Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How to Wash Pageant Dresses

If you’re a beauty pageants newbie, you might be wondering how to clean a pageant dress or how to wash glitz pageant dresses. You might be under the impression that you have to have the dresses professionally cleaned, but in most cases, you don’t. The bodices of most pageant dresses for little girls are made of Superstretch, which is hand washable. The cupcake skirts are also washable.
Why to Wash Pageant Dresses
No matter how careful you are with your pageant dress, it will need to be cleaned sooner or later. Even when you can’t see any visible stains, washing the dress will really brighten it up. You’ll especially notice the difference with the stones. Rhinestones can be affected by makeup residue, fingerprints, and hair spray. All of these can diminish the stones’ sparkle. Washing pageant dresses brings the rhinestones back to life and makes them look brand new.

How to Wash Pageant Dresses

Depending on the size of the dress, pageant dresses can be washed in the sink, in the tub, or in a large plastic container. I’ve always done mine in the kitchen sink. Fill the sink about half full of warm – not hot – water. Add a capful of Woolite and stir. Dip the dress in the water and move it around gently. I use sort of an up-down motion. Let the dress soak for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly in clean water.

Have several layers of clean white towels on your kitchen counter. After the dress has been rinsed, place it upright on the towels, with the cupcake skirt spread out in a circle. Let the dress dry naturally. Don’t squeeze it or use heat to dry it.

How to Remove Stains from Pageant Dresses

Sometimes pageant dresses get stains. To remove stains from pageant dresses, follow the instructions above for washing pageant dresses. If the stain is still there after washing, use a soft toothbrush and some of the wash water to remove the stain. Rinse the stained area frequently.

Washing Pageant Dresses with Stones

Oftentimes, when you wash a pageant dress with stones, some of the stones will fall off. This is not unusual, so don’t panic. Just check the bottom of the sink before you drain the water. Retrieve the stones and place them on a towel to dry. When the dress is completely dry, re-attach the stones to the dress with E6000 glue.

About Painted Dresses

Some pageant dresses have sections or adornments that are painted. I’ve never tried to wash one of these, so I can’t recommend doing so.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pageant Dresses on Ebay

Ebay can be a great place to buy pageant dresses, if you know what you’re doing. If you’re new to the beauty pageants world, however, and unsure of exactly what you’re looking for, buying pageant dresses on Ebay can be a slippery slope. I’ll share my own personal experience with you, from back when I was a pageant newbie.

My granddaughter needed a pageant dress for her first pageant. I didn’t really have any idea what to look for. This was for a glitz pageant. I’m a pretty trusting soul, so I figured if a dress on Ebay was described as being a “glitz pageant dress,” it was. Wrong! A seller can describe an item practically any way she wants to. She can call any dress “glitz,” “winning,” “national level,” or “state level.” It’s not always that sellers are intentionally misleading prospective buyers – some just don’t know any better. They might really think that their dress qualifies as a national-level glitz pageant dress. And in some locations, they might actually be correct.

You know those old fashioned-looking dresses that have layers of ruffles and lace? My pageant pals call them “granny dresses.” These dresses definitely are not appropriate for glitz pageants, yet you often see these pageant dresses described as such on Ebay.

If you’re unsure about choosing pageant dresses on Ebay, get someone experienced with glitz pageants to help you. She’ll know what type of dresses will be competitive in your area, so you won’t waste money on pageant dresses that will never be competitive in glitz pageants.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baby Pageant: Tips

So, you’ve decided to enter your beautiful little bundle of joy in baby beauty pageants. Of course, you think your baby is adorable, but exactly what will the judges be looking for in a baby pageant? Much of the judging criteria depends largely on the type of pageant you’re entering. Make sure you understand beforehand whether it’s a glitz pageant, a semi-glitz pageant, a natural pageant, or a face pageant. Also, before deciding on a pageant and sending in your entry fee, be sure to read all the rules on the application, and make sure you understand the rules. If you have any questions about the rules, contact the pageant director and ask.
Other than the written rules, there are a few “unwritten rules” with just about any baby pageant. In most cases, you don’t put makeup on a baby, and you don’t use hair pieces or wiglets. Babies aren’t spray tanned, either. As for how to dress your baby for a baby pageant, follow the pageant rules or guidelines. If it’s a glitz pageant, the baby will need a glitz pageant dress.

If your baby is walking, here’s another baby pageant tip: don’t let her run wild on stage! Many pageant moms think this is cute, but most judges don’t. It’s fine for the baby to be a little rambunctious on stage, but she shouldn’t be running around. It’s hard for the judges to focus on a constantly moving target. Another thing: don’t overstay your welcome. In other words, don’t remain on stage for too long. This is another no-no in the eyes of most judges. Make sure the judges get a good look at the baby’s face, and if it’s a glitz pageant, make sure they get a good look at the baby’s dress. Practice holding the baby so that the baby pageant judges can judge the dress fairly.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pageants Problem Alert!

A couple of beauty pageants gurus asked me to write this, so I am. This recent problem has to do with glitz pageants in the South. Apparently, some newbies are creating a bad reputation for themselves in the pageant world by copying the outfits and routines of other contestants in the outfit of choice category. As you can probably imagine, this is a big no-no.

I won’t give you the specific details, but I’ll paint a similar scenario to give you a clear picture of what’s happening:

Mary is a young contestant who’s been extremely successful with glitz pageants. She’s won scores of grand supreme titles. For her Outfit of Choice, she dresses as a fifties-style car hop, complete with roller skates, car hop hat, and pink uniform. He dad wheels her onstage in a pink 1955 Thunderbird convertible – a kid-size version, of course. Mary jumps out of the car holding a tray and does sort of a dance routine on skates. It’s super cute. Lo and behold, up pops a newbie doing the exact same routine: same outfit, same hair style, same car, same stage moves. Coincidence?? I don’t think so. There are simply too many details that are exactly the same in both routines. Even worse, both the girls were competing in the same pageant, in the same age division!

PLEASE don’t do this! It’s fine to get ideas from other pageant girls. Everyone does that. But let it stop there. Being inspired by another contestant is far different from stealing their whole routine. Let’s say, for example, you saw a contestant dressed as a cowgirl, and you liked the idea, so you decide to get a cowgirl outfit made for your daughter. Your outfit is similar to the one you saw, but it’s different in some ways. You also use different props, and your daughter does different moves. That’s okay. You haven’t stolen someone else’s idea in your case.

