleves into these ‘images’ and ‘acts’. For further perspectives, please see the recommended reading below.
For a practical examples of these programmed images and acts discussed above, we suggest go to Youtube and type in ‘Toddler Beauty Pageants’
Child beauty pageant
Beauty pageants started in 1921 when the owner of an Atlantic City hotel struck upon the idea to help boost tourism. However, the idea had already circulated through “Most Beautiful Child” contests held in major cities across the country. The Little Miss America pageant began in the 1960s atPalisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. Originally, it was for teenagers from 13 to 17 years old, but by 1964 there were over 35,000 participants, which prompted an age division. The modern child beauty pageant emerged in the late 1960s, held in Miami, Florida. Since then, the industry has grown to include nearly 25,000 pageants. It is an increasingly lucrative business, bringing in about a billion dollars a year.
The murder of JonBenét Ramsey in late 1996 turned the public spotlight onto child beauty pageants. Critics began to question the ethics of parents who would present their child in such a way. Dan Rather was noted for criticizing CBS for airing Ramsey’s tapes, calling them “kiddie porn.”
In 2001, HBO aired its Emmy-winning Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen, which garnered much attention. Additionally, TLC has created shows such as Toddlers & Tiaras and King of the Crown, the former dedicated to the world of High Glitz child pageantry and the latter to the world of pageant coaching.
Besides the laws that regulate child education, pageants are a relatively ungoverned program. Child contestants are not considered “working”, so pageants are exempt from federal child labor laws. Pageants also have different rules, so it becomes hard to set a law that will cover every pageant. New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Arkansas, California, Vermont and Maine do not have any laws regulating pageants.
While most beauty pageants cater strictly to girls, there are a growing number that include boys as well. Often, age divisions for boys run through age 6 with very few going beyond that due to lack of participation and public perception. Age divisions will often have names such as “Baby Miss”, “Petite Miss”, “Little Miss” and more. Age divisions are generally broken as follows: 0-11 Months, 12-23 Months, 2-3 Years, 4-6 Years, 7-9 Years, 10-12 Years, 13-15 Years, 16-18 Years. For boys, sometimes two age divisions would be merged such as 0-3 Years, 4-6 Years, etc.
Depending on which type of pageant system is entered, contestants will spend about two hours or less in actual competition. Typically, pageants have a guideline of “no more than one and a half minutes on stage” per child for beauty/formalwear and other modeling-based events. Talent usually is limited to two minutes or less with the rare exception allowing two and a half to three minutes.
In Glitz pageants, it is expected that girls will have different “routines” for every segment of competition. Routines are composed of different movements sometimes described as “sassy walk” and “pretty feet” and more. Facial expressions can include liberal amounts of “duckface”. This style of modeling is often referred to as “Pro-Am Modeling”. Tom Hanks had a fairly decent example in his parody video. Big hair (including fake hair), flawless makeup, spray tans, flippers (fake teeth) and nail extensions are also expected of contestants. Glitz pageants may best be described as “anything goes”.
In contrast, natural pageants have fairly strict guidelines regarding clothing, makeup, hair extensions, etc. Programs such as National American Miss forbid any makeup other than non-shiny lipgloss and mascara for girls on stage. Modeling style is often referred to “Miss America-Style”. Some pageants have a proscribed set of movements while others allow a little more latitude in how girls will use the stage/runway.
All pageants have slightly different guidelines, rules, criteria for what they judge on, and events. Events may include sportswear, swimwear, evening wear, talent, interview, writing skills, and modeling. Children are critiqued on “individuality, capability, poise, and confidence.”They compete to win a variety of prizes, such as electronics, toys, scholarships and grants, cash, tiaras, sashes, robes, and trophies.Trophies can be taller than the contestants themselves; in the “Our Little Miss” pageant, the World level trophies can be 5 to 6 feet tall.Some pageants do their best to make every child feel like a winner. There is a queen for every age division and there are Ultimate Grand Supreme awards, Mini supreme queens for certain blocks of age divisions (0-5, 6-11, 12-16, 17 and up). There are also side awards and overall side awards.
