Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Letting kids join beauty contests

Will I push my child to join beauty contests? I don’t have a child yet, but I’m already wondering about this. I have mixed feelings about this after seeing several kids in a beauty pageant I judged last Friday.

I am always dreaming of a beautiful or handsome child. When it comes to physical traits, I am hoping that my child will have my nose, my hubby’s lips, my big eyes but my hubby’s perfect 20/20 vision, my hubby’s plump cheeks but my facial contours, my complexion, etcetera etc. Dunno if all these can turn out good, if they’ll make a child that looks angelic and have a face that can launch a thousand ships.

But if I would have a child that looks like the next supermodel or big star, I’d probably have my child join a beauty contest. Talk about being a proud mom. It’s not just about being proud of my child’s killer good looks, it’s being proud that the child is mine. I noticed that beauty contests for kids don’t just boost the candidate or the child’s confidence; they also inflate the parent’s ego and pride. :p

What if my child doesn’t look really Hollywood material and would end up looking just a simple stunning child? Especially stunning on my eyes. I also noticed that most parents have this queer eye, or let’s just say immeasurable love for their child, that sometimes even though their child isn’t that good looking for others, they think and see otherwise. I may be guilty of this someday. Still, I would have my child join a beauty contest. The reasons? I want my child to experience being in front of everyone, being judged and yet knowing how to face people who judges him or her. I want my child to experience the joys and pains of winning and losing and/or both. I know my child can experience these even in other contests, like academic or sports competitions. But c’mon, there is just something about being judged in a beauty contest that shapes the child’s confidence tremendously as he or she grows up. Of course, all parents would tell children that inner beauty is much more important. But you know, in this world, outer beauty undeniably matters and is where you are judged first, judgment for your character comes later on.

Now that is the problem. I am not really sure if beauty contests can really make my child confident. What if my child experience losing more and winning less? I know someone who grew up joining such contests and when you talk to her, you’d sense that her confidence is kinda fake. She would joke that she looks like goddess (well she looks quite nice but not really goddess, hehe) but she is overrrly conscious about her face, hair, dress, smile, stand or posture comes picture time. Of course, everybody gets conscious in front a camera but it’s not as if everyone seriously feels like it’s always a pictorial for a magazine! And I noticed that her friends are too cautious not to hurt her feelings especially when it comes to her appearance. And she always need constant reassurance about her prettiness. Don’t you think that’s quite difficult to handle if you’re her friend? Oh well, thank goodness, we’re not close. Since her mother honed her to be Ms. Beautiful, I would presume she has had a lot of winnings than losings in beauty competitions. But look at the effect, she didn’t really turn out confident, she turned out to be an uber conscious woman to the point of making her own friends uncomfortable. I don’t want my child to end up like her.

In the competition I judged, I saw the attitude of the second runner-up winner. By her looks, I know she wasn’t satisfied, she wanted to have the crown not just some 2nd runner-up title. Honestly, it came as a surprise to me that she was the 2nd runner up winner, perhaps the other judges gave her a nice score. Anyway, she didn’t smile when her name was called, I didn’t see just even one smile after that, and she didn’t want to join in the picture taking with the other two winners. Perhaps, her parents had high expectations from her, and she failed them. But I saw her father so happy but his happiness isn’t enough to make her smile. So maybe she had high expectations of herself. I also don’t want my child to end up like her.

And then I saw this other girl in the competition. She didn’t win major awards for beauty. If I remember it correctly, she only won Ms. Congeniality. After the event, one of my co-judges said he likes this girl’s attitude. I agree, I noticed that her smile while modeling on stage is more genuine and after the results were announced, she was still giddy, bubbly and just her playful self. But I guess, we the judges, didn’t really give her a high score due to other criteria we considered. But her attitude is the kind of attitude I’d like my child to have. She smiles genuinely, on or off screen. By the way she answers in the question and answer portions and the way she walks on the stage, it’s obvious she knows it’s a serious contest. But I have this gut feeling, to her, it’s just a play, which should be the case, because she’s still a child. Most importantly, she lost but she knows how to carry herself.

The judges are all smiles...after 4 gruelling hours of sitting and measuring the looks, wits, and smiles of boys and girls who joined the beauty contest 

So should I let my child join beauty contests? Answer is still yes, but up to a certain point only. If the child says no, then I won’t force him or her. If I see that my child gets so conscious about her looks that she fails to see beyond it or give more importance to her character, then time to stop joining such contests. Until then, I would have my child join such contests…until he or she wins and loses. I want my child to rejoice and cry about what others see about him or her. And yet, my child knows how to stand up smiling and confident in both instances – no matter what others see or say about him or her.


Gizelle said...

who's the other guy nga? familiar...

I'll write this again: "There's only one beautiful child in the world, and every mom has HER..."

Be sure that the child enjoys whatever you put her into...and that win or lose, she is your daughter...

misis said...

G, the other guy is James Cooper. hehe.
Pag natalo, kukurutin ko sa singit, sabay sabi, ok lang yan anak! hehe joke! Siempre naman, win or lose, your child is still your child, and winner in your eyes! Hay excited na ako magkaanak!

lemon supernova said...

Hihihi! That's right, Ate. Sometimes, there is a danger for those girls who enter beauty contests, sometimes they think that there only "marketable" value is their looks. They do have to realize that strength in character is more important.
Anyway, I don't think you'd have any problem about that with your daughter (or daughters?). If she grows up to be just like their mom, I'm sure she'll be one fine lady known not only for her beauty but also mental brilliance and good character. Naks! ^_^