Pageants can help prepare young girls for real life, they can give them skills that are being forgotten and may never be taught to them otherwise. These girls learn manners, etiquette and grace during the pageant. Poise and grace are things that were important to young women a hundred years ago, but have been all but forgotten now.
On the other hand, one might argue that being in pageants robs these girls of their childhood. Pageants take up a lot of time. There is not only a lot of traveling involved, but a lot of other preparation. These girls must get tans and learn how to dance or sing before they even have a chance of winning. Their talents must be refined before they are able to compete. This causes them to miss out on playing regularly and on just being a kid. Schoolwork may sometimes be neglected in order to prepare for a pageant weekend. Sometimes the pageants may fall on the same days as other events and the child will miss out on that school trip or on their friend's birthday party.
Pageants can raise a child's self confidence. A shy child may open up and feel better about themselves while onstage and getting so much positive attention. It can make children outgoing and give them the independence to do better later life.
Competing to see who is the prettiest can also take a very negative tole on a child. If they don't win and they aren't getting positive attention, their self-esteem will almost certainly be lowered. It can lead to problems later in life. When these girls are teenagers they are going to care way too much about beauty and will judge themselves and their peers solely on their looks. They will think that beauty is everything and that they should use it to get what they want. Teens who were once pageant children may end up with low self-esteem, eating disorders and depression as well as a sense of never being good enough.
It can also lead to children being extremely spoiled. Being given pretty clothes and all kinds of attention...
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