Comments About Baby Modeling and Beauty Pageants

Parents sometimes entertain the idea of pursuing modeling and pageant opportunities for their babies and young children. There are varying schools of thought on this endeavor. This page contains comments from members about baby modeling and beauty pageants, from differing positions.


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April 2, 2005

ThriftyFun does not run any pageants or hire any models so this page is just for informational purposes. Please do not post your child's photo and email address here for help. There is a lot of good advice on this page and more in the feedback. And remember, all babies are beautiful!

Play Instead Of Display

Everyone's baby is beautiful. Yours too. My suggestion? Don't disPLAY her. PLAY with her!

By Dell

I agree with Dell! Don't put your child through the stress, cost, and potentially psychologically damaging process. She won't care if everyone else thinks she is gorgeous, the only thing they care about is that her parents love and adore her. Spend the time and save yourself the money (put it in an education fund) and take her to a playgroup or maybe swimming lessons, where she can be a child not a polished ornament!

By Bronwyn

Not Worth The Money

When my daughter was six, I entered her in a pageant. A friend loaned me a white pageant dress and she looked beautiful. She did win two trophies for Best Sportswear and Prettiest Smile, but believe me, I spent way too much for those cheap little trophies and she really didn't enjoy it that much anyway. She's a gorgeous 19 year old now, but you couldn't pay her to get into a pageant. You have a beautiful baby. Enjoy her now, life passes too quickly.

By Sharon, KY

Expensive And Too Much Makeup

I am taking my one-year old to a pageant in November, her pageant fees were paid when she won a baby photo contest. Really, I think I am just doing the pageant for me. Beyond the pageant in November, however, participating in any further pageants would just be too expensive! I also know they (judges) expect the contestants to wear a ridiculous amount of cosmetics, even the toddlers! That's not for my baby girl.

New Star Discovery Pageant

Hey, guys. My daughter Brooklyn was the current Miss Kentucky and Tennessee for 8-14 months for New Star Discovery. Pageants don't have to be all about competition. They are about having fun and meeting new people. Brooklyn was crowned on Sunday, May 29th 2005! New Star Discovery has no makeup and goes until age 6. They are very strict and just want to have some fun. So, if you're interested in doing pageants, do them to have fun and find ones with no makeup. I love New Star Discovery! And by the way, just because your child is in a baby pageant, they are not a polished ornament. And pageants are about fun!

By Jennifer

Do It For The Fun

I just started with the pageant thing. My daughter has gotten 2 First Runner-Up and Prettiest Eyes. I do it because it's fun and she can win savings bonds and stuff. The trophies and crowns will be something fun she can look back onto. She enjoys it because she meets other toddlers (she's 18 months) and she likes the attention.

I am not totally crazy about it, though. I'm not the pageant mom/freak. I refuse to spend more than $30 on a dress and she wears no make up. She's going to Internationals in Atlanta this August. It's an excuse to get out and travel, too. It's fun for us and Sunburst USA is really good about it all. They don't allow make up on the babies at all, not even to cover scratches. It's all about natural beauty and it will make a difference later on. I hate the fact that I only have 2 trophies at my parents house. Everything I got was in the form of plaques. My brother has tons of trophies. She now has more than me and my hubby combined. If she ever wants to stop, I'll let her.


By 'kiesha

Enjoy Your Child's Unique Wonderfulness

This is up to you, but all babies and children have a wonderfulness about them and when you put that on stage, it's "not" so sweet and wonderful anymore. Remember the laugh that no one made her do, she just did it. It was her! Please think about it before you take the "natural" out of her beauty.

By Mimi

Try Local Pageants Instead of Sunburst

Sunburst is not the place to start, they are a rip off and they're not even about modeling. At the Internationals in Atlanta, they only had about 10 seconds on stage. You can't judge a kid in that amount of time. There were 75 girls in my daughter's age group. That is awful, I will never ever waste my money, time or energy in Sunburst again. You would be better off at simple local pageants. My daughter currently hold the title for America's Most Beautiful Girls. They are in NC and SC. I recommend them if you're in that area.

