6 Year Old and Pagents...

Updated on February 11, 2011
M.W. asks from Columbia, TN
19 answers

My 6 year old's babysitter was watching that show Toddlers and Tiarras with her... Now she wants to do a pagent. I don't know that I really want to encourage her. I have seen the show before, and I think it's a pretty crazy environment. She really really wants to try... but I don't think she really understands all the work involved. I'm pretty sure she just fell in love with the pagentry itself. She has some really cute dress up clothes, so I tried inviting her friends over for a 'pagent party' (we had a tea party, then all the girls dressed up and put on a pagent for all the parents. It was really cute! lol)... while they had a blast with that, it just isn't enough for her. I just hate the idea of allowing her to compete in a real pagent, and then not winning a crown because she isn't 'pretty' or 'talented' enough... not the message I want sent to her. I haven't really done much research on it (yet)... Is there a less intense pagent circuit out there that is more for fun than competition? If I can't find one... would you let your DD compete in an actual pagent? I would obviously do my best to explain to her that the girls who do win have been training and working really hard for it (and if she wins, I would try not to let it go to her head too much) I just see how crazy these pagent people can get... but I don't want to shoot her down without giving her the chance to at least try, if that's what she wants. Should I let her compete until she decides she's done if I can't find a nicer circut? The money part isn't really an issue... obviously I'm not about to spend thousands of dollars on one dress, but if she decides this is what she wants to do, financially we would be able to handle it.

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answers from Chicago on

Have you ever watched the show? Most of those little girls AREN'T having fun. Their parents think they are, but they aren't. We watch the show because... well ... it's horrifying really. It's like a bad accident, you can't look away. Most of the families on there seem like white trash in my opinion.

There are so many more worthwhile things to do with little girls. How about dance lessons, karate, horseback riding lessons, ice skating, soccer, etc?

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Personally, I wouldn't allow my daughter to do it. I don't judge others for doing it, but it is not my cup of tea. And I don't want my daughter to think that she has to be "pretty" to be a winner.

What about dance classes? She can get some exercise, instruction and wear all of those cute costumes at the recital.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Lexington on

Why on earth is your babysitter letting her watch toddlers with tiaras - totally inappropriate! Beyond that, this is one of those things that snowballs once you start it. You have hair, makeup, dresses, shoes, training in some talent, travel, staying overnight . . . etc., etc., etc., This is also a LOUSY way for a child to develop self-esteem - it is primarily based on appearance - that is a lousy message to send to a kid - Ultimately the pageant circuit is cut-throat - if not the kids, then the moms - I think that if she does not see any more shows (toddlers and tiaras), she will likely let this idea go . . .Otherwise you just have to be the Mom and say NO

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would never allow my 6 year old to do a pageant. I would be condoning the teaching, that physical beauty, is what's important. That if you look good enough, are well liked enough, and have fancy clothes...people will like you and you will be successful. I have known 2 people who did the pageant circuit thing (random, I know!) and they were so screwed up as teens and now adults. They are in their twenties and getting fake tans, implants, botox, and various other surgeries. I'm not saying your daughter would do all that. What you have to realize, is it's setting your daughter up to have a distorted view of value, beauty, and what's actually important. I just think pageants are totally wrong and creepy. I'm not trying to be insulting, it's just my opinion.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Oh my, I watched that show ONCE on Netflix with my very down to earth daughter, and she just went NUTS wanting to do it! (She's almost six.) I think to them, from the outside, it just looks like playing dress up on steroids, and I mean, who doesn't want to wear a beautiful ball gown and fancy tiara?

I would never EVER allow her, push her, encourage her, or anything to do a pageant, and my husband would DIE before he allowed it. I honestly believe (and I don't care if someone gets mad) that it's TERRIBLE for their self esteem, and teaches them to value the most ridiculous things.

However, there's a solution...get your daughter some fancy play dresses (believe me, you can find fancy ones that aren't too expensive...try costume shops, Cracker Barrel around Halloween, etc) and some fancy jewelry from Claire's around prom time (coming up!) some gloes, shoes, whatever...and let her play at home.

Because, and I honestly believe, the only thing THEY get out of it is imaginitive role playing, and THAT you can provide! Without all the insanity!!

Good luck, and stay sane and pageant free! :) I am so with you, though!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Let her try if that's what she wants. You don't have to over-think it, just find some low-level pageant to put her in for fun and don't spend a lot of money on it. You don't have to go to the excessive level of that tv show.

I used to be way anti-pageant, but I've lightened up on such things.

Make sure she's involved in other things just to balance out the trivial, superficial aspect of pageants.

Most things we do in life involve some level of competition, so competition in and of itself isn't a bad thing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am bewildered that anyone would be encouraged by that show. It literally makes me ill.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree with the mom that suggested dance. She'd get to be on stage in a pretty costume--and that's all they really want!

Otherwise, why not let her try it once? We were watching a lot of American Idol and my 9-year old decided that she wanted to be a singer, just like American Idol! She has sung in front of family and she has an okay voice for a 9-year old but nothing like the super stars. She was dying to try the Kid's Idol at our park district and she begged to have me sign her up so I did. She sang on the stage and had fun, but she was eliminated right away. She wasn't crushed, but was disappointed. However, it gave her a good idea of what goes into singing and she got to hear the girls that were really good. She said it was boring waiting on the sidelines.

