To encourage my girls to do pageants?(176 Posts)
Ok, sure I am going to be blasted here, however:
I am in the UK, where the pageant scene isn't nearly as bad as it is in the USA. My daughters WANT to compete and ooze confidence and stage presence. They both already perform in dance festivals and talent shows and love the whole dressing up, being beautified thing. My eldest is 10, my youngest 4 next month.
I would never "expect" them to win, or put pressure on them if they didn't do well. I am not into "sexualising" them or turning them into mini adults I just think they would enjoy the experience and it would be good for them.
Yabu. You sad, sad woman
Because you would be teaching them to judge themselves, and others, on appearances.
"It would be good for them"
No, it wouldn't. YABU.
YABU I am guessing this would involve make up and posing and being judged on your 'beauty' - brilliant life lessons for girls right there
I would keep encouraging the dancing and acting, and nip "being beautified" in the bud. Let them be children - childhood is over all too quickly.
I fail to see any benefits they will gain from pageants that they won't get from dancing/acting.
What Pozzled said.
Get them to aim for a good career that uses their brain. It is a much bigger favour to them.
Yes, it would be really "good for them"
If they're already doing dance shows and so on what's wrong with continuing those? At least the focus there is on their talent.
Can you explain in what way "it will be good for them" please ?
I would go for it if they would enjoy it. My Dd would love to try it too.
are they the kind of dance shows that require them to wear neon lycra a face full of glitter, fake and and hold their legs over their heads ...if so - maybe pageants would be better?
You say they already "ooze confidence and stage presence. They both already perform in dance festivals and talent shows" so what would they get out of the pageants that they don't already have?
Do more drama, more dancing instead?
If they enjoy performing, encourage them to sing or learn an instrument. Pagentry is at best, empty; at worst, actively damaging.
I would always have been hugely anti pageants. However a couple of years ago one of the student teachers at school went home and entered her sister in the Belfast rose competition as joke. As revenge, her sister then entered her too. My friend ended up winning and is still having a fantastic time through this; there is so much more involved than I ever knew about, and she has been in a position to do a huge amount of high profile work for charities that are important to her. It would seem that not all of these competitions are solely about appearances and surprisingly (for me) there was a huge amount of weight placed on personality, values and general life skills that I would never have thought would be involved. I don't know if this particular one is different, or if perhaps these pageants are developing to be less one dimensional (or maybe they never were as one dimensional as I believed them to be).
Your three year old 'WANT[S] to compete and ooze confidence and stage presence'? Are you sure?
If you want them to maintain self confidence, don't enter them into this kind of bullshit.
Why teach them that the only thing that matters is their appearance? Surely everyone wants more than that for their children?
Course there is. Every beauty queen wants World Peace.
I think it's sad that you think it's good for them to believe that their only value is in their looks. Putting makeup on children and dressing them up like adults is completely unnecessary and inappropriate.
don't these pageants get expensive with all the costumes, fake tans, make-up, nails and so on? Couldn't you imagine spending all that money on singing lessons, drama classes or something instead?
Haha, well yes there is of course the miss congeniality edge to it all....
Pagents do sexualise young girls.
Its nasty, horrid stuff for people with little taste and no sense.
It's fucking shallow. Get them into drama if they ooze that much stage presence. They are inevitably being sexualised if they're coated in makeup etc.
I really, seriously would not do this. Children grow affected and self conscious if they're scrutinised and encouraged to think how pretty/charming/talented they appear to others. If they have genuine skills in the arts, there are far, far better ways to develop those skills. I would also be very concerned that you will be leaving the door wide open to eating disorders in later life. Puberty will soon change your older daughter's body; this will probably be stressful enough without her thinking about pageants. Although I can see why you think it's nothing more than a nice experience, and it could be as a one off, I do think you're playing with fire. Fine to enjoy dressing up but learning to evaluate who is the 'best' is something you should be discouraging.
Carry on with dancing/drama etc, but kiddie pageants - really??
They may have fun doing them
or not, but the lessons they learn by having to alter their appearance in order to be rated highly is a deeply pernicious one.
Are your trying to be the British Mama June?
honey boo boo
If your child dances and doesn't win a competition they can go away practice more, get a different routine and come back and try again, where is there to go from not being 'pretty enough' to win one of these, go away lose some weight and dye your hair then come back and try again? I'm sure their confidence won't last long if you go through with this
can you expain for me (clueless about pageants) what the actual aim of a pageant is? and what you think your girls would gain from taking part?
What's the difference between the OP's scenario and Victoria Beckham allowing Romeo to prance around a studio in make-up and hair gel with drug-addled anorexics? He has been judged - by all of us.
YABU having the name Sparklymommy
As to the pageants, meh. Will you encourage your sons to do body-building from the age of four as well?
I would feel uncomfortable entering my children into a contest about appearances. If they didn't win, they would feel like they weren't pretty/cute enough. I would hate for my child or anybody elses to feel that way.
"They both already perform in dance festivals and talent shows and love the whole dressing up, being beautified thing."
But children don't need to be "beautified". They are already beautiful!
I hope this is a wind up.
It won't be good for him. It'll teach them that other people have the right to judge them on their appearance, that they're obliged to be attractive, and that they're 'losers' if they're not amongst the most attractive.
Go abseiling or something. Seriously.
Would you be unreasonable to encourage your daughters to be judged solely for their looks rather than their achievements, their attitudes to others, their intelligence, their ambition, their ability to make a real difference to society?
World peace and love, people.
