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Last Updated: Friday July 31 2009 10:02 GMT

Should there be more beauty contests for kids?

Beauty contest
A grown-up beauty contest

A 13-year-old girl from Lancashire wants more beauty contests for kids in the UK.

They happen a lot in America but not very often in this country.

So do you think that spending ages dressing up for the judges would be good fun? Maybe you've entered one before... what was it like?

Or do you think competitions like this put too much pressure on kids, and could make them feel bad about how they look?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"I think beauty contests should maybe be for 14-year-olds or over because they are just not for kids. If there were more for kids they would start getting obsessed with looks so... nah."

Sophy, 10, Scotland

"I think there should be more beauty contests for kids because, well, I'm a girl."

Ameera, 8, London, England

"Of course they should do beauty contests for children, it will make you look glamorous!"

Katie, 11, Shropshire, England

"No, there's no way they should do beauty contests for children. It's really pathetic, and it makes you grow up quicker that you should."

Maria, 12, Stockport, England

"I don't know where I stand on this issue. Though children should have the right to do whatever they wish, the adults who care for them will, doubtless, put pressure on the children. They'd probably only be female beauty pageants, anyway, which is rather unfair."

Harry, 13, Nottingham, England

"I think it's wrong for kids to act 10 years older!"

Claire, 13, Scotland

"I don't think there should be contests because all girls are pretty!"

Danielle, 10, Glasgow, Scotland

"I think they're alright for grown-ups but for kids it makes them look like Barbie dolls and I think it's alright if you win but if you don't then you'd think you're not pretty. Really it's what's on the inside that makes you pretty."

Emily, 12, Stockport, England

"Yeah there should, Cheryl Cole was in loads of beauty contests when she was a kid and look where she got to! I'd enter them myself if there were more to strut my stuff and hopefully WIN."

Eleanor, 12, Lincoln, England

"I do think there should be a beauty pageant because it gives you strength on stage and gives you courage. I love doing beauty pageants."

Lottie, 11, Bath, England

"Err...I think it is a silly idea for kids to think they must dress up like that, I think you should look natural."

Kira, 9, Spain

"It's OK until you lose. Then you start looking in the mirror and could become obsessed by the way you look. I think kids are too young for this."

David, 14, Eastbourne, East Sussex

"I'm 13 and I don't think they should be allowed for children our age. I've been put under pressure and I think people will crack and some people might not want to be involved whatsoever and I am one of those people."

Corinne, 13, Brighton, East Sussex

"I think there shouldn't be any for under 18s. It can make kids feel bad about how they look and they might be very pretty, but then they look artificial and fake. Then they lose, which ruins their confidence. Then again, it would maybe be fun."

Sophie, 11, Hertfordshire, England

"I don't think there should because it's a ridiculous idea. Girls just want to be beautiful and kids are too young to have beauty contests."

Lauren, 9, London, England

"Beauty contests are a bad idea, people should be happy with their natural beauty, which is always more beautiful than artificial beauty."

Alice, 14, Essex, England

"It's stupid, it will make pretty girls more popular while other girls will feel worse about their looks. It's judging people on looks when personality is just as, or more, important."

Rachel, 14, Ayrshire, Scotland

"It's ridiculous! Looks aren't as important as personality. Beauty contests just get kids all excited and when they don't win they feel devastated! Girls are comparing themselves on how beautiful they are already, let alone at beauty contests!"

Millie, 10, Coventry, England

"I think beauty pageants put kids under pressure and just focus on looks when personality is more important."

Pearl, 10, Somerset, England

"I agree with Eilish from Scotland!"

Georgia, 12, Southport, England

"I think it's a stupid idea, because it ruins kids' confidence."

Yumi, 12, London, England

"I think there should be more because it can bring up your confidence."

Eilish, 11, Angus, Scotland

"I think beauty pageants are a waste of time. All they're really doing is rating you and if you don't win it makes you feel like you're not as good as you think, when really everyone is beautiful and unique in their own way."

Emily, 14, Leeds, England

"I think it's a really bad idea, beauty contests are just shows that promote artificial beauty."

Alexia, 11, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I think there should be more beauty contests."

Mollie, 9, England

"I think they're a big waste of time, they don't matter at all."

Sarah, 10, Yorkshire, England

"No way! They're so superficial. It's revolting having little kids wearing several tonnes of make-up and buying expensive dresses. Eww."