There’s no quicker way to alienate people and create enemies than to completely steal their ideas that they’ve worked so hard creating. You wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, so don’t do it to others. Maybe you don’t care if the other contestants and moms at pageants like you or not, but it doesn’t stop there. You’ll also gain a bad reputation with others involved in pageantry: directors, hair and makeup people, dress designers, and judges. Yes, judges. Oftentimes, the judges are a lot more aware of what’s going on than you might think.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pageant Etiquette

One reason beauty pageants – especially glitz pageants – get a bad reputation is because some people don’t use common sense or follow simple rules of courtesy. This is true of contestants, pageant moms, and audience members. Below are a few tips for proper pageant etiquette:

1. When you’re in the audience watching a pageant, do not talk bad about contestants. You never know if the girl’s grandma is sitting right behind you. Don’t talk bad about the pageant, the pageant director, the judges, etc., for the same reason – you never know who might be within earshot.

2. Arrive on time to the pageant, whether you’re a contestant or a spectator.

3. Show respect to each contestant by being quiet during her onstage walk. This is especially important during the beauty portion of the pageant.

4. Clap for EVERY contestant!

5. If you’re in the audience and need to get up from your seat, don’t do it during a child’s walk onstage. Wait until the contestant is leaving the stage.

6. If you’re going to be onstage with your baby or small child, dress appropriately! Don’t try to “outdo” the child, but do try to look presentable.

7. Even if you’re backstage or somewhere else in private, don’t talk bad about other contestants in front of your child. This sends a bad message to impressionable children.

8. If you want to give cues or stand up to get a child’s attention when she’s onstage to help her, try not to stand up in front of other audience members. Move to the aisle to do this, if possible.

9. Congratulate the winners. This is a good way to teach sportsmanship to your child.

10. If your child is one of the pageant winners, don’t allow her to gloat or flaunt her crown and other prizes in front of the other contestants.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Are Beauty Pageants Bad for Kids?

In the United States, beauty pageants often get a bad rap – especially glitz pageants. If you’re entering your daughter in beauty pageants, you’ve probably been criticized for doing so by friends, family members, co-workers, and maybe even total strangers. How did this make you feel? Did it put you on the defensive, or cause you to re-think pageantry?

First of all, it’s really nobody else’s business how you spend your money or what you do with your kids, as long as abuse isn’t involved. Still, negative comments can be hurtful, even when you’re convinced that you’re not doing anything wrong. Only you know if doing pageants is good or harmful to your child. Children will usually let you know up front whether they’re happy or unhappy, oftentimes even before they can talk. You know what I mean!

I’ll be the first to say that pageants are not for everyone. The child has to enjoy being fussed over and being on stage in front of strangers. The mom has to have the right attitude about competing, about winning, and most importantly, about losing. Children should not be forced to compete in pageants. They should want to compete, and they should enjoy the experience. I can understand some “strong coaxing” for a first pageant because sometimes kids are afraid to try something new. After that first pageant, however, if the child didn’t enjoy the experience, you need to find another hobby or activity for them.

My granddaughters and niece have all been involved in glitz pageants, along with a few natural pageants. And I’ve received some negative comments about putting them in pageants. Following are some typical anti-pageants comments, along with my thoughts and responses:

Your child doesn’t get to enjoy being a normal kid. She’s not well rounded.

Our pageant girls are normal, well rounded kids. When they’re not doing a pageant, they’re riding four-wheelers, swimming, fishing, riding horses, playing with their friends, digging in the dirt, etc.

Why the fake hair, fake teeth, fake tan, and makeup?

I see pageants as sort of a sport, so the participants need to be prepared with the proper items. You wouldn’t let your son play football without a helmet, protective pads, and the right shoes, would you?

You shouldn’t force your child to be in pageants!

I agree. We don’t force them. They beg us to put them in pageants!

Putting girls in pageants sends them the wrong message. It teaches them that superficial looks are more important than anything else.

Not true. We stress personality and poise with our girls. As you know, the most beautiful girl doesn’t always win. Not once have our girls said, “I should have won because I’m prettier than the winner.” My grandkids see pageants as a game and understand that their time on stage is just a “snapshot,” so to speak. They’re judged on how they do in that short period in front of the judges.

Girls don’t learn anything beneficial from pageants.

Again, not true. Our girls have learned a lot about friendship, confidence, and facing new situations. They’ve also learned good sportsmanship. They’ve learned to be good losers and gracious winners.

If you do charity pageants, that’s a great way to teach kids about the importance of helping others.

You shouldn’t try to make girls look older by applying makeup.

Why not? That’s like saying you shouldn’t try to make your child look like a witch or Harry Potter at Halloween. Our younger girls think of doing a pageant as playing dress-up. And what little girls don’t play dress-up?

Pageants make girls feel bad about themselves.

This depends largely on the attitude of the parents. If the pageant mom stresses that pageants are only about winning, then yes, the child will feel bad when she loses. Parents should have kids thinking that pageants are a fun way to spend time with Mom and to work together as a team.

Actually, pageants make my granddaughters feel good. They think they’re princesses when they’re all dressed up!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tips for Riding in a Parade

If your daughter has won a beauty pageant, she might very well be invited to ride in a parade. Some larger pageant systems have their own floats on which all the queens ride. Lots of other pageants don’t have their own float, so for these, you’ll probably have to ride in a convertible. Some pageant directors are good about providing convertibles, but others might not have access to convertibles. In that case, of course, you’ll have to find your own car.

Finding a convertible to ride in might not be an easy task. It’s a lot easier if you have a friend or family member with one. If you don’t, and if the pageant director can’t help you find one, ask around at local car dealerships. They might be willing to loan you a used convertible for the parade. Another option is to rent a car for the day of the parade.

If you have a toddler or young child scheduled to ride in the event, she’ll need some supervision, obviously. If it’s a float she’s riding on, you’ll probably want to be up there with her to keep her from falling or jumping off. But how would it look for you to be up there with the queens? A better idea is to have the miss queen be in charge of the child. This is how we’ve handled the situation, and it always worked out well.

If the child is riding in a convertible, place her on the trunk, with her legs hanging down in the back seat. You or another adult should sit in the back and hold her legs. That way, there’s no way she’s going anywhere! Remember that parades travel at a snail’s pace, so there’s really very little danger involved.

What to wear? Your pageant director will provide you with some guidelines. Some pageants want all the queens dressed in their pageant dresses, some want all the girls to be wearing the same color dresses, and some require special apparel like long gloves. Make sure you know before you go!

Watch the weather closely, too. If there’s a chance of rain, you might not want your new $2,000 glitz pageant dress exposed to water. If pageant dresses are required for the ride and rain is a possibility, wear a cheap pageant dress.

What if it’s cold? Pageant dresses aren’t made for cold weather. Most are either sleeveless or have short sleeves. If it’s cold outside the day of the parade, supply your daughter with a white faux-fur cape. This is very elegant looking, and it will keep her warm!