Its horrible - my cousin "lets"
makes her dd do this - she is 9 years old and has pictures of her plastered all over facebook in really dodgy costumes and make up, she is entering her into all sorts of talent competitions too - singing songs that are not age appropriate - i have to sit on my fingers because i don't want to upset anyone, but i think its a vile thing to do - its like she is living her dream through her child.
As for doing it when your child is 4??? yuck I think its borders on abuse actually.
Yuck yuck yuck.
Why in the name of arse would anyone want to teach their daughters that looks are something to be judged on, and that you can "fail" at being pretty enough, or wearing nice enough clothes?
If they like performing, then let them do more of that sort of thing. Then at least if they compete, they're being judged on something that they have control over, ie can practice, work harder and improve.
There's a thread about the women on The Apprentice, and why they are plastered in make-up with their hair all over the place. The answer is presumably that they are used to being judged on their looks, and are therefore resigned to using their appearance over and above their skills and talents. Is that what you want for your daughters?
Just read that your eldest is ten. OMG. This is a crucial age. You should be telling her what a great personality she has, remarking on when she has done something brave, or original, or funny, or clever...
I don't know if I'm getting it right myself. I've a dd roughly same age. I tell her that oh yes, as a bonus, you're fortunate that you have a nice face. But then I follow that up with 'but you're not obliged to decorate the world'. My son told my dd she needed 'no no' recently and I gave out to him and said no she did not 'need' no no. she was under no obligation whatsoever to be bald. I told son that unless he was going to wax every last hair off himself he had no right to ever judge any woman for being hairy. he said 'can I go to the shop on my bike'. BUT STILL. message out there, I hope.
I don't feel peaceful and loving <stamps feet>
d'oh silly me - wind up thread, nice try OP
No Miss Congeniality crown for you then, Maryz
what ruby said
dancing fine, drama fine
Your youngest. Is. Three.
Is this a wind-up?? I really hope do.
No no no! My mother had the ill thought out idea of entering my sister and I in a local 'carnival princess' competition when we were children. My sister won. I came er- nowhere and it further compounded my feelings of being the ugly duckling that had been hinted at for years. We spoke about it recently and both just thought what WAS that shit? Keep up with the acting, pageants are damaging to your girls.
Leave them alone to be children
Yabu. Can't you encourage them to read books, climb trees or other fun and innocent activities? Pageants are shallowand unpleasant.
There's nothing wrong with this at all.
But only if they're pretty. No sense entering ugly children, is there?
Gosh. Just think, with all that confidence and pageant style imagine all attractive rich men they'll attract when they're older.
With any luck, they'll land a minted husband before they're 25. Maybe even....^a footballer^!!!
OP, less than 2 months ago you posted to say your 10yr old DD was overweight and you were struggling to cut crisps/chocolate and other junk from her diet.
How on earth is the constant rejection she's going to face if she does pageants, going to help her self esteem?
Please think about what you're saying....
And honestly? It's for your confidence isn't it? Not for your daughters. Find another way of boosting your self esteem.
So, OP, any thoughts on what has been said so far?
In what way do you feel they would benefit from entering pageants?
Genuine question, asked in the most peaceful manner.
<<sprinkles petals around the thread>>
Please don't. There's no earthly justification. If they love the stage, get them into some kind of drama class.
Yes, the world heaps undeserved praise upon beautiful women. Why throw them into this ugly reality at such a tender age?
Sorry Poppy . I'm nice really
most of the time
OP, less than 2 months ago you posted to say your 10yr old DD was overweight and you were struggling to cut crisps/chocolate and other junk from her diet.
This is not going to end well, is it.
There is a huge, huge difference between dance competitions and pageants. When you compete as a dancer, you are being judged on your ability to dance. While I accept that not everyone is cut out to be a ballerina/professional contemporary dancer, IME as a dance teacher I've never known anyone who can't achieve a beautiful performance of some degree with hard work and dedication. Therefore a dance performance is a showcase of your hard work, commitment and talent.
When you compete in a beauty pageant, you are being judged on your physical appearance, 'likability' and stage presence. Physical appearance you can do nothing about (unless you're going to go down the surgery route, and that's a whole different argument), stage presence you can work on but ultimately it's going to boil down to how 'pretty' you are. So while dance competitions encourage hard work and enforce the idea that commitment pays off, pageants just teach a child that they're 'not pretty enough' and there's nothing they can do about it I know which one I'd let my daughter do.
And, compare this Maryz.
This is a wind up right?
Dancing, talent shows,? Great! Looking nice? No problem. Being encouraged to win because they are more tarted up than the next child?Not so good.
Why would you even want a child as young as 4 to do this?
Just to add my 2p on the matter.
I did pageants as a kid, I was never forced to do it, but my mum did support my wanting to do it.
The plus, it taught me to be graceful (I'm a clumsy fucker by nature) gave me a lot of confidence in front of crowds, I suffered with low self esteem and would stutter when having to talk to more than 2 people.
The downside, I followed this through into my teens, and joined an agency for models and at 14 was dropped from their books for being too fat (probably about a size 6). As a result I developed an eating disorder.
I do use my brain and hold a high level role in a very technical male dominated field, but it was an experience that had both its benefits and down side
I'd say your 3yo is too young, but your 7yo may be mature enough to do it, but make sure you support her, let her know this is just a bit of fun and she's beautiful without having to be judged by others
Ok, so this is the response I was expecting! And, maybe two months ago I would have felt the same. But then I actually looked into it. My oldest has ASKED to do a pageant and that's why I looked into it.
