March 20, 2013 by Stacy McDonald

Are Beauty Pageants “Beautiful?”

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Have you ever considered what the real difference is between stripping off your dignity to stand on a runway or stage (often half-dressed) while strangers evaluate your body—strangers who are given the right to decide whether or not you’re “good enough” and standing on an auction block while slave traders do the same thing?

Both situations are humiliating, degrading, and ultimately shameful—both are done for the base pleasure or benefit of others, but somehow women are fooled into thinking pageants honor them and their daughters. We women are often fooled into this type of thing because we yield to temptation—we get sucked in by our desire for affirmation through an appeal to our flesh and vanity.

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23

And, mothers, consider what this communicates to young women: Your worth is measured by how outwardly beautiful other people think you are. And then we wonder why we have girls prancing and flaunting themselves in front of boys, desperate for approval and attention—we’ve taught them how to do it! No wonder we have girls with eating disorders and depression because they can’t measure up to the world’s evasive definition of beauty.

When we make the effort to represent Christ by communicating chastity, discretion, loveliness, and Christ’s love His beauty will show! Be faithful, teach your daughters by word and by example that beauty doesn’t come from a tube of lipstick, it doesn’t come from having a 21-inch waist, and it’s not lost because those gray hairs start coming.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

If you still think beauty pageants are “beautiful,” watch this to see if you might consider evaluating them differently from now on…

Toddlers and Tiaras Clip 1

Toddlers and Tiaras Clip 2

While this was an extreme example, and it made the “ugliness” of pageants obvious, all “beauty contests” communicate the same thing: Your worth is measured by how many people think you’re cute, by how well you are shaped, and by how much (or willing) you are to shake your stuff for a bunch of voyeurists.

Visions of slave auctions dance in my head…



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39 Responses to “Are Beauty Pageants “Beautiful?””

  1. Deanna says:

    Thank you Stacy….

    I am the mother of four daughters, who are being taught their true worth and value….I appreciate your passionate post!


  2. Dana Adams says:

    That was very disturbing. I had to turn off the audio and couldnt finish watching it. I certainly hope that is the exception..I have never seen anything like that before. How sad…

  3. Jennifer says:

    Disgusting, is what I thought when I saw that mother, like a big child, and her daughter, looking like she was going into some kind of fashion epilectic seizure when she called herself a superstar and started striking those ridiculous “poses”. Unbelievable. Thank you for the post, it brings things home.

  4. Shelley Gehman says:

    What is perhaps most disturbing, is that anyone would find little girls who are transformed into adult-looking/acting tramps appealing, not to mention giving them money and trophies. Clearly there is a deep seated perversion working in this, nothing innocent about it. To reward a veneer of beauty falsely applied and distorted is robbery to the little girl and deception to the on-lookers. To find satisfaction in this is utterly empty, like the drink that little one gulps before her show…full of junk that gives her a high, but is empty of anything her growing body needs. If nothing changes, the little girl will end up just like her momma, House full of stuff, but empty nonetheless

  5. Laura says:

    Wow, that is disgusting. The little girl is so… creepy, how vacuous and ‘grown-up’ (not in a good way) she acts. Mothers like that should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting their children. You can tell that child isn’t happy. She isn’t allowed to be normal or childish; everything apparently revolves around being the best in the show.
    Another thing is that she is being made to look ‘sexy’ at the age of 6. What will she be like when she is older and really understands what ‘sexy’ is? All I can say is, this is really, really sad.

  6. Michelle says:

    When I stop reeling from this…I may have something more to say.

  7. Aaliyah says:

    Great Post! I usally LOVE watching that show and now my eyes are truly opened! Thank You!

  8. I never have been fond of beauty pageants and I have my dad to thank for that. When I was young, my mother wanted to put me in one. His response: “I don’t need anybody to tell me that my daughter is beautiful!”

    I love my Dad!!

  9. LP says:

    Not to mention what all the TAURINE and SUGAR in that Mountain Dew energy drink concoction is doing to that little girl’s body. I see a future diabetic and narcoleptic. Can she not eat and drink health snacks to give her energy?

  10. Laura Sword says:

    Wow. I am speechless and I am saddened, But thankful nonetheless that I now have just one more reason to train my daughters and sons in what true “beauty” is.

  11. Paula says:

    Pageants are a pedophile paradise. You never know who is watching these girls and taking photos. I couldn’t do that to my daughter.

  12. …but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. II Cor. 10:12b

  13. Jennifer says:

    The kid looks drunk or possessed when she downs that sugary stuff. She’s supposed to fluant her unattractive stomach now; in six years, she’ll be told to flatten it into an ironing board and pretend it never existed.

