Glitz & glamour: lights, camera, action!

Many people would prefer to have a son for their first child. Not me, I am pro-girls all the way.Spotlights, glitz, and crowns are all I imagine when the thought of having a daughter enters my mind.

I am a HUGE fan of pageant shows such as Toddlers and Tiaras and Little Miss Perfect. I swell with excitement every time a new season starts.

My love for pageants began my sophomore year in high school. I fell head-over-heels in love with the pageantry.It would only seem natural for me to pass on the tradition of competing to my daughters.

I realize that pageants, for young children, is a very controversial subject these days.Many people are opposed to children participating in pageants at such a young age. They argue that it can be unhealthy psychologically for young developing children. On the other hand, those in favor of pageantsbelieve that there is nothing harmful about children participating in them.

I am in favor of pageantry for children.I also understand that like any other competitive activity, pageantry does have its advantages and disadvantages. I believe that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

I don’t feel that there should be an age limit imposed upon a parent who wants to doll their baby up and proudly put her on display for the world to see. From a few months old until the age she decides to quit, my baby will be prepped, bedazzled, pampered, and amped up to be the best contender in the competition.

I view pageantry as a sport and healthy competition like any other sport that children participate in. Pageantry helps children develop skills such as social andcommunication skills, good sportsmanship, and self-confidence.

Not only must they look flawless as they sashay across a stage with grace and poise, they also have the opportunity to showcase intelligence, talent, and creativity. It takes a tremendous amount of practice and dedication to get all of those qualities down.

Pageantry has the same demands as any other sport, for instance, baseball, football, ballet or tennis. They must rigorously practice, get coaches, uniforms, spend money on travel, take photos and put out money for competitions just like children in pageants. So, as long as my daughter is happy, I will continue to support her.

Pageants are not only limited to girls, so in case I don’t have a girl first I will definitely put my little man in the game. Unlike the high demands expected of a girl to get glammed up, boys don’t have to do as much as far as grooming goes. They are less likely to wear make-up and rhinestones.

Of all the disadvantages, cost is one of the largest. Pageantry is very expensive. For major pageants, the entry fees can run you about $500and dresses can run as much as $1000.

In order for your child to have a shot at winning, her dress and costumes have to wow the judges. So most parents go all out and spend the money on glitz and props. The more attention your child gets, the higher the scores. I’m already preparing myself to learn how to sew and build sets by taking home economics and carpentry classes to help cut costs.

Also, the more elaborate your child’s talent is, the more entertained the judges and the crowd will be.

The object of the competition is to wow the crowd. The judges look for the it factor in your child, and on that day she either they have it or they don’t.

Finally, the hardest part of pageantry is helping your child learn the art of good sportsmanship andpositively dealing with not winning. This is the most important responsibility of pageant parents.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be a winner. That’s where the hard part comes in because no one wants to see their child hurt and no one likes losing. So that’s where, as a parent, you have to determine whether it is in the best interest of your child for you to continue or stop. The experience has to be positive or she won’t want to go back after she hasn’t won.

I wouldn’t ever want my daughter to feel like I’m forcing her to do what she doesn’t want to do. So should that day come where she decides she’s done with competing,I’ll simply have to look into adopting another girl. But if she dusts herself off and wants to keep going, I say, let the good times roll! Here we come makeup, hair, high heels and all; that crown is ours!

Tiana Phillips is an art major from Lancaster, Calif.