If you’re dealing with a younger girl, don’t go all out with her hair. Just have it neat, attractive, and SPRAYED!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Choosing a Pageant Coach

If you’re serious about competing in glitz pageants, you’ll probably need a pageant coach. Pageant coaches can teach your daughter how to walk correctly on stage, how to make eye contact with the judges, how to maintain a beautiful smile, and how to strike poses that will impress the judges. Many pageant coaches will also offer advice on dresses, hair, and/or makeup.

Most glitz pageants include events like casual wear, outfit of choice, swimwear, and/or costume wear. In most cases, a pageant coach can help you choose an outfit or at least give you feedback on outfits you’ve selected. She can also help your daughter learn a routine for these events.
As you can see, the pageant coach is an extremely important part of your pageant strategy. Glitz pageants are very competitive, so winning a big glitz pageant without a pageant coach would be difficult. But how do you choose the right pageant coach?

Anyone can claim to be a pageant coach, so you’ll have to do your homework to find a good one. One of the best ways to check out a pageant coach is to talk with her current or former students. Ask them if the coach is effective, if she’s reliable, and if her students win consistently. If your child is small, you might also want to find out how she works with younger girls. If you have a little girl who’s temperamental or shy and doesn’t respond to a pageant coach, you might want to find another teacher. She might be the most knowledgeable coach in the world, but if your child won’t work with her, you’re probably wasting your time and money.

If you don’t personally know any of the students of your potential pageant coach, find out where her girls will be competing. Attend the pageant and watch her students perform. How did they do? Were you impressed? Even more important, were the judges impressed?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Travel with Kids

If you really “get into” pageants, you’ll find that you run out of local pageant pretty quickly. If you and your daughter are enjoying pageantry, you’ll want to compete in out-of-town pageants sooner or later. Oftentimes lots of glitz pageants can be found near enough to your town for car travel to be in order. Of course, this means travel with kids – or at least with one kid.

Travelling with kids in tow can be challenging, at best. Because most kids are naturally active, tying them down in one spot for hours via a seatbelt isn’t usually their idea of fun. They get bored and restless, and when they’re unhappy, you’re unhappy. You’ll be bombarded constantly with “are we there yets” and “how many more miles?” Have a strategy beforehand for dealing with this!

Kids travel games

Kids travel games can make a big difference in how pleasant your trip is. You can find a variety of kids travel games online and in some toy stores. Be careful not to use games that require the child’s attention to be focused only within the car. This can cause motion sickness, which you definitely want to avoid. Books are something else that you don’t want. Reading and motion sickness are best pals.

One old favorite is the Car Tag Game. On your computer, make a list of all fifty states, with a line beside each state on which the child can place a check. When she spots a car with a license plate from a state, she can check it off her list.

You can make the game a little more challenging for older kids, too. Instead of just supplying a list of states, you can make it more complicated by asking questions like, “Which is the Peach State?” or “Which state is First in Flight?” The answers can be found on the license plates!

Not only is this game free and educational, it serves another purpose, as well. It draws the child’s attention outside the vehicle, helping to prevent motion sickness. You can create the same type of game with animals, too. You could include things like a black horse, a brown horse, a black-and-white cow, a goat, a spotted pig, a chicken, etc.

Motion Sickness

If your daughter has had trouble with motion sickness before, there’s a good chance that she’ll get car sick again. There are a number of over-the-counter anti-motion sickness and anti-nausea medications available, usually safe for children over the age of two years.

Many parents don’t like the idea of giving their children drugs – even over-the-counter preparations. If you feel this way, but you need something to prevent nausea and vomited when travelling with kids, consider a product called SeaBands. Sea Bands are “bracelets” worn on the wrists that work through the use of acupressure. They’re inexpensive, safe, and effective. Their effectiveness has been proven by studies at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Sea-Bands come in vivid colors that kids will love, and they work on adults, too. Order Sea Bands below.

To get more tips for travel with kids, just click! You’ll get more ideas for making travelling with children a pleasant experience, including prevention for motion sickness.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pageant Directors: Host a Pageant Party!

As you know from my other blog posts, I have several grandkids, a niece, and a nephew who are or have been pageant queens or kings. They've been involved with a few beauty pageants that involved appearances and get-togethers. Some of these were for the winners only, while a couple of others had parties for all the contestants before the actual pageant - like the day or the weekend before.

I think this is a great idea! It encourages camaraderie among the contestants and among the parents. It gives the contestants a chance to get to know the director, and the director to get to know her contestants or her kings/queens. It also makes everyone feel more at ease, and in the case of a pre-pageant get-together for everyone, the contestants won't be nearly as nervous on stage. This is especially true with younger kids who might be entering their first child pageant or toddler pageant.

This doesn't have to be a fancy affair. In fact, laid back and casual is better! A cookout is a great idea. Find some great BBQ cooking recipes, and have an outdoor event. If the weather isn't suitable for cooking and dining outdoors, have a sit-down meal with some tasty Southern food. If you don't want to do all the work yourself, have each contestant's parent bring a dish for a pot luck supper.

Southern food is, well, uniquely "Southern," just like the glitz pageants phenomenon is. Sure, the rest of the nation might have a few glitz pageants here and there, but it's not ingrained into the culture the way it is in the South.

Believe me, when pageant directors "go the extra mile" for their contestants, the contestants and parents appreciate it and remember it. They'll be much more likely to enter one of your pageants again, and they'll be certain to spread the word, too!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Glitz Pageants - A Family Tradition of Personality!

I have eight grandchildren – five boys and three girls. Two of the boys and three of the girls have been in glitz pageants. In fact, all five won the very first pageant that they entered, even though they went up against more “polished,” experienced pageant kids. Just recently, my youngest granddaughter was in her first pageant, and we wondered if she’d break our streak of luck. She didn’t! She won the crown, along with all the optionals.

How have all my grands managed this? Is it because they’re so breathtakingly gorgeous? Well, of course I’d like to think so. After all, I think they’re all beautiful, but I might be just a tad biased. Every parent and grandparent thinks his or her children are the prettiest or most handsome on earth, right? That’s how it’s supposed to be. Looking at it from an objective viewpoint, there’s no question that my grandkids are attractive. They’re cute, but that’s not why they’ve been so successful with pageants.

I’ve discussed this before, but it bears repeating: IT’S THE PERSONALITY!! Yep, all five won because of the personality they showed on stage. The first four were between the ages of two and three when they did their first pageants, so they understood kind of what was going on. They’re all happy, upbeat kids, and we knew we could get them to smile on stage. Number five, however, who’s not quite a year old, was somewhat of a mystery. We had no idea how she would react to being on stage in front of an audience.