  14. victoria says:

    That poor, poor child. We have received several of those child pageant invitations, and I have put all of them in the proper place – the garbage can.


  15. Kim says:

    Wow. I’m not sure what to say. That was disgusting and sad at the same time. She is destroying that little girl. I have a six year old and I can’t imagine “wanting” her to act that way and be judged like that. I couldn’t even watch the whole thing. I’m so thankful that we are raising our 3 girls to be modest and live a life pleasing to the Lord.

  16. Mrs. Amy Koelln says:

    May God have mercy on us as a nation! One for being the type of society that participates in this and second because we watch it for entertainment. This child can hardly speak properly, maintain composure or look the camera in the eye…she looks under the influence quite frankly. Thank you for posting this and challenging people to reconsider an ungodly practice that undermines girls and women.

  17. amy says:

    the first thought i had was ‘disgusting’ and then i read the comments and everyone had the same sentiments. the saddest thing is that poor child is being doped (with dangerous levels of sugar) in order to keep her moving and ‘energized’ for the pageants. this is a definite exploitation and ‘pimping’ of children!!

  18. Heather says:

    There are no words to sum up how disturbing this is to me as a wife, a woman, a mother .. and a human being. Depravity of this sort should be shunned, not flaunted on stage let alone invited into people’s homes willingly via television. That drab, unininviting home … the by-stander, passionless father … the mother urging her child to “act sexy” … and that poor little girl who knows nothing else ….


  19. Jenny says:

    I don’t understand what the mothers get from this. I love my daughters and know they are beautiful inside and out ~ why on earth would I want a panel of people deciding if every one else should think so, too?
    That poor little girl is being set up for very rough years ahead. If dressing scantily and drinking gogo juice are acceptable now, what will be allowed when she’s a teen desiring the attention of young men? Mommy needs to deal with her own insecurities before trying to reconcile them through her baby.

  20. Crafty Mama says:

    That’s horrible. What a perverted way to look at anyone, much less innocent children. How could you raise a child like that? That is truly disgusting. What horrible thing happened to all the moms and judges in their lives that they feel the need to scantily dress up toddlers and parade them around for their own sick pleasure? Just awful.

  21. Jenni says:

    There are so many “wrongs” here…perhaps the place to start is with some professional counseling for the mother. Where is the father in all of this? I saw him at the beginning when they were all throwing paper towels at each other and then again toward the end when Alana won 3rd runner up…we was sitting with no interest or reaction. I would also suggest marriage counseling. Involved in the counseling there should be a “get healthy” element for Mom and guidance on finding true fulfillment in this life — humility toward God and obedience to His will. I am so sad for this entire family.

  22. Leisl says:

    Tragic is the word I would use to describe what I have seen here. It is tragic at many levels: The lost time in training this little girl in what really matters, the obvious fact that this mom doesn’t know herself what really matters, and the father who actually looks displeased and disgusted himself at the end of the video, but also looks as if he has given up— like any disagreement would be a lost cause.

    I agree with another commenter who mentioned the need for counseling, and I think those of us who read this should put some effort into praying for this family…that our Lord would draw them to Himself and begin showing them His beauty. There is a society around us that NEEDS for us to be different and yet not judgemental of those who don’t have the moral understanding of those who belong to Christ. Our judgement of people apart from our love does nothing to draw them to Him. What can we expect of those without Him? Should we be surprised? I think not. Should we be disgusted? Of course, but I think we should also ask the Lord to show us how to minister to people like this as He gives opportunity.

  23. Diane Sower says:

    Does Jon Benet Ramsey come to mind? Some horrific pedophile entered their dwelling and took their child from them. She had been made to look like a movie queen, in inappropriate clothing. Does anyone here watch Toddlers and Tiaras? These moms literally force open the little girls mouths and dump sugar down their throats, to get them energized for the judges. They teach them “bumping and grinding” moves, to sexualize their routines. None of them actually dance, sing, play an instrument, rather, they act and dress sexy all under the guise of winning the ultimate crown. Second mortgages are taken out to spend thousands on these children. What will they think of themselves when they are no longer cute enough to participate, or, when they look like their mothers, which is generally a bit on the chubby side? My heart breaks for them.

  24. Tanya says:

    I may be the only one, but I have to admit my heart goes out to the mother. Something tells me she endured something horrific (or it could simply be bad upbringing and ignorance) to reduce her own child down like that. I will pray for that mother and the chains that bind her. I will pray for that whole industry. Satan is having a ball with them. I pray all of my brothers and sisters in Christ will be moved to prayer also. Thank God we know better, but others simply don’t.