A rising trend in pageantry is the online, specialty or mail-in pageant. Social media sites like Facebook have many photo contest and pageant pages where contestant’s photos are judged by how many “likes” they receive. There is even a website devoted to this type of pageant program. Unlike the live/on-stage counterparts, contestants in an online pageant submit an application and photographs/videos for judging. Judging criteria can range from past pageant achievements, numeric scale ratings and essays. Winners may be awarded virtual prizes such downloadable certificates and being featured on a pageant’s website or physical prizes and gifts such as tiaras, sashes, medallions, toys and more. Entry fees typically range from $5-80 depending on the type, level and scope (local/state/national/international). Many are seasonal or theme-based. See here for an example. Others may be a counterpart to a live/on-stage event.
Some pageants are a for-profit business venture while others are run as non-profit organizations. Typically, non-profits have low entry fees and sponsor a charity or other humanitarian organization.
The average cost of a pageant depends on a few factors: Glitz or Natural; Local, State or National; distance from home; costuming requirements.
Entry fees can range from free to many hundreds of dollars. Additionally, optional events or side awards may be offered for an upcharge as well. Many pageants offer a “Supreme” title which can include hundreds to thousands of dollars in cash or savings bonds as an added incentive to enter every category. Typically Supreme titles are only available to those who enter a certain number of optional events.
Many pageants are held in hotels and require contestants to stay on-site for at least one day or more due to the pageant schedule. Hotel rooms for pageants generally range from $99-179/night depending on where the hotel is located.
In a glitz pageant, makeup and hair are typically done by a professional makeup artist.Natural pageants do not generally require a professional makeup artist or hair dresser although some girls choose to use them in the older age divisions.
Dresses and themed costumes can cost anywhere from $50 to $8000, depending on the designer, the amount of adornment on the garment and whether the gown was rented, purchased used or purchased new. Many pageant moms pride themselves on making most of their child’s pageant wardrobe as a cost-saving measure.
Additionally, some parents hire pageant coaches to teach their child professionally choreographed routines and/or work with them on interview questions/answers. Regardless of pageant style, glitz or natural, it can be beneficial to have an unbiased opinion on interview and clothing choices. It is estimated that the attire and props as they relate to costs of putting a child through a beauty pageant can range from $300 and upward of $5000 depending on the level of competition.
Parents have confessed to spending over $30,000 on pageants for their small children on TLC’s show Toddlers & Tiaras. There have even been cases of families going into debt or losing their homes because of overextending family resources to cover the costs that the pageants required.Anecdotally, parents with the fewest resources seem to be the ones spending the most in the hopes that their child will be scouted by a modeling or talent agent.
To defray the cost of competing, contestants may sell sponsor tickets or advertising pages for ad books in addition to having local businesses, friends and family sponsor them with donations. Sponsor tickets can range in price from $1 to $10 and are entered in raffle drawings for cash prizes.
The reasons for entering a child in a beauty pageant vary based on regional location and parent education level. Generally speaking, the main reasons given are to boost their child’s self-esteem, as well as teach poise, public speaking skills, tact, and confidence.In many cases, parents are convinced that their child will be scouted by a modeling or talent agency.
Mental health and self image
In a study published in 2005, eleven women who had competed in beauty pageants as children were compared to a control group of eleven women who had not competed. They were compared in different areas, such as BMI, age and overall body satisfaction. In general, this limited study found that those who competed in beauty pageants as children were more dissatisfied with their bodies, and had greater impulse dysregulation and trust issues than those who did not participate, but showed no significant differences in measures of bulimia, body perception, depression, or self-esteem. The authors acknowledged their small sample size reduced the conclusiveness of their study.
While the nature of child pageants is not inherently sexual, certain types of pageants create an atmosphere in which wearing heavy makeup to emphasize full lips, long eyelashes, and flushed cheeks, high heels to emulate adult women, provocative dance steps, flirtatious poses or facial expressions, and revealing “evening gowns” is not only preferred but expected if a child is to take home the ultimate prize.