An Indiana mother is shouting back against the criticism she’s received after putting her 2-year-old daughter into a beauty pageant. Ebony Roberts’ daughter Laila is participating in the Sunburst International Beauty Pageant in Atlanta on today. Laila, along with other pageant contestants, will compete for the top price of $10,000.
But once the media got news of her daughter’s participation, Roberts received criticism.
News of her decision to enter her Laila in the pageant was published by The Star on Tuesday. And almost immediately, it attracted criticism from parents who say beauty pageants exploit children. Others argued that the pageants make children grow up too fast by allowing them to wear makeup, hair extensions, fake nails and false teeth.
Roberts, however, told The Star in response to the criticism that babies and toddlers are discouraged from wearing makeup at the pageant.
“She is going to be completely natural,” Roberts said. “I am not going to make her do anything over the top.”
Roberts said pageants are an opportunity for Laila to gain self-confidence.
“Her childhood should be her childhood,” Roberts said. “We do pageants because I want Laila to try different things.”
Roberts said she also works on sharpening Laila’s social skills through sports.
“I want her to try everything,” Roberts said. “Eventually she will tell me what she doesn’t like.”
On the pageant stage, Laila is a standout, Roberts said. The toddler earned the chance to represent Indiana at the international competition after sweeping the statewide Sunburst pageant in May.
Sunburst encourages parents not to apply makeup on contestants two or younger. There are also restrictions for constant up to age 6.
Since the popularity of “Toddlers & Tiaras”, who we can thank for Honey Boo-Boo, more mothers are trying to get their children involved in the pageant lifestyle. But are these mothers trying to reclaim what was missing in their own childhood, under the guise of exposing their child to it?
Who knows, but I’ve seen some of these little kids, and although this particular pageant discourages makeup for children under 2, I’ve seen little girls that looked like they ran through a MAC counter.
Clutchettes, what do you think about kids and pageants?