Pageants in this country are not all about the prettiest child. They are about personality. They tend to have four rounds (or outfits, talent, formal, themed and outfit of choice) and its about the child. From what I can see most don't plaster their children in fake tan and false eyelashes. In fact most don't use make up at all. The girls that do pageants are encouraged to raise money for charity's and their are sashes that can be won for the most fundraising etc. how is that different to brownies?
My daughters have both started dance festivals at 3. My oldest didn't start having success with her dancing until she was about 6. She is in a very competitive, very strong group of children who are all very talented and it disturbs me that for a lot of them, placing second isn't good enough. Tears and tantrums ensue because they haven't won. At pageants their are lots of 'awards' and they are judged on many aspects. I don't believe them to be 'beauty' competitions so much as ''personality" competitions. I would never cake my kids in fake tan or make them wear false eyelashes but a little bit of stage make up? Tastefully applied? I don't see the harm.
My oldest is currently a carnival princess (for the second time). I fail to see a huge difference. Again that is not a 'beauty thing' it is a way for Dd to represent her town, raising money for charity and being involved in the town. She makes a lot of friends with girls from neighbouring towns and enjoys the season going out to other towns and sitting on the float. She has, at her own request, entered the competition for that titles four times. This is the second time she has been picked and when she wasn't picked she didn't feel not good enough. She congratulated the children that did get picked and moved onto something else. She is quite mature in that sense.
My dd already does about as much dance as she possibly can. She plays the cornet, sings and reads. She is, I know, a child of ten and also enjoys things like riding her bike, trampolining and playing at her friends house. She knows that in mine and her fathers eyes she is always our princess and we are proud of her which is why she feels confident enough to say she wants to do pageants. As for her baby sister, we will always encourage her to do what she wants to do (within reason).
For the poster who said I was worried my dd was overweight, I have never said she is overweight, I was worried she might become overweight. She has cut down on the eating between meals and that was my concern. She is not as skinny as a lot of the girls she dances with but she is not fat either. We also found, when we went through her wardrobe that most her clothes were age 6-8 and so have been shopping for new ones! She is 10 after all!
As for dance being about the performance, yes and no. Most of the time you can tell which child an adjudicator will pick before they have even danced. The skinny one with good turnout and a long neck. For me, pageants appear to be more inclusive in that sense.
And for people saying its abusive to put my 3 year old on stage: try and keep her off! I actually think its abusive to not listen to what a child wants. If my children told me tomorrow they didn't want to dance anymore then that's fine. My children are happy and confident and that is as a result of the encouragement we have given them. It's not about being the prettiest. It's about enjoying dressing up. You tell me none of your kids have fairy dresses and play at being princesses?
I think it sounds grim. Sorry.
It's the idea that the girls are 'on show' somehow. It is not just about personality either or the girls would be on stage in their play clothes.
I don't like the idea of the children being judged so publicly either.
You are entitled to do what you want with your children.
However for me, it sounds awful. If I was invited to go to a pageant I would decline.
At best it is vacuous nonsense.
You're wasting your breath, OP. As are we.
Well, technically our typing.
Pageants are about being JUDGED. What is the point of them if not to prize one child above all the others? If you want to put your kids through that process go right ahead, though I tend to think these things say more about the parents than the kids. And no, my daughter never had fairy dresses or played at being princesses.
I do think that pageant kids either must end up feeling inadequate at not having won, or develop a rather nasty competitive and superior streak. There's just no need for them.
Well if you expected to be blasted but weren't going to listen anyway why did you post on here?
My 2 and 4 year old DDs would love to eat chocolate all day and stay up til 10 pm. Should I let them because they want to?
Be a responsible mother and don't let them get involved in something that is purely about judging on appearances.
This must be a pisstake, surely?
ruby did you just say "Hun"??
Well. Why are you asking then? Clearly all nine million of us are wrong....but you are right, so go ahead.
I still think its revolting, sorry.
The whole "socialising, making friends, raising money for charity, judged on personality" is so disingenuous, OP.
I think the sparkles brought out the worst in me.
Why, OP, do you think it is healthy to encourge your dds in the attitude that dance is all about competition and winning prizes? There must be something wrong with the dance group they are currently with if that is the prevailing attitude. Can't imagine any dance or drama teachers round here who wouldn't stamp firmly on that attitude.
Surely most areas of the performing arts (not to mention mainstream education and life in the workplace) are about developing your own skills and ability to work with others, not stropping because you aren't getting a prize.
Developing personality = the kind of personality that you need to get on in life, is something far different from "look, look at me" attitude developed by competing in pageants.
If I were you I would try to get the girls into reputable dance and drama schools where they will learn to perform as part of a group and pull together for the good of the show rather than to be picked by an adjudicator. Those are far more valuable life skills and are also very good for developing confidence.
My 16yo started dancing at 4, moved on to drama and is about to start her A-levels in theatre studies and performing arts. She takes part in at least 4 shows a year, sometimes as the lead, sometimes as a humble crowd member. Success to her doesn't mean being picked by an adjudicator, but being part of the success of the show. Whatever she does in life, I think she has learnt something that will stand her in good stead.
They are about personality. They tend to have four rounds (or outfits, talent, formal, themed and outfit of choice) and its about the child. ermmmm if its about personality and not looks why do they need 4 different outfits to show their personality? YABU and know they are heavily frowned upon and looking for a glimmer of acceptability, apart from a room full of other mothers living vicariously through their children, you wont find justification for this anywhere
"Beautifying"?! Are they not beautiful enough as they are???
OP pageants are just grubby. No one with trully talented DC would put them in. No one with any intelligence would put them in.
