Parents Sponsoring Beauty Pageants in School Forget What It's Like to Be a Kid

Say What!? 33

tiara on deskAnd you thought Toddlers & Tiaras was a real-life (or at least, reality TV) nightmare ... What about a beauty pageant taking place in your kid's elementary school?! Sure, races for prom queen and king in high school tend to be a popularity contest (and you don't have to be Carrie White to know looks frequently determine or at least contribute to popularity), but we're talking about a totally in-your-face competition in which elementary school-aged "contestants will be judged on facial beauty, personality, and overall appeal." Huh?!

Somehow, this was actually set to happen at a school called Indian Land Elementary School in South Carolina, where organizers were baiting kids with a shot at "represent[ing] your school all year long during school events" if they were to win the title of "Warrior King or Warrior Queen." But wait, that's not all! 

Prizes were also to be awarded for "Best Eyes," "Best Hair," "Best Smile," "Best Dressed," and "Most Beautiful," which would be "based upon the contestant's facial beauty score only." Boys and girls could also submit photos to win additional awards, and could collect signatures to vie for the "Sweetheart" title. Aaaand, if you aren't already sick to your stomach by now, here's the icing: The flier included instructions on how to walk, turn, and pose for the judges. Thank goodness angry parents (the ones who have a clue!) had the event shut down, but still -- what. the. hell?

We tend to think of peer pressure striking later on when kids hit puberty, but between grades K-5, of course there's still seriously BRUTAL teasing stemming from appearance. Kids are more and more aware of image and, as a result, are getting more and more stressed about what to wear, how to do their hair, if they're "fat," or if they'll be called a bevy of cruel names because they wear glasses or have acne or braces earlier and earlier. At the same time, I have to wonder if the organizers behind this completely forget what it's like to be a kid ... Playground cruelty isn't exactly a new phenomenon. Sadly, kids have been calling one another "Four-Eyes" or "Thunder Thighs" for eons.

And yet, someone had the audacity to propose an official beauty pageant at school. To seriously pit kids against each other for the titles of "Best Hair" and "Most Beautiful." Damn! As a kid, it's hard enough going to school and facing your peers' judgment ... let alone official pageant judges! It's totally nuts. Not to mention completely contrary and a ridiculous distraction from the real goals kids should be focused on: Learning and getting ahead based on their brains, not their beauty.

How crazy is this? Would you want your son or daughter being ranked on their appearance in a school beauty pageant?


Image via Br3nda/Flickr

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the4m... the4mutts

There is nothing wrong with this happening. If you don't want your kid to participate, then don't sign up. But if you have an inecure child who happens to have th "best eyes" you've ever seen, or something to that effect, then maybe you should sign them up. It might just boost their self image.

Bullying is bad, but being clean, making your hair nice, dressing nicely, are all good. And its not bad for kids to be self aware and see that they may need to shower more often, and brush their hair more, even if its the pressure of a pagent causing them to notice, it won't hurt them

Vegeta Vegeta

How about a science fair or book reading contest instead? A beauty pageant doesn't belong in school.

nonmember avatar Mae

Unfortunately, this is the school my kids go to. I could not believe it when I saw the flyer in their bookbags--I really thought it was either a huge mistake or some kind of joke I wasn't privy to. I already hate public schools for a myriad of reasons, and this incident just makes me feel even guiltier for not being able to afford to get my kids in a good private school. Also, this made the news in England...I actually spewed tea when I saw a link to a newspaper in England about this.

nonmember avatar Gretta

HORRIFYING. What in the world?!?!?!?

the4m... the4mutts

How is this horrifying in any way, or a reason to hate a school? Just don't put your kid in it if you don't like it. Simple as that.

Anna Potts

yes sooner they see how the world is the tougher they get no issue!

Marmo... MarmotMommy

Don't normally comment here, but the4mutts, it's not just an issue of "don't sign your kid up if you don't like it"; it's also the fact that it teaches kids to judge each other based upon appearance, whether they're in the pageant or not. Even if a mother can protect her child from being judged based upon appearance in the pageant, she can't prevent the lesson that the event teaches her kid and the other kids. THAT is why this is a problem.

Shannon Powell

I do see this as a problem, but being judged by your appearance is a fact of life.  It's gonna happen sooner or later, but I agree it shouldn't be happening at school.

Chalon King

OMG I was the least popular girl in elementary. Winning a beauty pageant was awesome, at that age. I loved it and it helped my self esteem. I laugh at how ugly the "popular" girls are now...they are all fat with three kids :) Us dorks are hot and used our brains to get good jobs :)

Chalon King

But, in addendum, it was not a school sponsered event where I was competing against people I saw every day....beauty pagents are good but I am mixed as to how well they can be done in a school setting.  But I am sure it is like the talent show....are you going to bitch because your kid has no talent and can not compete...no you just go and enjoy the people that do choose to compete.

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