The pageant director for the Fantasy Pageant in Missouri starts this week's episode of Toddlers of Tiaras by bluntly stating, "Whoever has the most money wins."
Pageants certainly aren't about natural beauty. Rather they're about having the perfect spray tan, flipper, hair piece, nails, and false eyelashes. Dresses cost thousands of dollars; pageant fees are collected at each event; and, of course, everyone needs a pageant coach.
All of which costs money ... lots of money.
While I haven't seen any of the families' income statements, I can say, after viewing the entire season, that most of those featured don't appear to be swimming in the dough. Instead, they seem to be scraping and scrimping to give their children this ... opportunity.
But opportunity for what? What do they hope to get in return for their investment?
It certainly can't be just about having fun, because at least for toddlers, there's very little fun involved. The girls cry and whine and refuse to participate, but their mothers push ... and push.
And sure parents fork over lots of cash for their children in other arenas as well, like sports and academics, but at least then there's a clear motivation and some skills being taught.
I won't even entertain the option that participating in pageants helps build a girl's self-esteem -- that's simply too ridiculous.
So why? Are these pageant parents dreaming of their little girl growing up to be Miss America? Do they just like accumulating crowns? Or is it a really expensive form of "therapy" to fill a void in their in own lives?
I don't know the answer (though I have a hunch) ... I wonder if they really do either.
What do you think pageant parents hope to gain by investing large amounts of money into pageant life for their toddlers?
Image via Jennifer Donley/Flickr