Iris, 11, Bristol, England

"I think that beauty contests for kids aren't a good idea because it puts pressure on girls to be beautiful and could make them feel bad about the way they look."

Mollie, 13, UK

"I think it's unfair to people who aren't quite as pretty as others. The only people who enjoy beauty contests are beautiful themselves and therefore don't get self-conscious watching them."

Emily, 13, Bournemouth, England

"I don't think it really matters what country they hold them in, at least the contestants have natural beauty."

Alexandria, 10, London, England

"In my opinion, I think they should be held but for people aged 13 and upwards, because an 11-year-old might not be able to deal with the pressure and some kids might not even want to compete. They should not be banned but they should have an age restriction."

Leyla, 12, Scotland

"I think beauty pageants are a bad idea. I feel strongly that beauty isn't everything and I think by having beauty contests people are going to think it is!"

Olivia, 14, UK

"I think that beauty pageants should only be OK if the contestants do not go too far."

Kate, 10, East Sussex, England

"Beauty contests? I don't like them, because they might make other girls unhappy about themselves."

Charlotte, 13, Chesterfield, England

"I think that beauty contests are a bad idea because they waste lots of money and make children feel bad about themselves."

Tamara, 10, Middlesex, England

"Beauty contests are quite fun, but sometimes they're worse than they look. It shouldn't be done a lot but it is good to have once in a while."

Aliya, 9, London, England

"I think they are OK for teenagers because they can really build confidence, but they should be based around natural looks and personality, and not how much make-up and fake tan you can pile onto your face. Pageants can be OK, but when there are little kids all dressed up in loads of make-up and expensive dresses it just seems like a waste. The parents end up putting too much pressure on them to win, and then the whole family is distraught when they don't. I think there should be an age limit (13? 12?) because when you are older you can make your own decisions and won't be as upset if you don't win."

Caitlin, 13, Leeds, England

"No, because you don't want kids getting the idea that they have to be beautiful... you don't have to be beautiful on the outside you can be beautiful on the inside as well!"

Sharky, 10, Derbyshire, England

"I think there should be more beauty contests in Britain! I would really like to be in one and I think it would give people more a chance!"

Alice, 12, Wiltshire, England

"They're not really a good idea, because you can't help if you're beautiful or not, and almost all the time it seems like it's the mum that's wanting to do it, not the girl."

Isabel, 11, Colchester, England

"I don't know really. Probably not, because it's more of an adult thing than a child's thing."

Laura, 11, Northamptonshire, England

"I think they're a great idea to be honest, they can give children great confidence and a chance in life. People who want to enter their children in these competitions have the right and I think if the child wants to it's fine and a great opportunity."

Jennifer, 12, Glasgow, Scotland

"I think they're a terrible idea, mainly because often the parents build their child up to think that they're fantastic and are definitely going to win, and then when they don't, the kid must feel absolutely awful."

Hunter, 12, USA

"No, it's a BAD idea!! It can be very offensive when you lose. It's too much pressure, too much money has to be spent and most importantly, it will make the child think they are perfect, and make them grow up mentally or even physically!!"

Faeqa, 11, London, England

"Well I think it's OK if you did natural pageants because then they would be judging you on your personality and not your looks, because maybe some nastiness might creep into beauty contests. It shouldn't be who is graced with good looks, but who is a good sport, talented and nice."

Chamy, 12, East Sussex, England

"I think that being judged by looks alone is really bad for you. So is wearing make-up when you're 13, it will tire out your skin. Also, who wants to spend £600 on dresses, hair and make-up? Not me!"

Claire, 12, Cardiff, Wales

"I love beauty pageants. I started competing when I was four and didn't stop there. I've lost count of how many trophies and crowns I've won. I even won $5,000 and a car once. I don't think there's anything wrong with pageants, it just makes for healthy competition, but it's not for everyone. You have to be able to cope under pressure."

India, 14, Arizona, USA

"I disagree because children are getting to that stage when they need to concentrate on their future not things like this. Children can even get bullied from looking different or they brag if they have won. Even little girls I have seen in the supermarket are pulling out Gucci, Chanel and other expensive brands of make-up and nail polish. It is not very good for their skin."

Daisy, 12, Dover, England

"I don't think there should be beauty contests for children, I think they should wait till they are a little older. Those who don't win can have a complex."