By Jenn

Comparison Of New Star Discoveries And Sunburst

My daughters (2 and 8 months) competed in both New Star Discoveries and Sunburst pageants this year. They placed in both categories. I liked that Sunburst gave everyone trophies even just for participating, but I don't like the makeup and I found a lot of inconsistencies. The children who won the photo contest had pictures like Glamour Shots and frankly looked silly. New Star allowed NO makeup and it was more friendly and less stressful (and cheaper), but the judging was done by a woman, her daughter, and another young lady. I did not feel that the 2 girls were qualified to be judging, even though my daughter did win Prettiest Eyes, Most Beautiful Baby, and Overall Competition. So I am not just saying that because I didn't win. I can go to State in either and I am going with New Star. Ladies please, when your children starts getting stressed or cries over the pageant, it is time to quit. It is not worth the broken heart.

By Cheap Pageant Mom

Consider It A Hobby

I can't say much about pageants, however my son did modeling when he was younger. We were approached by an advertising agency and things went from there. We did end up retaining an agent for him out of Chicago and she did an awesome job, however he did not land any shots through them.

The agency that approached us had him audition for quite a few things. He did end up advertising for John Deere, Ertl toys, Penford foods on a trade show flyer as well as an 8 foot lightboard. He also was on the box for Thomas the Train plus several other companies.

He did enjoy it, however he was about 5 1/2 years old when he told my husband and I that he didn't want to model anymore. We talked to him then notified his agent that we didn't want his headshots sent out at this time. He is now 16 years old and when asked if he ever wished he would have continued, without hesitation he says no. He enjoys being a kid and not having to wake up at 4:00 AM to travel to an audition as well as the uncertainty of plans for the weekend.

We never paid any money except traveling expenses and we looked at it as a hobby, not a career for our son. Please beware of forcing your child into doing something they don't want to do. I agree with Cheap Pageant Mom, if your child doesn't want to do it or is upset about it, stop doing it immediately and enjoy the time while your children are small.

By Leslie Hess

Modeling Is Different From Pageants

My daughter was in a pageant (her first and probably only) over the weekend. She just turned a year and has been modeling for about a month. They are in no way the same and it isn't necessary to pageant in order to model. I suggest approaching local agencies if modeling is what you are really looking for.

So far, in the last month she has done shoots for The Picture People and Red Envelope's spring catalog. Right now she is up for Macy's Spring Catalog. She has also fit modeled for Pottery Barn Kids.

She loves it! It's like she is paid to be in a play group. There are kids there and a "teacher" and they are encouraged to play and have fun. Plus, she gets to add quite a bit of money into her savings.

Good Luck.

By Denise

The Dangers Of Pageants

The pageants are for parents and grandparents. They have the need, not the child. The child wants to be with their family, eating, sleeping, playing and not with a crowd of strangers. Besides parents, relatives and friends, do you know who else goes to these things? Pedophiles. It is your open invitation to pedophiles to find out who your agent is; what district you live in; where your child models, dances, etc.; everything about your child; and to follow you home.

By Anonymous

It's Fun But For The Parents

I get very tired of people knocking pageants. Pageants can be a lot of fun, it depends on the attitude of the parents. If the mom or whoever can go and have fun and does not over do on make-up and hair, it's OK. I do not think the make-up needs to be extreme, but remember, they are on a stage with different types of lighting. If they are in a "pageant dress", a bit of make-up is needed. You don't wear fancy clothes without doing something to yourself. Also little girls have fun with a little make-up. Babies do not need hair and make-up. The glamor type photos are not OK. All this said, just remember everything people do with children is for the parents. Case in point: football, soccer, cheerleading, and on and on.

