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.