There is constant controversy surrounding whether young girls should compete in pageants or not. Opponents site Toddlers and Tiaras as a reason why young girls should not participate. The catty parents and “competitiveness” are both strong arguments.
But for girls and parents who do participate, they find many benefits to competing in pageants, many of which align with the benefits of competing in a sport as a young child.
5 Reasons Why Young Girls Should Compete in Pageants
1. To learn to be a goal-setter and ambitious.
Sometimes parents set goals for their children based on the things they were unable to do as children, which can happen in any extracurricular that children are in. But, pageants allow parents to become part of the journey and not just spectators on the sidelines.
Eventually, your little girl is going to want to try something big and maybe bigger than herself, which allows her pageant parents to step in and support her. This may be a community service project, a national pageant, or a big name pageant. She’s going to need all the support she can get with all hands on deck.
The key here is to help her name her goal, help her map out how she will complete it, and be there to support her and help her do it without doing it for her.
You can’t be the one standing in front of the judges doing the interview for her; it’s just her. So, she needs to be proud and truly understand the steps she took toward her goal whether it was accomplished or still in the works. (Read: Guidelines for Parents When Practicing for a Pageant)
2. To gain a sense of self-confidence.
When you first start in pageantry, someone is doing your hair and gluing on your eyelashes for you. Right up to my Junior year of college I needed help getting my eyelashes on.
But when you figure out how to do it yourself, whatever it may be, you gain a huge sense of independence and confidence.
Yes, gluing on your eyelashes or getting your hair to curl is one step toward independence from Mom.
Seeing the older girls compete, younger girls watch and imitate as best they can. They want to be like the big girls. They are walking Disney Princesses and younger ones want to be like them when they grow up. So, little girls walk on stage and do what they did.
When young ones get to wear their first pair of “Big girl heels” or a long evening gown, they hold their heads a little bit higher. (Read: How High is Too High for Preteen Contestant Heels?)
3. To build leadership skills.
We just mentioned the older girls in the halls, and when you become an older girl in the pageant, you become a leader for the little ones.
While it may feel like babysitting at times, those little ones become sister queens you’ll never forget.
Just like younger siblings, they are looking for direction, and they want you to show them how to do this thing called “pageant life” since they are just trying to figure it out.
You’ve been in their little shoes before, so show them it’s okay to be a little scared, give them tips, help them smile, help them learn to walk in their new shoes, re-pin their hair, touch up their lipstick and anything else they may need help with. Be the older queen you wished you had if you didn’t have one or the one you loved if you did.
Outside of pageantry, pageant girls often have the confidence to go for leadership positions and recognize and solve community problems. They generally have a long list of extracurriculars in which they hold leadership positions in because they felt confident enough to do it. (Read: How to Decide if Your Child Should Compete in a Pageant)
4. To build social skills and make friends.
Pageant girls are friends for life. Here at the Pageant Planet, we have a whole group message of queens past and present who chat day in and day out about anything from pageants to relationships to politics.
In addition to our pageant friends, we learn to make acquaintances with community leaders while advocating for our platforms and representing the community.
You learn how to talk with people from a variety of backgrounds as you meet them at appearances.
You are able to make small talk, give in-depth speeches and challenge others to be the best version of themselves. (Read: How to Overcome Insecurity as a Preteen Titleholder)
5. To learn to win and lose graciously.
Nothing is more unappealing than someone who throws a temper tantrum when something doesn’t go their way or someone who boasts their win in the faces of their opponents.
The NFL even has excessive celebration penalties and no one want to see someone with a sour face in the photo behind the winner being crowned.
Grace is important whether you win or lose. If you are called as the winner, of course, be proud of yourself, but remember, there are others standing next to you who didn’t hear their name when they wanted to.
If you lose, take a deep breath; you don’t have to accept it yet but pretend to. Remember, there is always another day, and there is always another pageant. Today just wasn’t your day, and that’s okay.
You don’t need a crown to be a queen. (Read 10 Pageant Lessons Taught by Disney Characters)
The Cinderella pageant is known by pageant girls as a great system that focuses on a girl being a girl and growing in her skills and confidence. Many Cindy girls have gone on to compete in other systems like Miss America and have even put their young daughters into the Cinderella program knowing its benefits in their lives.
Interested in competing in the Cinderella program and live in California? Contact California Cinderella today!
Just like any sport, pageantry can be expensive, but many pageants offer scholarships and today, you can be fortunate to compete in a pageant that offers scholarships for more than just the winner.
Pageant girls today hold political office, are doctors, lawyers, teachers, journalists and even mommies. Some are actors, musicians and even winners of America’s Got Talent. (Read: Former Cinderella Titleholder Wins America’s Got Talent)
Where your crown and your pageant experience takes you is up to you. Where will you go?