By Rita

Pageants Shouldn't Have Fake Hair And Makeup

I have had my daughter in a lot of pageants in the past and never once have I had to put make up or fake hair. I personally think, with no disrespect to any one, that it will make the child feel that they are not perfect and why do they have to cover up their teeth, put makeup on and change their hair? In the long run, it will just cause low self esteem in the child and the need to be perfect! Maybe the parent has their own issues about the way they look and use the child to fulfill their own dreams. I don't know, that's just my opinion. I have seen on TV, including the Tyra Banks show, if they want your money, it's a fake! Again no disrespect to any one! Every one has their own mind and is allowed to put their own child in whatever they want.

By Heather, KY

Advice From Practiced Pageant Mom

I and my daughter "fell" into pageants by receiving a letter in the mail. After sending a photo and being accepted, she was on her way. She was 14 months old and won First Place out of 50! What a surprise! Best of all, we discovered how much she loved the stage, the action, camera lights. Now she soon will be 11 years old and pageants are still her thing. Not once in all those years (we averaged 2-3 a year), did I ever make her go, nor did she ever say she didn't want to go. She now holds many titles from her 30+ pageants, including a Supreme state title at 3 years old. Her goal is Miss Teen NY, Miss NY, and eventually Miss USA. She is a well rounded student and loves chorus and drama and would like to be a fashion designer. I believe pageants have helped shape her into the girl she is and not once did she ever have a "glitzy" dress, caked make-up, fake teeth or hair. All her dresses were from the mall. I support natural pageants! Good luck to all!

By Tracy

Positive Sunburst Experience

My experience with Sunburst has been very positive. My son won a state title last year and placed in the top ten at Internationals. The girls have a lot more competition that the boys. My son loves being on stage and just smiles and laughs up there. It has really been a positive influence on him. He is a lot more confident about himself than other children his age.

By Rosanna

Our Little Miss Pageant

If you want a truly natural pageant system, try Our Little Miss. Nothing fake or false allowed, very low key clothing, little to no rhinestones. They want "real children!" Current world Baby Petite winner was a non-walker!

By OLM Fan

Expensive Entrance Fees

My daughter Milan Lee has entered Sunburst when she was only 8 months old. I have discovered that in order to win this pageants, you have to pay an outrageous fee. It was $40 dollars for entering and extra (not quite sure) $25 more for Best Eyes, plus Best whatever. So the more you spend the more chances for your kids to win. Money talks when it comes to this events. Don't get me wrong I don't mind spending a little, but if the beauty pageants is really legit it shouldn't cost too much, an entrance fee is reasonable.

By Leslie Laquidari

Natural Look Is Out

I have had my daughter in pageants since the age of 2 months old. I have really nothing bad to say about the pageants, but do want to stress that they don't want the natural look any more. I'm one that does not put make up on my "little" girl. She's 6 now, and has always placed at the pageants. It seems that it's the little girls with the big fluffy dresses and pounds of make up on that win. How can they judge beauty with all of that on their faces? My daughter enjoys them, and I like the fact that the pageants that I sign her up for give trophies to each contestant, no matter what. They should have more natural pageants out there that judge on beauty only. No make up allowed.

By Jo

Weblink For Georgia Pageants

I just entered my daughter in her first pageant and I am so excited! This might help some one who lives in Georgia, but maybe you could do a similar search for your state. This is a complete list of all the listed GA pageants and if we like this one, we are going to make our way down the list!

By Jessica

Pageants Teach Confidence And Can Turn Into Modeling

My daughter has been doing pageants since she was 7 months old, she is about to turn 5. She loves pageants and so do I. We love the meeting new friends and traveling out of state. We do both glitzy and natural pageants. My daughter was scouted at a glitzy pageant by a modeling scout and now has an agent and does photo shoots for nationwide products.

Pageants have given her confidence and the ability to adjust to many different scenarios as well as meet interesting people. I am not living through her as some negative people may think because I also did pageants til I was 18. I want her to be happy and she is. If you want to do this sort of activity, you have to do it all the way and with an open mind. Every child is beautiful, but let's face it, some just don't work out on stage.

