Child beauty pageants are a joy to watch. It is just great watching their little faces light up in adorable smiles as they totter up and down the ramp. It teaches them balance, confidence and focus. Plus, beauty pageants are good training grounds for future models, fashion designers and moguls in the beauty and fashion industry. We need them too, just as we need doctors and engineers. But are child beauty pageants as good as they seem? Below are some of the factors you need to consider before allowing your child on that ramp.

It is after all, a BEAUTY pageant

While pageant enthusiasts insist that beauty pageants go well beyond beauty, the main focus is on beauty. Can we have children participate in beauty pageants and still hope they don’t grow up attaching all value to their looks? At the end of the day, the most beautiful girl gets the crown. There are high risks of inculcating the message that good things come to beautiful people only. Which is not necessarily true.

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Can they handle the pressure?

Beauty pageants come with a lot of pressure, at best. There is hair to be done, dresses to be bought, trainings… the list is endless. The schedule of a pageant contestant mirrors that of a Hollywood actress, without the money. Don’t even get us started on the running around that happens backstage on the coronation day. You have to be really sure you want to put your child through that.

What happens if your child does not win?

It is a competition after all, there has to be a winner. One winner. What do you do if your child does not win? It can of course teach them good sportsmanship and all, but is your child able to understand that at their age? Beauty pageant losses has seen women in their twenties cry themselves a river, when one would think they are old enough to know better. Are you sure a loss won’t dent your child’s self esteem?

On the plus side…

Many media moguls, great politicians and entertainers took part in child beauty pageants (think Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, Rihanna). By enrolling your child in one , you might just be jumpstarting their  careers in the highly rewarding entertainment industry. Besides, many parents can swear their children’s self esteem and confidence peaked after stints in child beauty pageants.

If you really feel you child might need to participate in beauty pageants, maybe give it a go. But always remember to give them all the support they may need and prepare them to handle any result.