If they want to perform, then they need to understand that it is all about craft and hard graft. Theyw ill need to work and work and work some more...it aint all sparkles and tiaras.
cory you misunderstand me. The school my girls attend do not put a lot of emphasis on winning. It is children we see at festivals from other schools who have a 2nd isn't good enough attitude. My daughters school enters many groups, with the ethos of all are equal and anyone who wants to be in a group can. We do not have "hand picked" kids.
For those parents whose kids don't play at princesses, I bet they do when they are away from you! If not I feel sad for them. Make believe and role play are important parts of being a child.
It all sounds very passive.
Being beautified, waiting in line to be picked by an adjudicator, even the dancing they do seems to be about being picked and assessed by a judge rather than about doing and learning.
The "personality" the OP talks about seems another word for "attracting the eye of the adjudicator".
op why would you want other people to judge your children in such a way
ok there may be some talent involved a little tap dance but it is mainly about how they look
i can not get why anyone would put their child forward for this what if they come last what message does that give them they do not have the right look to do well and if they come first it is about how they look
it is very fucked up
How the fuck do you play at being a princess?
Unveil a plaque at a new Swimming Pool in Dudley?
Practice looking bored at the trooping of the colour?
Have explicit phone calls bugged and then reprinted by tabloid newspapers?
Doesn't sound much like fun to me.
OP - did you not feel pretty or noticed when you were younger? I just always think that parents who push their children into these things are playing out their own insecurities. Having always been gorgeous I don't feel the need.
You obviously are going to do it, anyway, so why ask a group of intelligent, independent minded women, unless you are looking for controversy? If you want more than to start a bunfight, go to the pageant boards. There are loads of insecure, sequin-headed pushy mums on those. They'll lap you up.
Umm ... Both my boys do drama club - they love it and it certainly builds confidence - but if I had a daughter I'd be totally against her doing a pagent as they're basically a cattle market and can't be a good thing for their sense of self worth.
That said, my niece was Carnival Princess and it doesn't seem to have done her any harm ... She's off at Uni and seems to be pretty laid back about how she looks.
Going to Brownies and playing/dressing up aren't the same things as being entered into a pageant, OP, and I think you know that.
Sparklymommy Fri 17-May-13 08:45:09
"cory you misunderstand me. The school my girls attend do not put a lot of emphasis on winning. It is children we see at festivals from other schools who have a 2nd isn't good enough attitude. My daughters school enters many groups, with the ethos of all are equal and anyone who wants to be in a group can. We do not have "hand picked" kids."
But just now you felt it wasn't any different from dancing, because they would still be waiting to be picked by an adjudicator on very similar criteria.
"As for dance being about the performance, yes and no. Most of the time you can tell which child an adjudicator will pick before they have even danced. The skinny one with good turnout and a long neck. For me, pageants appear to be more inclusive in that sense."
This doesn't seem a vindication of pageants to me, more like an indication that the dancing your dds are doing is possibly not the best for their development. Around here, dancing is about learning skills and putting them together for the good of the show.
Why does dancing have to be competitive? Why not do it to give other people pleasure? The members of a symphonic orchestra or a theatre company don't compete against one another- and they wouldn't be any better at what they did if that was the way they worked.
Dance awkwardly with John Travolta
Perfect Well-Bred Rabbit in Headlights look
Parade around in the finest examples of regrettable 80s fashions
For those parents whose kids don't play at princesses, I bet they do when they are away from you! If not I feel sad for them. Make believe and role play are important parts of being a child.
Is playing at being a princess the only make believe an role play then?
Only I used to make believe I was a school teacher/shop owner/vet/police officer. The list is endless actually but never included being a princess.
I had no idea there would be grown women feeling 'sad' for me
Can't imagine my eldest ever playing at being the princess... she'd go straight to playing the part of the rampaging dragon.
Ok - I get what you mean by having stage presence and oozing confidence at age 3. Dd does Baby Ballet and is in a class with little girls aged nearly 2 to just 3. The is a little girl who has just joined the class who is just like that.
But - that doesn't mean that she should be doing beauty pageants. I don't really think that personality is very important - it's all about the looks and the outfits etc.
And if you really believe that your daughter's ballet competitions is all about who is the skinniest then that is a really good reason to stop doing the ballet competitions - not to start doing more things that judge by appearance.
Why even bother posting on AIBU? It's clear you're not here to get people's opinions, but to try and persuade us that what you want to do is a good thing. People don't agree with you, they've given their opinions. Deal with it.
My mother forced me to enter a carnival queen competition when I was about nine, this is in 1970's. Much more low key but being made to parade up and down on stage and asked questions haunts me to this day. I didn't win and felt I had let my Mother down. A horrible experience all round for many reasons.
I'm starting to wonder if this is the most misguided stealth boast ever.
I did play at being a princess as a child, I used to wear a big flowery nightie out of the dressing up box and a feathered hat BUT no one was judging me.
My DDs play at being princesses. They also play at being pirates, doctors, vets, old women, fairies and animals.
I'm not one to get my knickers in a twist about pink things etc. one of my DDs lives in tutus and is very girly and that's fine. I'm just as happy with that as I am with my two very Tom-boyish girls.
That said pageants are IMO horrid and vacuous. They are focused on appearance. If that wasn't the case why would they need to be dolled up and dressed in stupid outfits and spray tanned?
Stick to your DDs talents etc and stay away from the empty-headed pageants.
No, princess role play is not the only role play, of course not. My daughters play at nurses, teachers, all those 'roles'.