By Jeri

Look For Sponsors

I think if you want her to enter one, you should. Pageants are expensive, the sure way to get your entries paid for is sponsors. You will hear a lot of that word. What it is, basically is you going around to your local businesses, family members friends, etc. and asking for a sponsor donation to offset the cost of entering in whatever beauty pageant you want to enter. I would say start local as the big ones can be stressful even for experienced pageant winners. I am myself a beginner mom, however I have done a couple of pageants way back when so the cat and mouse game is the same.

Be confident, be fearless go beg. I hope this helps you. Just a hint, natural look for babies and little ones, make up doesn't do them justice. Oh yeah, have fun. Pressure is no fun, personality walks, and personality talks. Let her do what she is going to do, it won't be any fun for her if you don't. Sometimes crying on stage wins too, so keep it in perspective, kids are kids let them be kids. Have fun and good luck to you.

By Angel

Don't Get Caught In The Trap

Do not do it if you want to save money. We were approached by an agency at a parenting expo, and went for a personal interview with our daughter. Then they referred us to a photographer who, for the minor fee of $500.00, would make a portfolio. It was clearly a scam feeding off of the emotions of parents. We all believe our kids are beautiful, gifted, and above average. Don't get caught in the trap.

By George

Wait Until They Are Teenagers

It is sad that little babies are forced to do pageants when that puts a lot of pressure on them. When they lose, it hurts them and they get mad. When they win, they get big headed and they brag. I feel that if they do pageants, they should at least be in their teens. I myself have been in a couple. I won first place in every one, but I knew how to control my attitude. That did not mean I was better than anyone else, it just meant that I was reasonable. I feel that no one under the age of 14 should be allowed to be in pageants. That is just my opinion so there it is. I finally got it off my chest!

By Miesha

Reasons Why Not To Enter Pageants

Ask yourself why you want to display your child instead of letting her grow up as a child without those kinds of pressures to be beautiful, by standards set forth by the people in the world who think beauty is external. All babies are beautiful. Then consider all of the child sexual predators out there who prey on children. Patsy Ramsey said she would have never placed Jon Benet into pageants had she known about the great risk.

Why expose your kid to that? You baby isn't a doll to dress up and expose to the public. I think child pageants are horrible for children. A child's job is to play and grow and learn and be loved, and that's about it. If you're looking for your child to model to make money for you, then you ought to go out and get a job yourself, not make your kid work for you! Plus, just look at what you're doing. Posting photos of your babies on the internet.

By Guest

Miss Dazzling Diamond Pageant

Check out that is an online pageant for those just getting their feet wet. It might be a good fit for you. thanks.

By Barbara

Modeling Is Better Than Pageants

My daughter is one and has modeled for both Boppy and Eddie Bauer and nothing satisfies me more then seeing her ads in the store. I wouldn't do pageants due to the cost and the fakeness, but there is nothing wrong with baby modeling. Just know there are a lot of agencies out there that will charge an arm and a leg. I paid $100.00, that's it. She has made it up in the ads she has done and more. Just be careful and look out for the baby's interest. If she or he doesn't like it, don't pressure them. You'll know because they'll cry and be quite fussy. Good luck.

By Niki

Wait Until They Are Old Enough To Decide For Themselves

First of all, I'm speaking as a mother, stepmother, grandma, step-grandma, and step-great grandma. All babies are beautiful. My own opinion is that just because the parents would like to enter them into a pageant or modeling, I (and as I stated, my opinion, to each his own) don't agree with it!

Why not? Just wait until these children are old enough to decide for themselves if this is something that they would like to do? Yes, I know if everyone shared my opinion, there would be no babies on ads, in parenting magazines, etc. If you want to enter them in something, how about just a beautiful baby contest like Walmart has at times where you "donate" money into the jar with their picture and the proceeds all go to a charity organization?

By Judith Parker

Get Your Child On Stage With A Theater Group

If your daughter loves the stage, look for a children's theater group. In my area, there is one called The Growing Stage, but not sure if it is nationwide or just east coast. In my opinion, I think theater experience is great for children who enjoy it.

I think pageants are money makers for those who run them (nothing else) and modeling is very intense. With modeling, there is also the issue that some children start young and "outgrow" the "look" and then don't understand why they are not chosen any longer.

