Just say the word “Beauty Queen” and you’ll think of sparkling smiles, evening gowns and diamond tiaras. Following the success of films like Drop Dead Gorgeous and Miss Congeniality, beauty pageants have grown in popularity in Western culture. There was a time when pageants were exclusively for girls and women over the age of 18, but now there are pageants for girls under the age of 12.

At first, the idea of ​​a girl participating in a children’s beauty pageant is a bit shocking, however, if you think about how naturally little girls walk into their mom’s closet and try on jewelry and shoes, pageants are just an extension of childhood dreams of being a princess. If the clothes a child wears in a beauty pageant are tasteful, there is no reason to object to them.

Different rounds in a beauty pageant allow children to develop skills they may need later. For example, interview rounds can teach participants articulation, expressing opinions, and general public speaking skills. Beyond that, they’ll learn how to be themselves and feel comfortable talking to more people, which is crucial when a school situation might require a presentation in class.

The talent portion of beauty pageants allows children to develop their talents, and having to perform in front of others helps them overcome shyness. One of the main reasons parents put their children in children’s beauty pageants is to help boost their self-esteem. While not every child will win the full game, every child will receive a prize for participating. In addition to this, these pageants also encourage children to be more comfortable in their own skin.

Many parents of children with birth defects put them in these pageants to teach them that they are no different from other children and can participate in things other children do. It goes both ways, as children learn not to judge others in the game, if they are disabled, it becomes more acceptable; if many children rarely interact with disabled people, which they cannot do.

Beauty pageants give kids the chance to be princesses for a day, which some might feel encourages kids to grow up too quickly, but if kids have good parents, there’s no reason to think about it. I know from experience that young girls spend hours daydreaming about wearing diamond tiaras, heels and makeup.

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