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Boys in Beauty Pageants ... OK or No Way?

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We're obsessed with little Zander on "Toddlers & Tiaras" -- he's the boy who calls himself a "pageant diva."


Check out video of him here.

He's 5 years old and has been in 60 pageants. He's been doing them since he was a little baby. He says, "I don't like to lose, because my mom might be sad."

Mom Tracy says, "My 5-year-old son, Zander, is a pageant king. A lot of people are wondering why boys are in pageants. They think he's going to be on the wrong side of the fence. I'm so not concerned ... OK, so I am a little concerned. We have had people back out of pageants because Zander is in them. They put out thousands of dollars for their dresses and hours for makeup and hair, and here comes this little 4-year-old boy and takes their title."

Last year, we blogged about this kid:

"Gay Uncle" Brett Berk wrote, "Sadly, when I watched the clip of this kid, he was a butchy blond brat, all decked out in the world's tiniest tuxedo and being instructed by his stage mother in how to flirt with the female judges. ('Point at the ladies and say, "You're so pretty!"') Boring! Not to mention the fact that in the same allegedly glorifying clip, the little hellion was shown responding to his mommy's instructions by having a knock-down, lying-on-the-floor, kicking-and-screaming tantrum."

What do you think about boys in beauty pageants -- OK, or no way?

118 comments so far | Post a comment now
chris June 14, 2010, 4:58 AM

First off, I think that woman is only doing it because she wants it not because her sons want it. You can tell that her sons don’t like it. I personally don’t like boys or girls involved in beauty pageants. I think it is ALWAYS about the moms! If my child as a teenager wanted to do it, then I would support them but forcing your children to do it only because you get some kind of satisfaction or glory from it is wrong.

tennmom June 14, 2010, 8:13 AM

I say NO to putting any kid in a pageant. Anyone thinking every person in the place is a kind supporter is kidding themselves.

Kristin June 14, 2010, 9:08 AM

Pageants are NOT for children! They are disgusting!

another mom June 14, 2010, 9:39 AM

I don’t understand why any mom would try and turn their little boys into little girls. Something just not right about that.

mercaties June 15, 2010, 12:12 AM

I also, am totally disgusted by these pagents, I think they should be against the law. I understand the need for child models for advertising, but this is totally different. But these pagent moms make me sick and I feel really bad for these children. As for little Zander I just hope that this young man has enough self esteem and self confidence to deal with the horrific teasing he will endure from other boys as he gets older. Shame on his selfish mother!

Jennifer June 17, 2010, 9:25 PM

Just because some of you do not like pageants does not mean they are not right for everyone. Why do you have the right to tell me or any other mom or dad that we cannot enter our child into a beauty pageant?

I do not like to see some of the shenanigans in organized team sports (most recently June 11, 2010 in Memphis, TN where a disgruntled baseball dad pulled a gun on a coach - you don’t see that in pageants) and it happens quite frequently - one parent, usually a dad, will go ballistic when his child is not allowed to play.

Some of you say you would allow your teen to do this? Well as a pageant mom myself (and yes I am VERY proud to be a SANE pageant mom) I can tell you that if your child has no experience and enters pageants as a teen, it is probably too late for them to succeed. Pageants have prizes set up so nearly every child will win something, the younger children have no idea what the small or big titles entail - it usually hits when they are about 7 or 8.

My daughter started pageants when she was 1 1/2 and yes I wanted this - she had no idea at her first pageant. But she knew how to verbalize at 1 1/2 and after the first one she LOVED it. Getting dressed up, having her hair fixed pretty, wearing makeup (and we did smaller less glitzy pageants at first) like lip gloss and a little blush was fun for her. We had some really fun times and in all the pageants she entered she won some prize.

Now at nearly 9 she constantly asks when she can do another one. She begs me to work on stoning her dress. She shows off her trophies and crowns to any who want to look. She is extremely precocious and smart for her age. Yet she still manages to keep an innocent air about her showing she is still only 8 so she is far from sexualized like many would suggest.

One final note - our children are open books - they know nothing about competitive sports, dance, pageants, etc when they come into this world. We as parents take something we wanted to do or did when we were children and share that with our child. Sometimes they keep doing it and enjoy it, sometimes they keep doing it and secretly hate it, and sometimes they never do it again. Pageants are just like any other child competition - only difference is you see something out of your realm and are uncomfortable.

I keep my child out of the internet and do not post her pics for anyone to see. If you could see the pictures of her at pageants you would see a child totally in her element, having tons of fun, and thoroughly enjoying her time on stage showing off.

For her and I, this is what pageants are about. We have mother daughter time, she gets to prissy herself up, “model” onstage, and even bring home a new trophy, crown or even money from winning. Nearly every pageant judge we have encountered have spoken about her natural love for the stage.

If I had never done that first pageant she might not be who she is today. Or then again she might. I do know we would not have all the wonderful memories we have to share together.

And that to me was worth every dime I spent, every temper tantrum she had (which I can count on one hand and still have several fingers left over) and when we reminisce about these memories we smile and have even more fun.

What is wrong with that people?

Matt June 18, 2010, 6:10 AM

Where in the hell is Zander’s dad and why does he permit the mother to ruin his son’s chances to grow up as a normal man? This ‘boy’ has zero chance of being accepted in the world of boys and his social future among his peers is very grim.

A boy that age should be playing sports and catching frogs, not hanging out in the world of women and wearing nail polish, lip gloss and eyeliner.

This woman has doomed her poor kid, I view her as an utterly unfit parent. She clearly has very deep psychological issues with men and should not have custody of the poor boy she is intentionally feminizing.

Anon July 8, 2010, 7:12 PM

If girls are allowed in pageants, boys should be too! Personally, I wouldn’t put ANY kid in one though.

Kelly August 26, 2010, 7:49 AM

I cannot believe pageant moms cannot see that it’s about them, and not their children. Of course the kids are going to say they want to do it, it makes their moms happy. I feel so bad for these poor kids, boys and girls.

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