As other readers said, let the kids be kids and then make their own decision when they are in their teens. My daughter was called by a modeling agency to do an ad, but I turned it down. She was 5 at the time, now 29. I never regretted not doing it.


Good Self-Esteem Boost And Can Lead Into Modeling

Pageants are the best way to get her started with modeling. Most people do not realize that you do not have to be a pageant mom or make your daughter look like Jon Benet to be in pageants. My daughters only do natural pageants and I have just joined a pageant system as the SC state director that does both natural and glitz pageants.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with making your daughter feel beautiful and pageants are good self esteem boosters whether she wins or not! It all depends on how you handle it. Even if my girls do not win the crown, they go home knowing that they are beautiful because we make such a big fuss over them. As far as putting the money in an education fund, most pageants offer savings bonds for their education. Anyone who says that pageants are wrong do not know enough about them these days to have an opinion.

Pageants Are A Long Shot If You Want To Get Into Modeling

If you want to get your child into modeling, then pageants are a long shot. We do pageants for fun and my daughter does not model, however my niece who is 9 months older does. She has a contract with Ford modeling agency and works quite a bit. She does pageants as well, but just as a hobby. My sister-in-law took her own headshots and sent them in to several agencies herself and choose from those who responded. She can use any photographer that she chooses so don't be suckered into paying a ton of money for a portfolio. She usually solicits photographers to do her daughter's shots for little to nothing and, in exchange, she lets them use the shots in their own portfolios.

I think almost any child can be a model. Most agencies don't prefer pageant kids, you never see kids on products in fake tans, make-up, and rhinestone dresses. I'm not bashing pageants, we do them, but be realistic and know that not a lot of kids do pageants, and out of that small percentage a very very small percentage get a modeling contract or job out of it. All kids are adorable in their own way and every client looks for something different! Good luck.

By Christy

Not Everyone Can Be A Winner

I just want to add that not everybody can be a winner. It's sad to go in with high expectations and to leave with nothing, as so many have to. Everybody is beautiful, but not everybody can win. To have a group of people telling children who is the most beautiful, or most talented, etc. Well, that may be great for the self esteem of the winners, but I can assure you, it's not so great for those who don't.

By meemee

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By Crystal (Guest Post)
February 26, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

My son is now 7. I have had him in New Star Discovery pageants since 2. He has won about $10,000 over the past 4 years with them. He won a $5,000 bond in 2005 at state. He loved doing pageants and it lead him to do modeling for John Deer. He sometimes wishes that he could still do them. The cutoff age is 6 for New Star. This was a fun time for all of our family. He loved competing and being on stage and has boosted his self confidence. My daughter is 8 months and we will have her in New Star. They are the best, fun, no makeup, and friendly.

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March 13, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

My daughter and I have been doing pageants since she was 6 years old. She is now 12. We have found that each pageant has their pros and cons, but we decided a long time ago that we would always have fun and never get caught up in all the petty parts of the pageants.( Pushy mothers, rude girls who are only there to win, fake teeth, and too much make-up)

We found that we have fun by enjoying our time with each other. When we go to pageants it's our mommy and me time. We get to be girly girls! It's her time to shine as a beautiful young lady and my time to be very proud of all her accomplishments. Yes, we do think you shouldn't put make-up on anyone under 10 years old. Let children shine with the beauty God blessed them with. Our philosophy is if we can't win with what God blessed her with then its not her time to win.

My daughter has learned so much by being in pageants. She is outgoing, has self confidence, is able to speak in front of a group of people all ages.

And amazing as this sounds we shop at thrift stores for her formals. We have bought many beautiful gowns wore once for proms/weddings. People just give these gowns away because they have no use for them anymore. And guess what? She has won many pageants in these dresses. Pageants don't have to be expensive. It'll only be pricey if you let it be. Shop the clearance racks at stores. We buy our swimsuits after summer when they are on clearance. And she has placed in the top 5 each time in these swimsuits.

You don't need to pay thousands of dollars to compete in pageants. We sell candy bars, get sponsors, and have yard sales. Pageants are pricey only if you don't find a way to cut corners.