Isabella, 10, Essex, England

"No! It is horrible for girls this age to be wearing so much fake tan and make-up!"

Shannon, 12, Derry, Ireland

"Well I'm not sure about it because when those girls lose it's not a pretty sight. Make-up everywhere and tears that could fill buckets. It's just upsetting if you lose. There are so many bad chemicals in make-up as well and the little children in Africa have nothing .. hardly any clothes and some girls are spending over £600 on make-up and dresses and stuff. It's just making me speechless. I'd love to take part in one but I'm a brunette, do you really think that brown haired girls can be beauty competition queens?"

Bonnie, 12, Northern Ireland

"I so agree it's nice to have a beauty contest once in a while."

Kathryn, 10, Alaska, USA

"No way, kids are way to young for this sort of thing."

Jake, 10, Peterborough, England

"No way! Who needs fake tan? And they aren't about anything important."

Anne, 12, London, England

"I don't know what to think. I would enjoy doing it, dressing up, having my make-up done, feeling pretty, but I don't think it's right for small kids to do it."

Bethan, 13, Suffolk, England

"Personally, I think that the whole idea of beauty contests is wrong. It makes so many people unhappy with themselves and the idea of doing it with children is just disgusting. I'm not trying to offend anyone, but this is WRONG."

Dizzy, 11, London, England

"It's a terrible idea. They make kids either arrogant, insecure or even anorexic."

Kerrie, 13, Surrey, England

"I think it is cool but it is a bit mean for the girls who don't get anything."

Charlie, 13, Bolton, England

"No, I totally disagree. A girl in my class is always wearing fake tan and she wears bright red lipstick to school. Also this other girl is make-up crazy. When we went away as a school she was putting non water proof make up on for a water day and then she would do it again half-way through!"

Abbie, 11, Essex, England

"No, it's crazy. They should have an age limit."

Sam, 8, Tyne and Wear, England

"I do not think 13-year-olds should participate because it can emotionally scar them for life."

John, 10, Birmingham, England

"It's great if you can handle the pressure and rejection if you don't win but if you can't then it is seriously worrying. Young girls already have enough pressure from the media to be perfect without the added stress of pageants."

Phoebe, 14, Newcastle, England

"Beauty contests really don't make people feel pretty because their parents spray tan them and put fake teeth in their mouths and do a lot more horrible things. It's dreadful. If beauty contests had girls with no make-up, no tan, and just a pretty dress on, they would be okay."

Taylor, 12, Middlesex, England

"I hate beauty pageants. It's just celebrating how pretty other people are. People with self-esteem issues can be really badly affected just by watching!"

Alice, 12, Essex, England

"Yes, there should be. I haven't seen one for ages."

Rose, 8, Darlington, England

"So what, I wear make-up all the time. If girls want to enter contests that's fine. If girls think they need make-up to boost self-esteem what's wrong with that."

Demi, 11, London, England

"Life's just one big beauty contest anyway."

Rebecca, 13, Leicester, England

"I don't think there should be because we are still growing and it kind of makes other people feel bad about themselves!"

Lola, 14, Wales

"I think there is a positive side and a negative side. The good thing is that you can express yourself, in a good way. The bad thing is that you have so much work to do at school and you might feel bad if you don't win."

Kimberly, 11, Dundee, Scotland

"I think it's OK. It would give people confidence, and even if they lost, they still get to be dressed up and fussed over! What girl wouldn't want that? It'll be healthy competition anyway. These contests also include talent and personality parts as well, so it's not all about the way they look."

Heather, 13, England

"I don't think there should be any because I think that it will hurt the girls who lose. I don't think it's a good idea, why waste lots of money just to lose? Other girls will get jealous and think they aren't good enough and the really bonny girls might not have enough money to enter one!"

Kate, 13, Lancashire, England

"No, a child's time should be about having fun and getting dirty etc, not wearing fake tans and applying layers of make-up. The competition also puts pressure on the children and that may lead to tantrums. Therefore it is an unnecessary risk that may lead children into living horrible lives."

Mariam, 13, London, England

"I think young children wearing lots of make-up and fake things is not a good image to other kids and one they will copy."

Megan, 12, Berkshire, England

"It's a bad idea because if they don't win the rejection could make them have anorexia and make them wear more fake tan and make-up."