She hasn't given up on singing for fun, but she changed her mind and wants to be a dancer--something she's really good at!

So I don't see a harm in trying something once. Sometimes the kids' idea of it is nothing like what it's really like. Just find a low-key one and have her try it. And I wouldn't put it down if you've never done it! Pageants don't just create appearance-obsessed teens. Some of them turn out to be very poised adults!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

If your daughter is a beautiful child, why not find something for which she can use that beauty with a little more substance? Like Dance, or gymnastics.
My daughter was crazy gorgeous too when she was little (still is). She was a competive gymnast for many years. Beauty is def a part of it, but so is strength, determination, dedication, teamwork, and self respect.

Just my $.02.

Have her watch Dancing With The Stars, or a televised international gymnastics competition.

Winning (or not) based ENTIRELY on looks, is not the message I want my daughter to have.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

No, I would not let my daughters do a pageant (sp?).

How about a local theater company that offers children's programs?? That would allow her to dress up, do a 'talent' (sing/dance) AND she would be learning to work with others rather than against others.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Buy her some more dress up outfits and call it a day. Sounds like you did a good job of trying to give her the experience by having a great play date. I wouldn't want my daughter competing in anything that's based on looks (no offense to others who like that kind of thing - really). But I'd like my daughter to be admired for her character traits - honesty, loyalty, sense of humor, good morals - rather than her looks. Not everyone is a beauty (I think my daughter is beautiful, but she's my daughter and others may not think so but who cares?). I think that trying to foster good self esteem by doing pageants is counter-productive. Find something else she can excel at. Buy her some build-a-bears with some pretty dresses and bathing suits and have her hold a teddy bear fashion show or call it a pageant if you want to.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I have a friend with a 5 yo who is into pageants but they only do the "natural" ones...no makeup or big hair.

I'm not a fan of the whole pageant concept (thank God I have a boy!) but if she REALLY wants to do it, maybe look into the natural ones.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

There are several kinds of pageants, glamour and plain clothes. I have been interested too. K has so much fun watching those shows. I know it would be for fun if we did them but they can be expensive if you do the glamour ones. Way to much unneccessary stuff in my opinion but if K wanted to do one that we could afford we might do it. K is in dance and this kind of stuff can only enhance her stage presence.

A friend of mine from high school has a daughter that is just now a Senior in high school and has a lot of money put back for college already by doing pageants. She just competed for Miss Teen Oklahoma. They get all kinds of incentives for doing these and get money for college. They are not all bad.

Google them and see what you can find in your state. Each child wins a crown as far as I can tell. No one goes away empty handed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

i would say this since i already wrote you a personal message. if you choose to let her try pageants go natural or for a face pageant. fabulous faces is great, nes, cinderella, or our little miss. theres no harm in letting her try a few. if you decide that you would want to do glitz get her a coach it will help her since she is going into a very hard group of girls that have been doing it for a few years. start off slow and work on her poise on stage and being relaxed.

my daughter is 3 years old and she has been doing pageants since 14 months. up until now i havent really wanted a coach for her. but got one since she will now be going on stage alone after her 4th birthday next month and the next pageant she will do as a 4 year old is a state pageant.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Personally, I would not do it. If I was going to spend money on an activity, I would rather it be something that allows her to learn some kind of skill or helps her develop into a more well-rounded individual - such as music lessons, sports, karate, cooking or art, summer camp, etc. I just can't see how pageant competition could be beneficial in any way. My DD is only 3 but honestly, if she was 6 and thought she wanted to try it, my answer would be sorry honey, but no. Like some others have suggested, there are other things she can try, like acting or dance that might be better - or even cheerleading.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

How bout just taking her to a pagent to watch it "live" and be a spectator. In the mean time explain to her what it really does entail. She might just get a kick out of a Mommy and Daughter day out viewing a pagent just like going to the show or something and that would be enough to fill that void. I'm sure pagents are expensive and time consuming so it's definitely not something you would want to chew off if you arent passionate about it yourself.
Maybe after talking to a few moms while in the environment you may decide to try one afterall for the heck of it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

we live in sumner county and they have one at the county fair every year. you must live in sumner county to be in it though. i know that macon county have some that are open and they are very low key. you guys might have some down there. call the local paper and ask them if they know of any in they area. the ones here are usually in the paper. we did a few when my dd was little until she wasn't in to it anymore. good luck. p.s. i think some of those parents on t.v. are nuts. R.



answers from Dallas on

I have watched that show and it seems a little excessive to me. Fake tans, fake nails, fake eyelashes, fake hair and fake teeth on a three old? The people who love seem to really love it, but it would not be for me. Of course, the ones they show on Toddlers and Tiaras are the Ultra High Glitz, etc. One dad on there said they had spent $50,000 in the 10 months his daughter had been competing. A little crazy when they might get a $1000 savings bond if they win the top title. To be fair, all I know about it is what I have seen on that show, which is mesmerizing to me. Once I start watching it, I can't seem to stop. I did a yahoo search. One of the first things to come up was the following link: http://pageantinfo.com/. I don't know how valid it is, but it seems a little more tame. I think you can probably find some places for her to compete that aren't as involved as the ones you see on Toddlers and Tiaras. Before you sink all that money in, you would see how well she liked it, etc. Good luck!

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