Lacie Tarver, Writer

There are many opinions and contradictions that are presented within the topic of pageants.  Where people get the most confused is in knowing and understanding that there are many different types of pageants, and even with knowledge of that, every pageant system and director sets the atmosphere differently.  Although the typical pageant season that is most commonly known in every local setting due to school pageants is between the months of October-December, for some, pageant season never ends.  Where a lot of concern derives from is the stereotypes and mixed truths that are involved.  From my perspective and personal experience, it is not solely the pageants that are the root of all of this contradiction.  It is depending on who is participating, whether or not they are truly enjoying themselves and have a desire to be there, or if the parent is the one that is forcing it.  Of all the different types of pageants, the one that seems to draw the most friction and outside hatred for the pageant world are called glitz pageants.  These pageants are most popular within the ages of 1-13 and are widely known especially due to the TLC hit show, “Toddlers in Tiaras”.  I have always loved doing pageants, win or lose, and finally convinced my mom to let me compete in glitz pageants from 6th to 8th grade.  I personally had the time of my life; however, I was also able to see the dark side of pageants through these glitz pageants.  I have witnessed a 6-month-old baby get spray-tanned, children as young as 2 years old be forced to wear fake teeth called “flippers” as well as wigs, mothers forcing their child to consume Mountain Dews, Energy drinks, and Pixie Stix so the child would be hyper enough to want to do the pageant, and so much more disturbing as well as concerning factors and actions.  Once I outgrew the glitz pageants, I moved into more of a mature scenery of pageants, in which is a totally different ballgame and took me some time to get used to.  These pageants have very positive outcome and effects on the individuals who train and compete in this atmosphere.  The interview portion of these competitions are very helpful in a futuristic setting of one day going in for a career interview that could literally set and change one’s entire life for the better.  These pageants are also beneficial in aiding in one overcoming insecurities, overall stage presence or just social qualities in general, and countless more of these positive effects.  With all of that being said, I would not trade the amazing experiences, good and bad, I have had that pageants have given me for the world.