Why is there always so much controversy in the world of child pageants? Maybe it’s because beauty pageants are so competitive. Or maybe it’s because some parents have simply run out of ideas for pageant outfits. Perhaps in some cases, the outfits are meant to stand out from the rest of the group and demand attention. Whatever the reason, some controversial outfit of choice apparel has certainly been gaining a lot of attention – most of it negative.
Outfit of choice is just that – the contestant wears pretty much whatever she (or her mom or coach) chooses. This provides the chance to show off creativity, imagination, and personal style. Some of these outfits are amazingly elaborate, and some even include some pretty elaborate props. This freedom is great, but have some pageant parents gone too far?
You’ve probably seen some of the outfits that have caused a stir. There have been little girls dressed as hookers. A couple appeared on stage in Dolly Parton costumes, including huge fake boobies. I saw one child dressed in a pointy Madonna outfit-like chest apparatus. Are these acceptable, or do these outfits of choice cross the line of decency?
As a former pageant judge, I don’t like to see little girls in such outfits, and I’m not alone. And I’m a pretty open-minded individual. I wouldn’t mind a Dolly Parton outfit, per se, as I’m a fan of hers. But when the fake “chest” is added, that goes a little too far, in my personal opinion. And believe me – there are many pageant judges who are much stricter on things like this than I ever was.
My granddaughter once competed in a Christmas pageant that included holiday wear. She wore a super cute holiday outfit that included a midriff top. Two or three inches of her tummy showed – at most. Much more tummy area would have been visible in a child’s two-piece bathing suit. Of the three pageant judges who were judging the event, two left comments about the midriff top, saying that they didn’t like seeing any tummy skin. Obviously, I disagreed. I helped pick out the outfit, and I found it to be completely age appropriate. It was sweet and cute and was not intended to look “sexy.”
Part of the views on things like this might have to do with different areas of the nation. For example, the Christmas pageant I just discussed took place in a very small town in the middle of the Bible Belt. This is just a theory, though. I suppose it all depends on the preferences of all the individual judges. What’s your take on this?