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By Susan (Guest Post)
May 11, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

I just got back from a New Star Discovery State pageant and was very disappointed. The kids that won had bought the most ad pages. It was about skits, glitz, and ads.

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By Guest (Guest Post)
May 13, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

I recently attended a state new star discovery pageant. It seemed like such a scam. The ones who sold the most in their program won the most trophies and the overall categories. Also, they rewarded those who put on skits, glitz, and $ spent. The directors were sporting diamonds and wigs themselves. We spent over 1k on this pageant and over half went to them. We did not even buy any ads. I figured some people spent close to 5k on this pageant. I will be skipping these pageants and putting money into activities for the kids and education. I don't need to buy anymore trophies!

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By Crystal Lewin (Guest Post)
July 16, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have participated in dance and pageants since I was the age of five and now I am twenty five. My baby girl is one year old and has won two competitions already. When I participate with her on stage (in a natural state no make-up) she has fun and I do too. When she is older and she says no more, than that means no more. It is important to support what your kids want to do, because as they grow up us moms all know it's about what they want. Don't be afraid to try pageants with your baby, but be a cautious parent to what you expose her to. In my day, I would go on stage with my front two teeth missing and my Sunday best that cost $30.00 and win the whole thing. Of course things have changed with the ridiculous make up and expensive clothes, but be cautious as a parent to what you expose your girl to. Pageants can be fun for the mom and daughter that both enjoy them.

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By Natural Pageants in OK (Guest Post)
July 29, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

I love pageantry. I have been a judge, MC, and director of both Natural & Glitz. This year our Nationals will be Oct. 11 in Thackerville, OK (close to OK/TX border) if you are interested in receiving info. on this no fake rule Nationals, search Future Kings and Queens pageant on myspace. You can also sell sponsor tickets if you choose to pay your entry fee. Best of luck in all your pageants!

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this page.

March 14, 2007

I think my baby can do modeling, what do you think?

By Sophiagogoladze from New York

A cute baby boy in a bouncy seat.

Comment Pin it! Like this photo? Yes


March 14, 20070 found this helpful
Top Comment

Oh, dear - the issue is whether or not you want to become a stage mom & drag around your kid from place to place to make money - The MOTHERS are the ones who make the careers of children.

Reply Like this photo? Yes
March 14, 20070 found this helpful
Top Comment

I second the issue of modeling too. There are not really many places that babies are needed for modeling. Not to mention that beauty is in the eye of beholder, your cutey is cute! But a talent agent or photographer might pick him apart and make you feel bad for your beautiful creation! Think about how that can fair on a kid that is older and "gets" what they are saying.

So since you Asked for our opinion, nope. Let your baby be a baby!

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By (Guest Post)
March 15, 20070 found this helpful
Top Comment

every mother thinks their baby can do modeling...send his picture in a couple of places...PAY NO MONEY and see about the results you get. A lot of places will tell you yes, just to get your money...pretty babies are like the guitar pickers in Nashville....

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March 16, 20070 found this helpful
Top Comment

Instead of looking for a modeling "job" for him you could start by entering him in the cute baby contests held by safe places. Regis & Kelly recently had one, maybe they'll do another but I've seen Baby magazines hold contests for their next cover "model". Check out the baby & parenting magazines, they have these contests all the time. Again, I would make sure it's a safe contest that won't sell your pic to anyone, I wouldn't want my baby's pic "out there" on the net or anywhere I didn't want it.

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By Doggy (Guest Post)
March 17, 20070 found this helpful
Top Comment

Modeling isn't as much about "cute" as it is about temperament. Some babies actually enjoy the lights and the fussing and will be happy sitting still for long periods. There's make-up and hair, and all kinds of poking and positioning. It isn't as glamorous as one might think. Can your baby model? Sure, but do you really want him to? The first step would be to find a reputable agent. SPEND NO MONEY. The minute they quote you a price for pictures, grab your baby and run.

Reply Like this photo? Yes
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