Members of the orchestra usually also compete in festivals. Life is all about competition. Look at sports. So many schools now have non competitive sports days. How is that preparing our children for the real world? Getting a job is a competition.
My daughter dances semi professionally and wants to perform as a career. It is a very competitive world and children need to learn that they won't all get picked all the time.
Basically OP if it was "all about the personality" they could judge the kids behind a screen! It's a beauty contest. Yay! Let's make pre-teen girls even more self concious!
Sadly I bet we get loads more of this nonsense now that thing about lardy rednecks and their glittery mini-pig creature is on the box.
There's a difference between loosing a competition based on your talents, that you can then work on and improve, and loosing a competition because you don't look a certain way. What message is that sending to children? Because to me it's less 'you won't always win' and more 'you're not pretty enough to win.' And that's cruel.
Getting a job (including one of dancing professionally!) is about being judged on actual skills and abilities (including the ability to perform as part of a group); it's not about standing in a line and having the adjudicator pick you before you have even demonstrated your skill because you are skinny and have a long neck (as per your own post).
I have seen many children with performance ambitions in my day. The ones who think it is all about being spotted tend not to get very far. The ones who know it's about graft and knowledge as well as talent sometimes do get somewhere.
But again, you're still trying to change people's minds. Do you really just want us to validate your choices?
My work puts me in direct contact with performing arts children, and I have to say that parents like you are doing their children no favours in hardening then up to "life's harsh realities". They are kids, for fuck's sake. Take away their hope and imbue them with clawing professional desperation and you are setting them up to fail.
What future do you imagine for your children - professionally, that is?
Life is about competition. But it is equally about cooperation. And never more so than in the performing arts. If you apply to drama school, half the audition time is likely to be taken up with activities that show how you work as part of a group.
YABU. Of course,you're being bloody unreasonable.
I so want a world for my DD's to grow up in that has no place for this sort of utter utter crap,and it makes me so bloody that people like you are actively working to encourage this bullshit.
Totally, Cory. I feel so sorry for the pushy kids. It is not their fault.
I was at a dance competition once and lots of the girls spent their time pushing in front of each other and making creepy eye-contact with the judges. There was no dancing for themselves, so it felt like a hollow, desperate display. What happened to the arts being an expression of something? The only thing these tiny dance puppets were expressing was "I want to win."
Shesheloband VerySmallSqueak I completely agree.
I am reminded of two children I know some years ago who both had performance ambitions and both had a certain amount of talent.
One of them had parents who thought the main thing was to be spotted, so they dragged her round to talent shows and competitions. She never was spotted- like 99% of the other children who are taken round talent shows. In the meantime, it was clear to an outside observer that she wasn't actually developing as a performer at all, she wasn't shown what she needed to do, she was encouraged to passively wait to be seen. It was a pity because she was a child who would have happily done things another way and who could quite possibly have got quite good.
The other child had a different approach. He approached it from the pov of learning first and competing afterwards and you could see him developing year after year, though he wasn't engaged in any competitive activities. Eventually he got into a very good performing arts school. He may well be able to use what he learnt professionally.
Quote of the thread: The only thing these tiny dance puppets were expressing was "I want to win."
OP can you explain how a pageant can do any one thing you claim to be looking for (I say claim because I think you're breeding your daughters to be some variation on a beauty queen - WAG or whatever) - better than a good drama or dance class (by good, I mean a class that develops actual skills, dance or otherwise, that rewards hard work with discernable progress)?
<bows deeply, making creepy eye contact ICBINEG>
100% of posters pay yabu.
I don't see that judging kids on their "personality" is any better than judging them on their looks. If your dd doesn't who does that mean someone else has a better personality than her? How do you measure or assess personality?
This has probably been said a million times but I would not entertain the idea of my DD entering these competitions even if she begged me. She was not born to be paraded around in heels, fake tan and make up aged 5 (or whatever)
Fed up with young girls having no aspirations and thinking that if they're beautiful enough, they will be happy, successful and loved.
I used to work with young people and girls would often say 'I wanna be a beauty therapist' just because they knew they could do their own make up/nails/apply fake tan and felt that's all they could do (not dissing that job BTW)
What's wrong with the world, makes me sad.
"Members of the orchestra usually also compete in festivals. Life is all about competition. Look at sports. So many schools now have non competitive sports days. How is that preparing our children for the real world? Getting a job is a competition. "
Yes, true. But none of those things involve being judged on how you look, they are all about skills, talents, experience and hard work. Not parading around in different outfits, which I'm sure wont give your girls useful skills for coping with different kinds of competitive situations as they get older.
the only dancing this does is on the graves of all those who tried so hard to have women taken seriously.
Aw bless you, feeling sad that my girl never played at being a princess (and really, she never did...the whole Disney princess thing bored the tits off her and still does)
OP, you are setting your girls up to be leather-skinned, orange vacuous airheads whose only aim in life "is to be famous". Not for curing cancer mind...just, because. You do realise that, don't you??
My mind is boggling at the idea that it isn't all about looks and yet 50% of the rounds described are judging 'outfits'.
How does one judge or even quantify 'personality'?
Is there a round were the children fill in a Briggs Myers test?
<avoids eye contact with both sheshelob and the creep puppet dancers>
As a former professional actress I can tell you now that nothing your children learn in pageants will help them in a future performance career. It is a very specific set of attributes and 'performing' style. It won't help either child develop their technical skills or learn to emotionally connect with text or music.
