Should Boys Compete In Beauty Pageants?

Are boys becoming girls? They’re already getting mani/pedis and are competing in glitzy beauty pageants. It seems a new generation of boys is being raised to obsess about their looks like their female counterparts. This video, from season one of TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras,” features Heather Hughes, mom of Hayden and Maverick. In the clip Heather expresses a desire to turn her sons into little girls. “These are my girls that I never had, so I’ll just turn them into girls,” she said when asked why she started entering them in pageants. The boy pageant contestants don’t have all the sequins and sparkles like the girls or the fake eyelashes and nails, but there’s a focus on looking and acting cute. They smile, wink, and make cutesy hand gestures at the judges in the hopes of winning a crown. Last week’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” focused on a mother who entered her two-week-old son Cavin in a pageant, alongside his five-year-old brother, Cameron. Cavin did so well that he won fourth runner-up in his division. But how do you judge a baby that can’t even hold up its head? What values are being instilled?

Some people feel little girls shouldn’t compete in beauty pageants because pageants foster the idea that beauty is more important than brains. However, letting boys compete in pageants doesn’t even the playing field. It creates more kids with a warped impression of their self-worth.

If you’d like to see more, check out Susan Anderson’s High Glitz: The Extravagant World of Child Pageants.