Fortunately, her mom made sure that the baby got a good nap before the pageant. Backstage, she kept her happy and in a playful mood. The other babies in her age division were pretty, and they had beautiful pageant dresses. The big difference was in personality points. The others didn’t cry onstage, but they were kinda just “there.” They didn’t laugh, smile, or giggle. Our baby, on the other hand, smiled, giggled, squealed, and kicked her legs in glee. The judges could tell she was happy on stage and having a great time. This, of course, scored personality points, which put her over the top.

How did we get our baby to show so much personality on stage? We had a secret weapon – her older brother. She thinks her eight-year-old brother is the greatest, funniest thing on the planet. We took advantage of this at the pageant by placing him in the audience. He sat just behind the judges, and he called out to his little sister when their mom walked the baby onto the stage. He made sure he had the baby’s attention.

Next, he slid out to the edge of the aisle, making sure he still held sister’s attention. He danced around and made faces, and the baby loved it! We were pretty sure this strategy would work, and it did. That’s how to score personality points in a pageant. Our pageant baby is carrying on the personality tradition!

Friday, March 18, 2011

How to Enter Pageant Photos

Photos are often a big part of glitz pageants. Most have a Best Photograph category, which might be an optional. Even if it's an optional and it's not a requirement, it's still a good idea to enter a photo of your child. Why? Because it serves as an "introduction." Pageant photos are usually judged hours before the pageant begins, so entering a pageant pic is sort of like getting a "headstart" on the pageant.

You know what they say about first impressions, right? If you enter a WOW pageant photo, the judges will remember that contestant and be eager to see her on stage. This is exactly the response you want from your pageant pics!

Now, down to the basics of entering pageant photographs. The pageant photos should be 8 x 10 inches or 8.5 x 11 inches. A commenter just told me that in her experience, most glitz pageants prefer the 8.5 x 11 size (By the way, thanks for that info!). Maybe it depends on the region of the U.S. Each photo should be placed in a clear photo protector, which is more or less like a sleeve. You need to include a paper that has the contestant's name and the age division she's entering. This should be back-to-back with the photo, so that the judge can simply turn the photo over to see the child's name and division. Make sure you use a large enough font so the information can be read easily. It should also be neat and attractive.

Some pageants allow contestants to enter more than one photo, and some pageants have different categories for photos. For example, the pageant might include glitz photos, natural photos, black-and-white photos, etc. Take advantage of all photo categories! If the pageant allows you to enter more than one photo in glitz, do it. You'll usually be charged extra for this, but if you have great pageant photos, it will be worth it. Give the judges more than one preview of your daughter by entering more than one "look."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beauty Pageant Tips: Keeping Kids Happy Backstage

Most child beauty pageants and toddler pageants include a lot of wait time. Contestants and parents might have to wait backstage or at another location for hair and makeup. Then they have to wait for their age division to begin so that they can do their beauty walk. If they’re entered in more than one event, like swimwear, casual wear, or outfit of choice, they might have time to wait for those to start, also, after they’re dressed and all ready for the event. After they’re done with all their stage walks, they have to wait for crowning. Depending on the age division, the number of contestants in the pageant, and on how the pageant is organized, wait time can be considerable. For girls who are old enough to understand winning, the time waiting for the crowning ceremony can be pretty uncomfortable.

The best way to keep your little girl happy is to keep her entertained backstage. That way, the wait won’t seem so long, and her mind will be taken off of being nervous about how she’ll place in the pageant. With this in mind, plan ahead of time to take some toys, games, or books with you to beauty pageants.

Of course, what you take in the way of entertainment will largely depend on the girl’s age and on her individual interests. Babies might enjoy rattles, hand puppets, or musical toys. Toddlers might enjoy simple games, books, blocks, or pull toys. Younger kids might also feel comforted by having their favorite stuffed animal in tow. Older kids might enjoy hand-held video games, iPods, or netbooks.

Keep in mind that other the kids in the same age group will usually be together in pretty much the same location backstage, and they often play together. In view of this, you might want to include a game or toy that encourages participation of more than one player.

If your daughter enjoys coloring or drawing, bring along a coloring book or some paper, along with some crayons or colored pencils. NEVER consider taking markers to a pageant! No matter how careful you are with them, they often find a way of getting on the child’s skin – or even worse – ruining the dress.

You might want to provide a special new toy for pageant day. Take your child shopping to pick out a toy or game before the pageant, but don’t allow her to open it and play with it until she’s waiting backstage at the pageant. This will give her something to look forward to and help keep her happy, excited, and smiling!

The Perfect Pageant Kit

If you compete in glitz beauty pageants, you’ll find that you have a lot of stuff to keep up with on pageant day. If you’re organized and use a last-minute check list, you’ll be sure not to leave anything behind. You don’t want to be miles from home and realize you forgot to bring along everything your child will need. By keeping everything together, staying organized will be much easier.

Your glitz pageant dress should be stored in a large plastic box with a tight-fitting lid. The dress should sit upright in the box, and a rolled-up beach towel should be placed inside to keep the bodice’s form. The skirt needs to be spread out on the bottom of the storage box.
Some pageant moms prefer to store their pageant dresses a little differently. They still use the same type of box, but they place the bodice flat on the bottom of the box, turn the skirt upside down, and place the skirt on top of the bodice. This helps give the skirt more “lift.”

Let’s call the box you keep the beauty dress in your beauty box. Its main purpose is to house the dress and provide a means to transport the dress safely, but you’ll have room in the “beauty box” for other items, as well. Here’s a list of other items you need to have in the beauty box for glitz pageants:

1. White mary jane shoes.
2. 2 pairs of white ankle socks with lace.
3. Hairbow in a small crush-proof box.
4. 2 pairs of earrings.
5. Choker.
6. 2 crowning pins.
7. A long button-up shirt.

Place the choker, the earrings, the crowning pins, and any other jewelry in the box with the hairbow. Place the socks in a plastic bag with the shoes – you don’t want any dirt from the shoes to get on the dress. The dress should be considered your prize pageant possession and should always be protected and well cared for.

Keep related small items together in a separate box. For example, a fishing tackle box or a craft box with compartments and a handle work well for this. This box should hold safety pins, bobby pins, straight pins, extra rhinestones, hair spray, tissues, E6000 glue, toothpicks, sheer lotion, Wet Wipes, and any small toys or books you’re bringing to the pageant.

Hang any other outfits, like those for sportswear, casual wear, costume wear, or outfit of choice in a garment bag. Place the shoes and other accessories in plastic bags and store them in the bottom of the garment bag.

Now…how do you carry all this stuff to the pageant? I found that a rolling cart or dolly works well. The beauty box can be strapped securely onto the dolly with bungee cords, and the accessories box can rest atop the beauty box. More bungee cords can keep it in place. Garments bag can be hung on the handle. Of course, all this is much easier if you enlist a friend or family member to help!