It may help their confidence
if they win but performance is only 5% confidence. The rest is vulnerability, talent, hard work and luck. But being vulnerable - allowing your self to disappear into the work - is one of the most important and difficult things to do. It is also completely at odds with the 'confident face and smile' nature of pageants.
(Also, what everyone else said about pageants in general. I'm just picking up on the specific points that DD would like a career in the performing arts.)
OP, you actually sound fairly articulate but every post is a mass of contradictions. You must know by virtue of every single person on this thread boaking at pageants, that this is not one of the better ideas imported from across the pond. We're trying to get away from the idea that girls/women are just objects to be gawped at, you know. It makes me sad that people like you are trying their damndest to perpetuate it. You've had your youth, now please let your kids have theirs without turning them into glorified WAGs.
Spot on, Wilson.
Bit hard to show vulnerability when you have been transformed into a dead-eyed, trophy hunting performatron.
Pretty fucking sad for these kids, man.
I would go one step further, op and say that if your DD wants to dance professionally that she never ever mentions the pageants!!!
To be taken seriously as an artist you must show that you take yourself seriously. And taking part in pageants is the polar opposite of that.
OP, from the first line of your first post you knew what replies you would get by posting this.
You cant get all defensive when you know what the majority of the replies will be.
Each to their own and if you feel that the pageants are what your dd's want to do, then no matter what any here says, you will go ahead and do it. Just be sure that is what they want and not what you want.
Iagree with worra and ginger. My dd never showed any interest in dressing up as a princess. If she had wanted to , she could have. She did have a box full of dressing up things and did like to dress up as a pirate, or a Roman, policewoman (or man possibly), fireman. When I was a girl I never dressed up as a princess either. I did have a cowgirl outfit with holster and a toy revolver, I remember that and I remember pretending to be a teacher and teaching my cuddly toys.
My dd would have hated to be made up to look "pretty" in the sense of wearing foundation, blusher, eyeliner, nailpolish. She did like having her face made up to look like a liion or just soon crazy pattern..
However my dd might be unusual and maybe a lot of girls do genuinely love being made up and also dressing as princesses in long gowns and with tiaras. I bet they would also enjoy dressing as a doctor and playing that role or a cook with a high hat and apron too though. It is about make believe and play. I don't think pageants are like that at all. Everything is done to the dc, chosen by adults, directed by adults and assessed by adults so it isn't play.
I am not blasting you but go and have a good look at a couple of pageants first-hand before you enter your dds would be my advice. And if there is such a thing as a pageant forum, browse it for people posting about problems so you know what to expect. I really wouldn't do it but you seem set on it so check first what you are getting into. I think it is very different to a carnival.
Thanks for coming back to defend (brave!!), it's good food for thought.
The fact that there is such a vibrant lively pageant "scene" suggests that many UK parents think like you & find it all perfectly acceptable. Again, MN is not like real life.
Brownie sashes: they do specific tasks to complete and they get one small badge as a marker of their achievement which goes on a stiff ugly brown shoulder badge, is that what pageant sashes are like? I thought it was just a pretty piece of ribbon?
I agree with those who say don't ask the AIBU question here. Trust your own judgement.
You know your DDs can do charity work without doing pageants don't you? In fact they could do more fundraising in all that time they would have spent being 'beautified'.
If this is real, I think you need to find a better dance class for your DDs, one that is actually focused on dance, not competition. Pretty girls with "long necks and good turnout" will get nowhere in the dance world if they have no rhythm or balance, and cannot co-operate with other dancers in a scene.
Pageants don't encourage any valuable skills - "beauty" and "charm" aka "personality" are not skills, they are random attributes. They also pit girls against one another and are unlikely to promote friendship. I cannot see any value in them.
You are doing your children a real disservice.
I suggest you examine your own motivations
thwarted ambitions and allow your daughters to have a childhood.
What are they going to be like when they are older?
DD is in year 8 (ages 12 & 13). A couple of girls in her class did the beauty queen thing and modelling when they were younger. They are insufferable and all "me me me". They are a pain in class - disruptive and full of their self importance. They also think that they don't need to be educated and have been on report/excluded recently.
Do you want your daughters to end up like this?
OP - "AIBU?"
MN - "YABU"
OP - "No I'm not!"
MN "FFS why ask then?"
OP - takes offence and deploys defensive tactics.
I never get why anyone posts in AIBU unless they are willing to be told they are being unreasonable and learn from it! OP if ou are so right in your judgement, why ask?
I love pageants. Toddlers & tiaras was most addictive on mat leave.
" I actually think its abusive to not listen to what a child wants"
listening to your child is all very well; thinking you have to act upon their every wish without intervening as an adult who has the benefit of sound judgement is altogether a different thing.
FWIW, the teacher who runs our dance class is not what anyone could consider to be a beauty queen / backing dancer type. She is very large for what is a physical job and doesn't exactly dress like a prima ballerina. She has however got superb technical skills, the ability to teach and incredible grace (despite her q significant weight, she's light as a feather when she moves). That's the sort of dance class you want to find.
She is not as skinny as a lot of the girls she dances with but she is not fat either. We also found, when we went through her wardrobe that most her clothes were age 6-8 and so have been shopping for new ones! She is 10 after all! This is terrifying. Hello eating disorder.
DD dances. She is two. We started because it is a way of getting out some of her energy, try to teach her a tiny amount of discipline and
my friend who also has a two year old her friend goes. She quite likes it, it's fun. I doubt she'll be doing it in two years.
