Elementary School Beauty Pageant Sparks Controversy
What would you do if your child's elementary school held a beauty pageant?
Parents in South Carolina took to social media in protest when their children came home with fliers encouraging them to compete in categories such as "Best Eyes," "Best Hair," "Best Smile," "Best Dressed," and "Most Beautiful."
"Come be the first Warrior King or Warrior Queen of Indian Land Elementary! Represent your school all year long during school events! " the flier read. "Contestants will be judged on facial beauty, personality, and overall appeal."
Although organizers insisted that the event was no different from a sports competition or a dance contest, the pageant was canceled after a huge wave of criticism and outrage.
One Indian Land Elementary School parent, Dave Dodson, launched a Facebook page in protest. A Change.org petition has also garnered 140 signatures.
"We try to teach our children that there's much more than someone's outside appearance," Dodson told WSOC-TV. I think that kids get enough pressure today to look a certain way, to act a certain way, without bringing something like this in, that is being promoted and is tied to the school, I don't think that's right."
But Tracy Hyland, one of the event organizers, defended the pageant as a positive experience for students.
"This is not 'Honey Boo Boo Child.' This is not 'Toddlers and Tiaras.' This is an opportunity for the children to come up, shine, and be themselves on stage," she told WBTV.
"As a parent, watching my child go across the stage, it's wonderful," she added. Hyland is a national certified pageant judge who has been involved in pageants with her daughter for 20 years. "Let's think about the other activities children do - football, dance, soccer, swimming, ice-skating - all of those things are judged."
What do you think? Would you ever let your child participate in a pageant?