Pageant Stage Walk with a Toddler

When you enter a toddler pageant with your child, you might want to do the stage walk with your child, especially if she's under three years old. Keep in mind however, that some toddlers cna do the pageant walk all by themselves, and such kids will often score higher than one who was escorted on stage by a parent or other adult. Of course, judges don't expect young toddlers to go on stage by themselves. In this case, judges of toddler pageants won't deduct points for parent participation.

You might choose to walk with your toddler and hold her hand, or you might prefer to walk slightly behind the child. Do this only if she's old enough to understand to stop on the Xs. It's a BIG must for her to stop in front of the judges and remain there long enough for them to get a good look at her. She'll also need to turn on the Xs - with or without your help.

There's another important point you need to understand. Don't let your toddler "run wild" on stage. Some parents think this is cute, so they allow or even encourage this type of behavior. There should, however, be some sort of order to the pageant walk, even in toddler pageants. It's difficult for the judges to focus on a constantly moving target.

Another mistake some parents make in toddler pageants during the pageant walk is to allow their kids to remain on stage too long. Not only is this disrespectful to the other contestants and the pageant director, but it's not popular with judges, either. Each contestant is allotted a certain amount of time for their stage walk, in order to make the pageant fair and to ensure that the toddler pageant runs smoothly and on time. When you use more than your apportioned time with your beauty walk, you're cutting into someone else's time. A lot of judges will deduct points for contestants who remain on stage for too long.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Typical Pageant Stage Walk

The pageant stage walk is where your little princess will "perform" for the judges and for the audience in beauty pageants. Keep in mind that not all stages are the same size, and not all beauty pageants use this exact pageant walk or pattern. Of all the pageants we've done, however, a huge majority have used this pageant stage walk.

The Xs are usually marked on the stage floor with tape. At each X, your little girl will be expected to do something, unless, of course, she's very young.

------------------Back of stage


-----------------Front of stage


X1- The contestant usually comes from backstage to X1. Here, she stands for just a moment. Some contestants turn here, and some don’t. Either way, the child should strike a pose on this X.
X2 – The child walks from X1 to X2. This is probably the most important X on the stage because it’s right in front of the judges. The contestant should make eye contact will each judge – not just “cut her eyes” – but actually turn her face toward each judge. Here, the child should do her personality act, like blow kisses, wave, wink, paint her face, etc. Next, she should turn slowly on this X.
X3 – While walking from X2 to X3, the child should maintain eye contact with the judges. Some pageant coaches teach their girls to do a “crab walk.” With this, the little girl walks sort of sideways. On X3, the contestant should do something else “cutesie” and do a slow turn.
X4 – From X3, the child should walk to X4, without stopping on X2. On X4, the child should wave and/or blow kisses and make one last turn before exiting the stage. If the child is exiting the stage from X4, she should wave goodbye. At some pageants, the contestants return to X1 to exit. If this is the case, goodbye waves are in order here.

The amount of time each contestant spends on time is important, and it’s a careful balancing act. You want the contestant to be there long enough for the judges to get a good look at her, but you don’t want to overstay your welcome, so to speak.

Be aware that sometimes you’ll run into an inexperienced pageant emcee or announcer who tries to hurry the contestants off stage too quickly. Try to teach your child to complete her entire routine, regardless of whether the announcer has finished talking or not.

You need to practice the stage walk at home until your child knows it well. Get the basics down first before you start focusing on smiling, personality, and poise. You can add these once she knows the pattern well.

I have a raised front porch on my house, and this is where my granddaughter always practiced her pageant stage walk. We put down Xs with tape and sat in front of the porch, in the same spot the judges would be sitting during an actual pageant.

Little Girls' Pageant Dresses - The Right Style and Fit

The most gorgeous, glitzy pageant dresses in the world won't score well if they're not a perfect fit on the wearers. When it comes to little girls' pageant dresses, the bodice of the dress should fit snugly, with no obvious gaps. It shouldn't be so tight, however, that the child's flesh is bulging out. Look closely for this around the arm openings and across the top of the bodice.

The length of the dress is important, too. Girls under the age of ten should generally wear a short dress in a glitz pageant. These pageant dresses should have multi-layered cupcake skirts that are fingertip length.

The bodice of the dress should have decorations or adornments on it, along with lots of small Swarovski rhinestones. Most little girls' pageant dresses for glitz pageants have a bodice that's made of Superstretch. Be careful about the placement of large bows and other large embellishments. Don't have them placed too close to the face. You don't want to chance anything's obscuring the child's face or detracting the judges' attention away from the little girl's face. Bigger is not always better!

The back of the dress should be beautiful, too. The judges are going to view the entire dress when the contestant does her turns, so keep that in mind when selecting a pageant dress. Many pageant moms like the little girls' pageant dresses that lace up the back because it makes it easy to get a perfect fit.

Little Girls' Pageant Dresses - The Best Color

You know how important having the right pageant dress is for glitz pageants, right? Sure you do. Otherwise, you probably wouldn't be reading this. In typical glitz beauty pageants, the dress is sort of judged twice - once in the dress category and once in the overall appearance category.

When choosing a pageant dress for your child, there are several things that you need to take into consideration: overall style, fit, design, and color. The first three are fairly easy to figure out, but color is often a big question. The color of glitz pageant dresses has to enhance the natural coloring of the contestants to get the best scores.

Some of the most popular colors for little girls' glitz pageant dresses are bubble gum pink, Barbie pink, fuchsia pink, different shades of blue, light teal, peach, orange, tangerine, light turquoise, yellow, pale green, and white. Combinations of two or more colors are often seen, too.

Just because the above colors are the most popular doesn't mean that your daughter would look good in all these colors and shades. The dress has to "match" your child. For example, a fuchsia pink pageant dress might be gorgeous on a blonde, but it probably wouldn't look good on a redhead. Just because you see a drop-dead pageant dress that looks amazing in photographs or when it's on another child doesn't mean that it's going to look as stunning on your little princess.

I'm often asked what the best dress color is, and there's no hard and fast answer. It depends on the individual child. If I had to choose one color, I'd have to say white or white in combination with another color. BUT...not every pageant girl can wear white. It usually works best on girls who have naturally dark complexions, including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and caucasians with dark hair and skin. For girls with lighter coloring, white will do little more than wash them out when they're on stage and under the bright lights.

As I mentioned already, African American girls often look gorgeous in white. Actually, they can often get away with wearing almost any color. You see a lot of these girls in peach, orange, yellow, and tangerine. These vibrant hues really stand out on African American girls.

Asian and Hispanic girls look good in a wide range of colors and shades, too. Winning girls with this tyoe of coloring often wear peach, orange, light blue, or yellow.

Brunette caucasian girls with medium to dark skin tones often do well in light turquoise, bubble gum pink, yellow, pale teal, or one or more of these colors in combination with white.

