Almost every parent believes their child is the most beautiful, because we love them, and to us they are. Nearly every parent loves to show friends and family photos of their child, show off their new cute outfit etc… But then there are child beauty pageants, where parents place their children in competition against each other for the most talented prettiest performer.     

Starting from the day a child is born, yes there is a division for 0 – 11 months year olds, parents have the option to enter their child in to a beauty pageant. Many parents enter their children believing that beauty pageants help their child develop confidence, teach them to be a role model and give them the opportunity to win money towards their future education. On the other hand, Child beauty pageants have been highly criticized for creating low self-image, superficiality, over sexualisation of children, eating disorders and stealing a child’s childhood. Parents who enter their children are criticized as trying to live out their life, ambitions and need to feel beautiful again through their child, coercing their child to perform under stage mum pressure, to help them feel better about their lives. Other criticisms include forcing children to wear make-up and inappropriate clothing for children of that age.

Despite the high levels of criticism and many calls to have these pageants banned, they continue with parents always defending their stance for entering their children and seeing nothing but good in it.

So how do you feel about child beauty pageants? Should they be banned? Are we who criticize just misinformed of the benefits? Are parents who enter their kids deluding themselves about the benefits?