The room is full of ex-dancers. Desperate to be thin, desperate for their children to be thin. All the children dressed in home-made dance outfits except DD and her friend. The worst is one mother who is all teeth smiles and lovely except when the mask slips. Her DD clearly does not want to be there. Cries every week and when she does... I once caught her DM, at the end of the room, she didn't know I was there, with her claw hand wrapped around her DD's upper arm hissing at her. When she saw me, back to teeth smiles.
Don't you worry that some filthy pervert peadophile is eyeing up your DDs? Now that may sound reactionary and OTT, but is it? When i look at the costumes and the "tastefully applied stage make up" that my Cousin's DD wears (she is a year older than my 7yo) it makes my stomach turn - and the poses - bottoms and chests out, totally provocative - its sick and i think it should be banned if im honest.
Oh and yes my DD plays at princesses, although she is, thankfully growing out of that now and prefers play fighting with her dad oh and being amy from doctor who.
Oh and yes, the amount of mothers who do it because they dream about britains got no talent for themselves, its sad.
My DD doesn't have a competitive bone in her body, thank the lord!
OP, whenever I see the pageant mothers , albeit on some documentary, they do not come across well. They seem to need their DDs to win in order to validate themselves. They live vicariously through their trussed up DDs and it seems so so wrong.
There are so many other things you could be doing with them.
All these replies remind me just why I love MN so much
and wouldn't be seen dead on Netmums
Most of the time you can tell which child an adjudicator will pick before they have even danced. The skinny one with good turnout and a long neck. Ballet is still rather rigid when it comes to being a certain shape, unfortunately, I'll give you that. But turnout you can work on, and as a jazz/lyrical/tap/more or less any other type of dancer, it really is far more about being a good performer and having good technique than it is about being the 'right shape'.
What confuses me is that you say you like the fact that there are more prizes going in pageants, yet that children need to learn that they won't all get picked all the time. It's either one or the other, do you want your children in an environment in which you think they will 'win' more (for all the wrong reasons) or to learn that they can't be winners every time?
Oh this is all pretty sad.
My DD is 10 and wants to perform with a passion. So we let her take classes in all sorts of stuff - ballet, dance, acting, singing..
she also loves gym and does that too.
Her desire to have the spotlight is a weird thing for me and I have thought long and hard about the extent to which I support rather than indulge it.
She wants to perform to display a talent, a skill, the results of her hard work and learning. Not to be the prettiest or display the best personality both of which have nothing to do with talent and everything to do with putting on a plastic persona to ingratiate yourself with the judges.
I would not let her do a pageant for the same reason I would not ever tolerate her doing x-factor or big brother. They are trite , superficial lowest common denominator excercises in d-list celebrity culture.
I would have thought 'pageantry' would be looked down on in professional performing circles. I can't imagine talented artists would like that this shit is seen as the same sort of thing at all.
If my dd wanted to make a career in performing arts, I'd keep her well away from these lovely little 'personality competitions'
beauty competitions in weird wee outfits
How do they know that they want to unless you've introduced the idea? I'd urge you to consider whether you want your daughters comparing their appearance to others', judging people on their beauty, and being judged themselves, becoming fixed on imperfections.
I would encourage their abilities and talents. Being dressed up like a christmas tree and paraded around for show, like prize bulls, isn't good for them in any way.
MrsBungle I can't speak for the pageant circuit itself, but where I grew up some of the smaller dance competitions had a pageant element. The better regarded dance studios (who were producing professional dancers and choreographers) wouldn't touch the pageant included competitions with a barge pole.
don't want to out myself here, but this morning i heard that three of the boys in my eleven year olds class had announced which girl they thought was they 'ugliest'. ALL of the girls linked arms and went over to the 3 boys and emptied their school bags in the playground. Shook out every last pencil book bag lunch bag drink bottle, stray piece of art work. All tipped out on the ground. I hear the teacher had words but I congratulated my dd on not being drawn in to a competition that no girl in the class had chosen to enter. I said to her good for ye for sticking together like that. Don't let th eboys grade you. The nerve of them! I am proud of them for STICKING TOGETHER LIKE THAT. they wouldn't tolerate being graded and they dealt with it in their own way. Even though the teacher told them off
anyway, they are a sporty active bunch. it would be a different story if they were all encouraged to be princesses. there'd be tears and the 'ugly' one (whoever that is, I don't know) would be in therapy.
The whole idea makes me want to gyp to be honest.
I must be an abusive mother. My child has wanted to stay at the funfair until eleven. I have said no.
She has wanted to go into the city on her own at ten. I said no.
Now she wants to go to the pub on a Friday night. She's sixteen and I'm still saying no.
Call social services, quick!
What Dawndonna said.
We don't let our young children do things that are physically dangerous/damaging, just because they want to.
So why would you let them do something that could be dangerous/damaging to their emotional well-being and self-esteem?
OP is either off watching her 3 year old Blue Steel for a bunch of strangers or has had second thoughts about posting.
"watching her 3 year old Blue Steel"
To me listening to a child means listening to what they want (as long as it is a good thing) and then finding a sensible way that they might have a chance to achieve it, not listening to their often impractical ideas of how to get there.
Dd has always wanted to perform on the stage. When she was younger she pestered me to get an agent and let her audition for films. I told her this was not the right way to go about it if she wanted any longterm chances in the profession.
Instead I encouraged her to join a good youth theatre where she would learn to work with others, I told her she had to read widely to give depth to her performance, and I took her to see shows so she would get to see how real actors do it.
Of course I don't know if dd will make a career out of performance. She may not. But at least I think I've given her a better chance- and the things she has learnt on the way will stand her in good stead whatever career she takes up. So I listened. But as an adult listening to a child.
