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Last Updated: Tuesday July 28 2009 15:15 GMT

Ricky meets teen beauty queen

Sasha and Ricky

They're aren't many beauty contests for kids in the UK at the moment, but a 13-year-old from Burnley, Lancashire wants to change all that.

She's a reigning beauty queen in England and America and wants to see more of these sort of competitions over here. Ricky went to meet her...


"Sasha is like loads of young girls. She's really into music, dancing and shopping.

But Sasha spends a lot more time looking in the mirror, fixing her hair and putting on make-up. That's because she's a beauty queen, even though she's only 13.

Over the past five years, Sasha has entered beauty pageants in England and America. She's travelled with her family to participate in lots of contests, showing off her cheerleading talent and unique style.

Bad idea?

Sasha

I got to interview Sasha the day before she flew off to Dallas in America to take part in another beauty pageant.

I wanted to find out why she takes part in them and what she thinks about the people who say they're a bad idea.

Sasha's bedroom is bright pink and filled with trophies, make-up, clothes and posters. We started talking about all the trophies she had won and how much they all meant to her.

She told me she likes to show off in front of the camera and she takes part in the pageants to meet new people and make friends.

Make-up

Chat
Crown

Sasha likes to look like a princess and dress up for the day. She says it's all just a bit of harmless fun, but not everyone agrees.

Some experts say it isn't a good idea to judge people on looks alone and think competitions that do, send out the wrong message.

So what about all the make-up that Sasha wears? Well, Sasha said she only ever wears a lot make-up when she's taking part in the pageants.

At school, she just wears bit of foundation, mascara and blusher. Still, some might argue that even that is a bit too much for someone so young.

Preparations

Sasha having her hair done

Along with Sasha's mum, Jayne, I went to their local beauty salon to see how the 13-year-old prepares for a big competition.

She was having her hair coloured and styled ready for the big contest. Sasha said she loves all the attention and being pampered on a regular basis - but it doesn't come cheap.

During the pageants, Sasha's mum spends over £600 on her daughter buying dresses, make-up and spending money on travel.

UK contests

While Sasha participates in her second American beauty pageant, she told me she hopes to see even more contests in the UK when she returns.

Over the next couple of years, along with her mum, she hopes to introduce them up and down the country.

So, would you like to see more beauty pageants in the UK or do you think they do more harm than good?"

Ricky