Friday, January 4, 2013

Let's Examine Supposed Pageant Positives

"The beauty of Your majesty awakes my heart to sing.."

Positives to the pageant experience? Are there any real ones? Why chose pageants as a hobby?

Many times professional pageant mothers will talk about the benefits of why they do the pageants. They usually cite things such as building self confidence in their daughters or sometimes talk about how great it is to be able to put aside money for that child’s college education via the winnings. Other advantages claimed are that this is the child’s passion, what they love to do or that this is a great hobby to bring mother and daughter closer together, that it creates memories and new friends.

So let’s examine those ‘benefits’, shall we?

1. “
My child loves doing pageants and she begged to do them.” - Seriously, do you really expect anyone to believe that one? A three or four year old wants to do lots of things, some of them not so good for them. If the child had been asking if they could play in traffic or get a tattoo would you have allowed it because the child begged you? What about eating potato chips and chocolate for every meal? If every parent gave into unhealthy whims by justifying it as something the child wanted to do our social services would be even more congested with glaring examples of bad parenting.

2. “
We’re putting aside money for college using the winnings!” - I’d bet if you simply added together all the thousands you’ve spent for that tin foil crown, cheap satin sash and wad of cash you’d find that you have actually spent many times over again anything you have won. If you’d had simply salted away the money you’ve spent away in a mutual fund or a simple low interest savings account you’d be much closer to the possibility of paying for your child’s education.

3. “
It gives my daughter self confidence” - Teaching a 4 or 5 year old how to dance, or how to sashay in a silly dress is not what builds true internal self confidence. A well rounded person who is truly self confident realizes that there is more to life than having others approve of your external appearance and spends time developing personality and intellect as well. Encourage your daughter to read, to play, to interact socially with others her own age in a non-competitive manner. Take them to dance lessons or the local museum. There's nothing wrong with building self confidence in your child, just don't fool yourself into thinking that will happen with pageants.

4. “
My daughter and I are closer than ever. This is something we do that brings us closer and she‘ll remember it forever.” - I’m sure your darling over painted daughter will confirm this even after all the hours you’ve spent bullying her around to be perfect, dance perfectly, sing perfectly. Is the memory you wish to make one of you standing over your child screaming at them to do it again or that they screwed something up again. Are you even sure she’s going to remember much? Years of research have proven that very few memories are retained from before the age of 4 and the years 4 to 6 only hold a few more. Most memory is imprinted in humans from the age 6 onwards.

5. “
We’ve made so many great friends this way!” If this is the case then why are there so many hate fueled jealous rants spayed across internet Particularly on the Voy.com message boards? Back stabbings, cattiness, downright character assignations seem to flourish in this ‘hobby’. Granted, anything done in a competitive milieu brings out a thirst for blood among the competitors but children's beauty pageants seem to make it into a new art form.

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