Some parents choose to enter their babies in beauty pageants, in which babies are dressed up, placed on a stage and evaluated by judges. One of the most controversial aspects of baby beauty pageants is that very young children do not get to say whether they want to participate, which means some parents may involve their kids in pageants for their own personal gain. In addition, pageants often cost money and take up a lot of time. On the other hand, plenty of young participants appear to have fun, both backstage and on stage, because they get to meet other children their age and get a lot of attention. Their self-confidence may increase as a result, and they are often rewarded with a wide range of prizes.
One of the main disadvantages of baby beauty pageants is that some parents are overly competitive and get carried away with the idea of their child being compared to others. They may be rude to other children, parents and even their own baby when they do not win, though even the parents whose kids win also can have a bad attitude. In some cases, the attitude of the parents extends to children as they grow, and they may become rude or snobbish, depending on the outcome of the contest.
Another common drawback of baby beauty pageants is the cost in terms of both time and money. Most pageants cost money to enter, and parents also have to pay for their baby's outfits, accessories and hair and makeup products. Professional photos, travel costs and a pageant trainer also may add to the expenses. In addition, parents and their babies have to spend time traveling to pageants, getting ready for each one, and practicing to improve the child's chances of winning. This also can be hard on the baby's family life, because the family may routinely be split up as one parent handle pageant responsibilities and the other parent stays home to care for any other children.
There are, however, many advantages to baby beauty pageants, with improved self-confidence being a major one. Many babies who enter a few pageants will win at least some prize and, though they may not notice when they are young, they will have the trophies and pictures to prove it when they are older. Children who are used to being on stage also tend to feel confident about being in a front of an audience, which can be a good skill to have as they grow. Even when they are not on stage, they may still benefit from baby beauty pageants, because they may be able to meet and play with lots of other babies backstage.
Of course, there are more tangible rewards, because most babies get at least a few prizes as a result of beauty pageants. Winners usually get trophies, tiaras and plaques that they can proudly display at home. Babies, however, are especially likely to enjoy the stuffed animals, toys and kids' furniture that they may get. Other prizes are likely to be appreciated by parents, because some beauty pageants feature money, savings bonds and jewelry that their babies can enjoy when they are older.