    He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.. ~ 2 Timothy 1:9


  25. Jenny says:

    I’m pretty sure I kept a frown on my face through the entire thing. Not impressed. Especially, when the mother is hollering at the little girl during her “performance”, and is unhappy that her daughter didn’t show her belly. Only gives me even more motivation to raise our daughter to be a modest young woman. I feel so badly for that little girl.

  26. I feel sorry for this poor little girl. Seeing the way she acted on stage made me think of this website I’ve been browsing recently:

    Two sisters are trying to get out the message that there is more to girls and women than their bodies. I really appreciate that they’re talking about this.

  27. Mary says:

    There are a lot of roads one could go down in discussing this disturbing video. I was comforted by the fact that there were so few in the audience. Makes me hopeful these kind of exploitive events are sparsely attended.

    The mom was obviously mentally ill. No other explanation for such strange and disturbing behavior.

    I’ll be praying for this family.

    Deeply painful to watch…

  28. Kari says:

    This just makes me so sad! I am the mama of one little girl (and 3 boys) and I cannot imagine encouraging this type of behavior. The behavior of the mother was as bad if not worse than that of the little girl…and they are proud of it and think it’s cute. Just so very sad!
    Thank you for this post. God wants us to be examples to our little girls and teach them to be modest, godly young ladies. May we see the fallacy of the world’s idea of beauty and focus on God’s idea of beauty!

  29. Annabelle Kopf says:

    I can’t help but cry as I watch this– I just want to hold this little girl and tell her how precious she is, how much God loves her! God open the eyes of the parents to see how much they are harming her.

  30. Shared at RH, Stacy! Great seeing you again and hope your daughter is feeling better!

    Many blessings…

  31. Kristie says:

    I am sorry I know that all of you see the bad sides of pageants and the parts that you want to see… But my daughter is 4 years old and does pageants. She is the one who came to me and wanted to do them. She loves doing them and has alot of fun doing them. She is normally a very shy little girl but when she does a pageant she finds a certain confidence and enjoyment that is unbelievable. We do the naturals pageants right now but if she decided she wanted to do a glitz pageant I would allow her to. I do not think that everyone should be so hard on pageants all together simply because some moms chose to take it to an extreme. I think that you should understand that alot of the time it is the childs dream and interest.

  32. Amazing! I cannot believe that there are mothers out there that do that to their children! I am trying to find modest clothes that make my 7 year old still look like a little girl!!! Why in the world would anyone want their child to look or act like that.

  33. Lisa Beth W. says:


    Don’t you think that children often do choose things that are very harmful to them? Four year olds don’t know what is best for them and need guidance from the adults in their lives to help them along. I think you need to consider what your daughter’s sense of worth may come to rest on if she continues to participate in things that focus only on outward appearance. Sure, she may love doing them b/c of all the attention and dressing up (what little girl doesn’t like dress-up?), but does that mean it is the best things for her to spend time on? I think you are playing a dangerous game with your daughter’s mind.

    Little girls can develop different dreams and interests than beauty pageants if the wise adults in their lives give them bigger dreams and better interests. God made your little girl, and that gives her the most significance she could ever have! There are much bigger and more beautiful things He has in store for those who love Him than being admired for outward beauty or charming manners.

  34. Vikki says:

    And if we thought THAT was bad… she and her family are getting their own show. :( HORRIBLE!!! CLICK HERE

  35. Jennifer says:

    What’s disgusting gets a show.

  36. Jennifer says:

    I did see some of their show, and it was actually a relief to see the mother calmer and less abrasive, and the kid at a normal state instead of hyped up on sugar. Still, not necessary; off pageants, they seem like a more normal, if crude, family.

  37. ChristinMom says:

    And did you watch this one?

    From a dad.
    I totally agree with him (and you).

  38. Velvet says:

    While I can understand your argument, I believe it is wrong to use the term “slave auction” to refer to beauty pageants, not least of all because it is co-opting a very real, very tragic occurrence in order to make a point.

    I’m not sure the African American slaves traded in America–separated from their husbands by the exchange of a few dollars, choked during dental examinations, degraded physically, spiritually, and mentally, their families scarred for generations–would appreciate having their experience equated to that of a privileged white woman, strutting her stuff across a rhinestone-strewn stage, to the adulation and applause of hundreds.

    To stay nothing of the slaves being traded as we speak, in every country on the globe.

  39. Elle says:

    Wow, very interesting….in college that was all we did, and it was affirmed by both the students AND the faculty. Who knew that it was basically the same thing as the auction block. Very convicting!

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