Blondes are sometimes harder to pinpoint because there are so many different shades of blonde hair. A girl who has almost platinum hair and a girl with dark blonde hair that's almost a light brown are both considered as blondes. In general, a good place to start with blondes is to consider glitz pageant dresses in light to medium blue, fuchsia pink, or even pale lavender. Lavender might be a little risky, but there have been a few national winning blondes with pageant dresses in pale lavender.

Redheads are more limited in the colors they can wear. These girls often look best in light green or shades of blue. I once saw a redhead wearing a blue dress that was a dark royal blue, and the judges loved it.

Some contestants in glitz beauty pageants get rather daring with their choices in dress color. For example, I've seen girls wear red, gold, ivory, and bronze. Some of these contestants got rave reviews from the judges, while others didn't. Wearing an unusual color is often a gamble. It seems that the judges either hate these dresses or love them, with little in between.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Casual Wear Ideas

Lots of kids' beauty pageants offer a casual wear category, which are sometimes optional. In other words, you might not be required to enter, but if the pageant includes supreme titles, casual wear will usually be a part of the overall score. If supreme titles are up for grabs, you don't want to opt out of casual wear. Besides, casual wear events are fun!

One of the major problems with casual wear is coming up with ideas for unique outfits, and you definitely want something unique. Creativity is usually a big part of the casual wear score. With that in mind, you understand why it's important to wow the judges with something different.

Depending on the specific pageant and on the type of pageant it is, casual wear has a huge range. It might include something as conservative and preppy as a schoolgirl outfit, with a plaid tennis skirt, knee socks, heeled loafers, and a blazer or sweater, to something as wild as a biker chick look. Of course, there are lots of outfits in between, too.

Do a little research before deciding on a look for casual wear. Many pageants post photos of previous winners, including winners from the casual wear event. This will give you an idea of which types of casual wear outfits might work.

You might want to somewhat "match" potential casual wear outfits to your daughter's personality and to how she might want to act on stage. If you want to go for the "sweet look," consider ruffled baby doll tops and matching ruffled capris in bright colors and whimsical prints. Another popular look is the sailor-girl casual wear outfits.

For a "tough look," think about mini skirts, short shorts, and midriffs in black or black with anaccent color with leather boots that have matching boot toppers.

You might want to go with a "funky" look. For this, take a look at the outfits on some of the Bratz dolls.

Another popular look for pageant wear outfits is the "retro" look from the fifties and sixties: poddle skirts, car hop outfits, go-go girl outfits, and hippy-type outfits.

For a Western look, consider jazzed-up cowboy outfits: sequined hats, boots with rhinestone or glitter accents, and fringed armbands.

For a more exotic look, think about jungle wear. I've seen some impressive, unique casual wear outfits with a jungle theme, including a great headhunter-inspired outfit.

Have fun with casual wear outfits! Consider suspenders, newsboy caps, sailor hats, ties, scarves, leather jackets, sweaters, shrugs - just about anything goes in most glitz pageants!

Watch these videos to get some more ideas for casual wear:


Get the Most from a Spray Tan

For glitz beauty pageants, you'll probably need to have your child tanned, unless she's an infant. Why is this so important? Because the bright stage lights can make even a girl with natural medium skin tones can look pale. Sunless tanning gives a sunkissed look without any damaging effects from UV light.

Even if your child has a naturally dark complexion, a spray tan can provide a

n extra glow and even out the skin tone. My niece is Asian, so she already has beautiful light-brown skin, but a spray tan or other form of sunless tanning really makes her skin "pop" on stage.

If you're not experienced with do-it-yourself spray tans, don't experiment with it just before a beauty pageant. The results can be disastrous. Instead, hire a professional spray tan person. Sometimes your hair and makeup person will also do spray tans for contestants.

Don't have your child spray tanned too far in advance of the pageant. I realize that many spray tan facilities claim that the tan will look great for several days, but in reality, this isn't usually the case. Depending on the individual, the spray tan can begin to look blotchy within just a day or two. Sunless tanners "tan" only the top layer of skin cells, and these cells are constantly sloughing off and being replaced by new ones, which won't be "tanned." Most pageant moms agree that the optimum time to spray tan is the night before the pageant.

Before having a spray tan, the child should bathe and exfoliate - especially the legs. Removing dead skin cells will provide much better sunless tanning results. This can be done with a scrub or a loofah. DO NOT apply any lotions or creams.

I learned from a spray tan expert that a girl who's spent some time in the sun just prior to getting the spray tan will have better results because dry skin will "soak up" more sunless tanner.

When you get the spray tan done, think twice about tanning the face. Many contestants don't have their face applied with any type of sunless tanner. Instead, they count on their makeup artist to match the face to the neck and body with foundation or powder.

On the day of the pageant, if your daughter looks "ashy," apply a tiny bit of lotion to her legs just before going on stage. To do this, place a small amount of lotion in your palm and rub your hands together. Then just run your palms over your child's legs. Don't overdo it. You don't want the legs to be shiny - you just want them to look slightly glistening.

How to Save Money on Glitz Pageant Dresses

Have you priced glitz pageant dresses for toddlers and glitz pageant dresses for little girls? Many winning dresses are custom made and can cost around $2,000. That's for a dress that includes hundreds of Swarovski stones, and a choker and hairbow usually come with the dress. That's still A LOT of money. If you don't have that kind of cash to spend on pageant dresses, you might like one of the following ideas.

One way is to buy a dress that doesn't have any stoning and stone it yourself. We've done this a couple of times for my granddaughter and my niece and have had excellent results. As a matter of fact, my best friend and I stoned the white dress in the attached photo, and I don't think it ever lost a competition. To get step-by-step instructions on how to stone a dress, follow this link:http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Stone-a-Dress

Another idea is to buy a used pageant dress. Ebay and some of the pageant boards always have pageant dresses for sale. Many of them will have stains on the inside from tanning, but don't let this put you off. In just about every case, the stains cannot be seen when the child is on stage. When you're buying a dress without tryingit on, pay very close attention to the measurements posted. Many sellers do not accept returns.

Here's something else I did once that worked out well. I found a used pageant dress that had a gorgeous bodice but an unimpressive skirt. Fortunately, it was a two-piece dress, so the skirt could be detached. I found a lady who made pageant dresses and paid her to make us a new skirt. We attached the new skirt to the used dress, and viola - a beautiful glitz pageant dress!

Even a good used pageant dress that's going to be competitve might cost more money than you want to pay. In that case, consider renting a pageant dress. In most areas, you can do this for anywhere from $50 to $100. A pageant director or a pageant coach can probably give you information about renting pageant dresses.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Choosing the Right Toddler Pageant Dresses

Pageant dresses are extremely important for competitions. Not only is the dress usually scored heavily all on its own, it's also a big part of overall appearance, which also usually comprises a hefty percentage of the overall score. With this in mind, you'll see why it's so important to select the right pageant dresses for little girls.