Ellie, 12, Dorset, England

"No! I think stuff like that would just encourage young girls into the habit of buying and wearing excessive make-up! The pressure would be too much for some and it would be unfair on others because they might not be able to afford the price of all the makeup and dresses!"

Louise, 12, England

"I have just watched the story about beauty contests. My friend is into all of this and on a daily basis she constantly tells me that she hates the way that she looks and she can't see why she hasn't won.

"She associates not winning these contests with being ugly and fat, rather than associating them with stick thin girls, caked in make-up. She doesn't realise herself, but every time she enters one of these contests she just comes out feeling uglier and fatter when she is blatantly not!

"Even if you win you will still hate the way that you look. Us girls shouldn't create more trashy beauty contests for kids, we should create other activities that are good for us both physically and mentally!

"We shouldn't be entering contests and worrying what we look like as children, we should just enjoy our childhoods while they last, have fun and stop worrying and caring about how we look."

Chantelle, 14, London, England

"I couldn't believe that she was the same age as me. With all that make-up on you should be yourself. I don't think they should have more beauty contests because it makes the girls look bad."

Emma, 13, Cornwall, England

"I think that people should only host beauty contests if kids enjoy it. But people that are rejected for the contest may get upset. So it's yes and no for me."

Olivia, 10, Wiltshire, England

"I think it's a good and fun idea to have them in the UK, but it can change people in many ways."

Megan, 9, Bristol, England

"Why should we have beauty pageants? They're horrible and very downgrading for the self-esteem of the children who don't win. Those who win then lord over those who haven't and those at their school, because they've been proven to be an airhead. In my opinion, people who enter beauty pageants are basically idiots - because they CARE about their looks way too much. They have a good looking outer shell and they think that means that they are better than everyone else. They aren't! It's the personality, not the beauty, that should be judged. But no-one ever cares about that anymore."

Chrissi, 12, Crewe, England

"I think they're horrible as they make girls feel ugly and down if they lose and they'll feel not acceptable in society."

Miriam, 11, Surrey, England

"I think there should be more beauty pageants in the UK. As long as we don't get too obsessed with our looks then it's just some fun to look good!"

Libby, 10, Surrey, England

"Beauty contests are really stupid. EVERYONE is beautiful in their own way, also people have different ideas of what's pretty. I think there should be fashion shows instead, I've been in one before - they're much more fun."

Suzanne, 14, Hertfordshire, England

"I think it's a good idea if you're confident, pretty and can handle the pressure of losing or winning!"

Bethany, 9, Ayrshire, England

"I think it is a bad idea because it makes young kids think they are beautiful and the best! Parents put too much pressure on the kids and kids wear fake tan!"

Hannah, 13, London, England

"No way. It just forces kids to grow up too quickly and puts too much pressure on them. It will result in pushy parents making their young kids go into things which they aren't ready for. Also if you don't win, you will probably have body issues for the rest of your life."

Lizzie, 13, England

"Oh, yes. I've won a couple of my local ones and it encourages healthy competition."

Courtinia, 14, Surrey, England

"No, I think beauty contest are too much pressure. Already at school, girls are pressurised into looking good. Can you imagine how obsessed girls would get if there were beauty contests!"

Quella, 14, London, England

"I think it is OK but sometimes it's not because it might hurt other contestant's feelings."

Caroline, 11, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

"Yes, I think there should be."

Charlotte, 14, Yorkshire, England

"No, because you will waste a lot of money on clothes and make-up."

Sara, 10, London, England

"No, they are wrong! Children should not wearing fake tan and having so much pressure put on them at a young age. They shouldn't be trying to look like an adult when they are still children!"

Jasmine, 13, UK

"I think it is wrong because then society will only judge people on how they look and not their ability."

Holly, 14, UK

"No, because if you don't win you feel bad about yourself and might think that you are ugly!"

Zara, 12, London, England

"I think we should have more contests for kids because they are fun."

Seany, 10, Wiltshire, England

"Well, really it's their choice but to be honest, you see all those beautiful baby competitions and no-one ever makes a big fuss over them. So why should teenagers be any different?!"

Hannah, 13, Aberdeen, Scotland

"Beauty pageants can be intimidating and stressful. Lots of money and time goes to waste judging people on how they look. Also, you should worry more about how you act and your personality rather than how other people think you look."

Revati, 12, London, England

"No, there shouldn't be anymore beauty contests in the UK because if girls don't win then they will try to make themselves look better by having surgery and spending loads of money!"