Why would you want to dash your child's sense of spontaneity and living in the moment?
In order to win these things you have to be aware of everything about yourself so you can manipulate the audience well enough.
But don't you know that winning us everything?! That's why you do performing arts - so you can win in make up.
If she needs to spread her wings, why not drama, or competing in other ways. Why not football? Or learn a language? Polish her brains, not her nails. Beauty fades, other accomplishments are more lasting. Also, being praised for being beautiful is like being praised for being tall, or having two legs - all these are things over which you have no control. Something that requires effort, now that would be an accomplishment.
I don't think that there is a compromise here, is there ?
Pageant vs RL expressive arts
Exhibiting vs performing
Parents who would vs those who wouldn't
I accept that there are more 'princessy' girls and ones more drawn being tomboys, and I know fine well what camp I fell/fall in to
no prizes for guessing.
The whole idea of paegeants just makes my teeth itch. But then again I know I'd be a rubbish Tiger Mother or Tennis Mother or Gymnastics Mother beyond the playful stage.
I think good parenting involves listening to your children and then doing what you feel is right.
Evidence? No. Opinion? Yes. Mine. This is my observation - the OP uses English in a British way.
My opinion is not pejorative, however I don't think this an American person, although to be fair they haven't claimed to be, merely stating they have been in the country for 2 months.
I could go into a comparative analysis of American and English syntax, but I'm not going to, because it's my opinion not a thesis.
That's really heartwarming JennyEnglsh. It's reassuring that some of the next generation have learnt they don't have to fall into those roles. I like seeing actual confidence in children like that - rejecting the boys' right to judge them on their looks instead of reacting to the "judgements"
You tell me none of your kids have fairy dresses and play at being princesses?
Two boys and a girl here. None of them play at being princesses.
I object to unnecessary wigs on small children.
It's a bit like Irish dancing without the dancing.
Also what is with all these threads tonight? Every second one I click on seems to be written to goad/massively passive aggressive/blatant fishing or just really wierd - and not in a good way.
Am giving up on mumsnet for tonight as it's just plain depressing.
Sorry, Klepto. You misunderstood my post. Was an excited "ooo" rather than a confrontational one. I was intrigued, rather than having a go.
I have two girls of 10 and 6. They play Princesses, they love pink and sparkly, they dance, sing, act and do gymnastics (all both competitively and for fun) and are girly girls to the core. But there is no way in hell they would be entering a pageant for two very different reasons.
My 10 year old is borderline eating disordered, anxious, obsessive and has very low self esteem. Performing brings her to life, she adores it and she is good at it - but anything that judges her on her appearance rather than her talent (ie something she can't work on) would break her.
My 6 year old is a shameless exhibitionist, performing monkey and has rather a good opinion of herself. She is very talented and she knows it. She would probably love a pageant but it would be terribly bad for her in the opposite way to my older daughter - she would be insufferable.
So, whether your daughters are confident and extroverted or shy and insecure, I think pageantry is a very bad idea.
If your children want to do it and you're not sexuallizing your children, let them.
Pageants have a stigma on them because of Toddlers and Tiaras. But the whole point of that show is shock value. Sticking your kids in drama lessons instead wont necessarily be as fun for them as pageants, and to some extent I think you should ignore some of the worrywarts on this thread.
If you look at the outfits used in Latin American/Ballroom Dancing, they can be just as open and "sexuallized" as in pageants, and I bet not many who are condemning pageants would condemn dance lessons in the same way I did Latin American/Ballroom/Disco Dancing as a child and wore such outfits, but I'm not the type of person that people seem to think becomes of such clothing. Whether or not it's a good idea for younger children is something to think about though, obviously.
Also, although there are kids like Honey Boo Boo (and family) there are also mums on T&T that are the polar opposite, and their kids still do well.. Just because everyone else seems to be going over the top doesn't mean you have to.
People also like to forget that the "sexy" dresses and tons of makeup are part of Glitz pageants, which are known for over sexuallization, while normal pageants actually go on personality & talent as well as looks as they often have a talent round instead of the "outfit of choice".
(Kids often get marked down if they have tons of makeup and flippers (teeth thingies) while in Glitz pageants they get marked down if they don't have these)
Forehead slappery, Eaten. I mean really, what is the distinction, by your lights, between drama and pageants? You say one is more fun that the other. Why?
If you had a son would you enter him into a pageant? Or would you think it was fucking ridiculous?
I was a girly girl who loved dancing and performing. I loved my little dance group when I was aged 10/11.
When I was 13 I joined a 'cooler' dance group with my friends. I thought I was good and loved it. Until we had to perform at a festival in town. The dance teacher took me to one side and told me I needed to get better, learn to keep my head up and smile properly.
Totally destroyed my confidence and I can still feel that hurt now.
I don't have DD's but I would avoid anything like pageants or dance groups like the plague if I did.
Forhead slappery, Kleptronic I said it wont necessarily be as fun for them. Some kids might like drama but not pageants, some might like pageants but not drama.. I thought it was obvious what I meant but clearly it wasn't.
(To clarify; sporty kids might find football more fun than rugby but it doesn't mean that they're not into sports/energetic)
Yabu. I think you have enough responses to understand.
nametakenagain surely it's the reasoning not the number of responses that matters? If 50 people said "YABU becaue you're a horse" and one said otherwise, that doesn't make the majority right
I'm sure you know what's best for your DDs?? I haven't read the whole thread as i can guess as to whats been said...if you want them to take part in pageants, and they enjoy it, then let them, if they don't, then....erm don't.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.