In natural pageants, flower girl dresses are often appropriate, unless

the pageant requires all the girls to wear the same outfit. If this is the case, your entry fee will usually include a tee shirt for your child to wear with a pair of jeans.

For many small local pageants that are non-glitz or low glitz, a party dress or Sunday school might be all you need. For glitz beauty pageants, however, you'll need a high glitz pageant dress.

Glitz pageant dresses for little girls might be in one piece or two pieces. The two-piece pageant dresses are often easier to adjust as far as the size is concerned, and this is important. You can have the most beautiful and most expensive pageant dress in the world, but if it doesn't fit your child well, it's not going to score high. The bodice should be snug, and the dress length should come to the child's fingertips.

Glitz toddler pageant dresses should have full cupcake skirts, with several layers. These skirts stand out on their own, so you won't need a crinoline to wear underneath. The edges of the skirt layers have a "fishline" hem that makes the edges wavy. The skirt layers can be all the same color or different colors.

Glitz pageant dresses for toddlers should be decorated with lace, dangles, and/or bows, and lots of Swarovski rhinestones. Big clunky stones are largely a thing of the past. The trend now is to use hundreds of smaller stones instead. One large stone, like say a heart-shaped stone on the bodice, is okay. Most winning dresses have a combination of crystal stones, aurora borealis stones, and colored stones that match the dress or the trim on the dress.

Color is just as important as a proper fit. Some people simply look better in certain colors. As far as toddler pageant dresses are concerned, white is often hard to beat - IF the child can wear white successfully. Not all girls can. On a girl with a pale complexion, white will wash them out. You want a color that will make the child "pop." In other words, you want a dress that really compliments the color of her eyes, hair, and skin.

If you're trying on pageant dresses in a store or boutique, keep in mind that the dress might look very different on your child once she's tanned and is wearing makeup.

In the photo that accompanies this section of my pageant blog or pageant guide, you'll see one of my granddaughters wearing a light turquoise and white glitz pageant dress. This was a winning color combination for her. She has naturally dark skin, dark brown eyes, and brown hair, so the dress was beautiful on her and she often won prettiest dress in addition to winning many pageants with the dress. I wish I could have saved the dress for her younger sister, but she has a light complexion and blonde hair, so I knew the dress wouldn't look as good on her.

When you're shopping for toddler pageant dresses, take notice of the back of the dress, too. After all, the judges will be judging the entire dress - not just the front.

If you're not quite ready to invest in a brand new pageant dress, you might want to consider renting one. You can also find used pageant dresses for toddlers, which are substantially cheaper than a new dress.

If you get serious about beauty pageants, you'll probably want to have a pageant dress custom made for your child. These pageant dresses are very expensive, but if you choose to go this route, you'll be sure that the dress fits your child perfectly. Also, the dress will be unique, so it won't be one the judges are tired of seeing.

Infant Pageant Dresses

The type of infant pageant dresses you should be choosing from depends on the type of pageant you'll be doing. For a natural pageant, a simple flower girl-type dress will work. For a low glitz local pageant, you'll most likely be able to use a party-type dress. For a full-glitz pageant, however, you'll need a fancier dress.

Infant pageant dresses for high-glitz pageants should have a full cupcake skirt with several layers. The skirt should be short. For the right length, stretch the baby's arms and fingers out to full length. The dress should be fingertip length. You'll also need a diaper cover that matches the dress.

The bodice should have a snug fit and be adorned with embellishments. These might be in the form of lace, bows, etc. The dress should also be stoned with Swarovski rhinestones. For infant pageant dresses, the rhinestones should be small. None of the decorations on the dress should overpower the baby's face.

You'll also need a matching hairbow or a headband with an attached bow. Again, the bow shouldn't be so large that it takes attention away from the face. If you can't find a bow and headband to match the dress exactly, purchase a white bow and dye it yourself. Add a few tiny stones to the bow. White mary janes and lacy white ankle socks complete the look.

Infant pageant dresses and baby pageant dresses seem to score better if they have short sleeves. Of course, this depends entirely on the judges you'll be facing, but from my experience, sleeveless infant pageant dresses and baby pageant dresses don't seem to score as high.

Be careful when you're choosing a dress color. Babies aren't normally tanned, so the choices of colors is somewhat limited when it comes to pageant dresses for babies. Unless the baby has naturally dark skin, a white dress will completely wash the infant out on stage under the bright lights. Baby pageant with a little white on them with other colors is usually fine. Pink is usually a good color for baby pageant dresses. It's sweet, girly, and it will go well with a wide range of complexions. Baby blue might also look good on your baby. Yellow pageant dresses look good on some baby girls, especially those with darker coloring.

Toddler Pageants for Little Boys?

What do you think about entering boys into toddler pageants? Sometimes there's a stigma attached to this practice, which I think is totally unfair. Two of my grandsons were in toddler pageants when they were younger, and they loved it. Much of the resistance to putting little boys in pageants seems to come from the fathers. They're afraid the boys will become or be viewed as "sissies" for being in a "beauty"


Natural beauty is not restricted to females. Many little boys are beautiful, too. And besides, as you've probably already figured out, toddler beauty pageants aren't all about looks. Personality and stage presence play a big part.

Why do I think the "sissy stigma" is unfair? Well, I largely base this on my grandsons. Both are 100% boy. They love fishing, camping, playing sports, and target shooting. They're both rough-and-tumble kids who aren't afraid of anything. Just because they put on a tux and enjoy the limelight on stage doesn't make any less male.

Actually, it's a heck of a lot easier to put a boy in toddler pageants than it is a little girl. Boys don't have to have makeup, pageant hair, jewelry, or a fancy dress. We never had to tan the boys for toddler beauty pageants, either.

In toddler pageants, boys aren't expected to be "prissy." They can easily get away with acting tough and/or cocky on stage, and the judges will usually eat it up.

Personality Points in Toddler Pageants

If you're thinking of entering your son or daughter in toddler pageants, you need to be aware of the importance of personality - the points awarded by the judges for onstage personality. With toddler pageants, personality is usually more important that poise. Many judges had rather see a toddler having fun on stage and exhibiting personality than they would seeing a toddler stiff, robotic, and "programmed."

So what can you do to ensure good personality scores in toddler pageants? First of all, make sure your child is comfortable on stage and is having a good time. This should be immediately evident to the judges. My granddaughter won her very first pageant as a two-year-old, against seasoned girls who had done numerous toddler pageants. She wasn't as polished as some of the other contestants, but it was obvious that she was having a blast on stage. She giggled, smiled a lot, and just acted a little silly. When her mom got her to turn for the judges, she twirled around several times instead of just once.

