Toddlers and Tiaras on LifeStyle YOU has sparked huge debate over whether kid’s beauty pageants are great confidence boosters or just plain creepy.
Most, like Herald Sun writer Cheryl Critchley, think they reflect poorly on the children and the parents. “The other night I watched, transfixed, as truly awful stage mothers trowelled make-up on their five-year-olds, doused them in fake tan and teased their hair to the heavens,” she said. “One eight-year-old, tarted up to rival Tammy Baker for a beauty pageant routine, swivelled her tiny hips and pouted "I'm so hot tonight" … It was like watching a car crash. It was so, so bad but I couldn't turn away.”
But whatever your view of the phenomenon you better hold your breath because it’s coming to Australia.
Melbourne based company, Little Miss Bayside, will host its own child pageant in June, 2010, in response to the “huge popularity” of such shows around the world.
But pageant organiser Laura Buik insists her event will not be an over-the-top forum for stage-mothers. "Images of American child beauty pageants have at one time or another made us all cringe - myself included," she told the Herald Sun. "But the Little Miss Bayside Pageant is not about false teeth, fake tans and over-the-top rhinestone-encrusted gowns. We want to encourage children and promote self-esteem through a fun and supportive experience."
The pageant will consist of three main sections - Modelling & Interview Questions, Photographic and Talent. Entrants will pose in a formal gown, casual outfit and sport or swimwear and can choose whether to wear make-up or not.
Many psychologists and their mothers have been very vocal about their disapproval of these events because they say it teaches children to believe that being beautiful is everything.
What do you think? Are toddler beauty pageants okay?
Catch Toddlers and Tiaras on LifeStyle YOU.