Sophie, 11, Manchester, England

"No!! It just makes kids feel too obsessed about how they look."

Hannah, 13, Scotland

"Beauty pageants are totally a bad idea as girls are being made to look like Barbie dolls and then buying really expensive dresses and it's a recession. Girls need to focus on their lives."

Evan, 13, Kent, England

"I don't think that there should be more contests, because the people who don't win might think they are ugly."

Venetia, 11, Dorset, England

"I think that having a beauty contest is quite intimidating and makes other girls look bad, and may cause a lot of stress put upon themselves. Anyway, having said this there are a lot of other things girls should be focusing on, like education and planning their future. "

Saamiya, 13, London, England

"No, because I think they are tacky and children should not be wearing fake tan!!! It looks awful! But natural competitions are OK."

Amy, 10 Liverpool, England

"I think they are silly as they just make the children who don't win feel bad. Why pay all that money for the clothes and things? Children should just think everyone is beautiful in their own way and not what some judge thinks."

Ellie, 12, England

"I think it is a good idea if you think you are good looking and can handle the pressure of winning or losing."

Phoebe, 11, Hertfordshire, England

"No, because children from all ages will start to make themselves look pretty and they'll start to hate who they are and they'll put loads of make-up on to try to look pretty."

Georgia, 9, Bournemouth, England

"I think it is a bad idea. Children should focus on more important things, like school. I watched a programme on TV only a couple of nights ago and it was very sad how much pressure the children were under."

Lauren, 13, Scotland

"I don't think beauty contests for teenagers and children would be a very good idea - doesn't Britain have enough problems with body image? But I think NATURAL beauty contests are a great idea!"

Ellie, 13, Wales

"My cousin enters all of these beauty contests, and from experience, all it produces are children growing up too fast. To be honest, it's just people trying to out-pretty each other. No good comes out of it."

Niamh, 12, Wales

"Yes, children don't really get a chance to show off their beauty here in England. It's a good idea!!"

Zoe, 11, Luton, England

"I think more beauty competitions are not going to be good at all. They would probably only make children think that they are so pretty and wonderful if they won, and so I think it is a silly idea."

Katie, 11, Yorkshire, England

"I think they are a great idea AS LONG AS the children want to enter themselves and their parents don't force them to enter - where's the fun in that? And of course there would have to be some restrictions. But I would love to have some beauty contests over in the UK, I would enter for sure."

Kirsty, 12, Coventry, England

"Yes, because there are loads of contests for older women only. So they should give girls a chance to try their hardest!"

Natalie, 10, Nottingham, England

"NO! Beauty contests are repulsive, and they set a terrible example to kids, making them feel the need to look stereotypically 'beautiful', and they'll soon get incredibly self-conscious."

Izzi, 12, Essex, England

"It all depends really. It's OK as long as you dress your age and not like a 21-year-old. Also, people can be put under A LOT of pressure with these sort of things."

Sarah, 12, Merseyside, England

"No, it would be a bad effect on people's esteem, either negative or too positive."

Charlotte, 13, Nottinghamshire, England

"I don't think there should be kids beauty contests, because if some children lose they get low self-esteem. It also teaches kids to care more about what they wear and what they look like than who they are inside."

Chloe, 12, Stockport, England

"NO WAY! Beauty contests are for shallow freaks who actually care about their appearance enough to act like stuck up fools in front of everyone. Ban beauty contests now!"

Kara, 12, Scotland

"I think beauty contests for kids shouldn't even exist! Dressing up and spending ages putting make-up on is a bit too much for girls."

Eva, 9, Sheffield, England

"I think beauty contests are horrible. I think it's fine if the child wants to do it, but it should be about natural beauty not make-up, no beauty products and no treatments. Beautiful children just being themselves."

Rosie, 12, London, England

"No, there should not be beauty contests for kids it is wrong."

Daniel, 10, Hull, England

"I don't think so!!!"

Angelina, 13, London, England

"I would love to enter a beauty contest, they sound fun so why not?!"

Savannah, 10, UK

"I think it's a bad idea. Teenagers have a bad reputation as it is. They should study, work hard, live a little bit, get a good job and then if they still want to go for a beauty contest. I don't see the point in putting your life on hold for a competition that you might not even win."

Tayler, 13, UK