My grandsons always scored well in personality in toddler pageants, too. They did things like wink, blow kisses, wave to the audience, and acted a little cocky. One always drew his imaginary pistols from his hips, "fired" them into the air, and blew them out when he was directly in front of the judges. He came up with this move on his own, and I wasn't sure how it would play out, but it worked well. This brings up my next point.

Allow your child to help make some of the decisions about his or her stage performance in toddler pageants. If you do, he or she will have a sense of ownership and will probably be more comfortable on stage. Besides, sometimes kids come up with some great ideas!

Beauty Pageant Tips - Baby Pageants

If you think child beauty pageants might be something enjoyable for you and your child, you can start her out as a baby. If she seems to enjoy the attention and being in front of an audience as a baby at bay pageants, chances are that she'll like it even more as she gets older. If started early, she'll become comfortable with the whole beauty pageants experience.

Actually, entering a baby in baby pageants is much easier than dealing with older kids. You won't have to worry about makeup, pageant hair, tanning, or modeling. You will, however, still need a great pageant dress, a hair band with an attached bow, and the right shoes and socks.

A typical glitz pageant dress is in order - one with a cupcake skirt and some stoning. For some reason, my pageant pals and I have noticed that dreeses with short sleeves usually do better than sleeveless dresses on babies. Also, make sure the bow and hairband or headband don't overpower the baby's small face. Use white lace ankle socks and white mary jane shoes.

In baby pageants, your baby will most likely be scored on natural beauty, dress, and personality. It's hard to score a baby on poise, so personality is extremely important. This means that the contestant needs to be happy and smiling. Giggling on stage would be even better!

Arrange the baby's nap time and feeding time around the pageant schedule. Learn the schedule in advance and be prepared. for example, if your baby usually takes a nap at 2 p.m. and the pageant starts then, make sure your little one gets a good nap in before you have to be at the pageant. You can do this by starting several days before the day of the pageant by gradually changing the baby's nap time. GRADUALLY is the key word here. The same goes for feeding times.

You might also want to choose child pageants for your baby based on the age divisions. It's often difficult for a baby to compete with toddlers who can walk, wave, wink, and blow kisses. My ten-month-old granddaughter will be doing her first pageant in a couple of weeks, and she'll be in the 0-12 months age division. I don't thik we'd put her in a pageant now where the age division was 0-24 months. It would be hard for her to compete with the older kids. That's not to say that it's impossible for a baby to win against toddlers - sometimes they do - I'm just saying it will be tougher.

Practice getting your baby to smile and/or clap on cue at home. You might use a small toy, a silly face, or a hand puppet. Be careful, however, not to use the strategy so often that the baby no longer finds the prompt interesting or humorous.

When you're on stage, cock up one of your legs so that the baby can rest on your thigh. Spread the back of the skirt of the dress behind the baby, sort of on your midriff. Whisper to her, tickle the back of her neck - anything you can do to elicit a smile or laugh. If your baby is light enough, you might want to fold one of your arms across your chest and rest her on your forearm.

Child beauty pageants pros and cons

So you think you want to enter your child in a beauty pageant? Or perhaps you're just curious about child pageants after watching related shows on television. As a "pageant Nana" and as a former certified pageant judge, I can honestly say that I've seen the best and the worst of the beauty pageant world. Two of my granddaughters, two of my grandsons, and my niece have all been involved with child beauty pageants, on the local, state, and natio

nal level.

The cons of child beauty pageants

Child beauty pageants, or any beauty pageants, for that matter, can be wonderful or terrible, or somewhere in between. Much of it depends on the pageant director and the pageant moms or pageant parents.

Let's start with the pageant director. She's in charge of choosing the prizes, choosing qualified and impartial judges, and managing the beauty pageant. A good director will make sure that the pageant runs smoothly and efficiently. She'll also ensure that all the events are held on time. A good Pageant director will choose judges who know what to look for and are fair in their assessments of the contestants.

Many of the cons associated with child beauty pageants are related to the pageant moms or pageant parents or grandparents. Child beauty pageants can be a frightening experience for some kids. They don't want to get all dressed up and parade in front of an audience of strangers. If your child doesn't really want to do a pageant, she should never be forced to do so. Child beauty pageants should be something the kid wants to do - not something the parent wants to do.

If you do enough pageants, you're likely to encounter a few bad pageant moms. Thankfully, from my experience, these are few and far between, but they do exist. When their child doesn't win, they blame everyone - the judges, the director, the other pageant moms, and even sometimes the other contestants. You might also see some bad winners. These pageant moms can be rude and nasty even when their child wins.

If a little girl or boy enters a pageant with the wrong attitude, they can be emotionally hurt when they don't win. The child's attitude is learned from the parent. The kids need to see pageants as fun and exciting and not focus solely on winning.

Other cons of child beauty pageants include the monetary cost and the amount of time involved. Pageants can be super expensive. For glitz beauty pageants, you'll need a wiglet or fall, a glitz pageant dress, a hairbow, a choker, professional pageant photos, and the right shoes and socks. To be truly competitive, your child might also need modeling lessons and a pageant coach. You'll also need to hire a hair and makeup person for the pageant, along with someone to tan your child. Of course, on top of all this, you'll have to pay the pageant entry fee. If the pageant is out of town, you'll have to include travel costs, too.

Your child will have to practice on a regular basis for pageants - unless, of course, your entering a baby. Even toddlers will be expected to "perform" on stage in most larger glitz pageants.

Pros of child beauty pageants

Child beauty pageants can be very rewarding experiences. My group loves doing beauty pageants and just can't seem to get enough of them! My granddaughters haven't done one in a while, and they're constantly begging me to be in another pageant. My youngest granddaughter, who's ten months old, will be entering her first beauty pageant in two weeks. My niece, who's fourteen, is still very involved in pageants and does them on a regular basis.

Why do our kids love child beauty pageants? The younger girls say they feel like princesses in their pageant dresses. They love all the attention and being fussed over. One is a natural ham and adores the stage and the applause of the crowd.

Kids can gain a lot of self-confidence from child beauty pageants. They learn to be comfortable in front of an audience, and they learn to be comfortable talking to adults.

Child pageants are also a great way for kids to make new friends. The younger girls are rarely competitive with each other, and I've often seen them root for other kids - even those in the same age division. They have loads of fun playing with each other backstage.

Other pros of child beauty pageants are the wonderful prizes awarded. Of course, these vary from pageant to pageant. Some of the prizes offered might include trophies, crowns, sashes, crowning pins, money, savings bonds, toys, stuffed animals, iPods, televisions, cameras, trips, DVD players, modeling lessons, jewelry, luggage, monogrammed robes, and furniture for kids' rooms.