Beauty pageants are usually associated with glitz, glamor, and everything out of this world. However, natural beauty pageants are those that focus on natural beauty and a well-rounded personality. Usually held for younger girls and teens, these beauty pageants make an attempt to bring out girls' communication skills, their passion for a cause, and their natural selves. Some argue that such pageants are better for younger girls as it teaches them to be comfortable with their 'real' selves rather than putting up a show of someone they may not truly be. Moreover, their level of confidence increases, and they focus on developing their personality more than their beauty. In keeping with these thoughts, certain basic rules have been set for them. These have been discussed here.
Basic Rules of Natural Beauty Pageants
The reason the stress is on the word 'basic' is because some of the rules may change based on the pageant organizers. However, there are certain ground rules that are followed during most such beauty pageants. Let's take a look at these rules.
➝ Photographs that are sent to the pageant for shortlisting should not be clicked with make up on. Moreover, touching up these photographs is not allowed. However, some pageants may specify the kind of photographs they are looking for, i.e. black and white or color photographs.
➝ As the name of the pageant suggests, the focus here is on natural beauty. As such, girls below a certain age (8-12 yrs) are not allowed to apply any make up. Older girls may use very little (say lip gloss and mascara) for the pageant. No fake teeth, spray tans, or fake hair may be used.
➝ In fact, even the dresses girls wear have to be simple and not glitzy or very fashionable. However, children are encouraged to pick clothing that speaks of their personal style. They are also encouraged to mix and match simple clothing to bring out their true personality.
➝ Most natural beauty pageants allow for the use of accessories such as sunglasses, hats, and scarves. Again, these may have been used by the child to represent her unique dressing style.
➝ The judgment is carried out in terms of the natural beauty of the contestant. As such, features such as the smile that reaches the eyes are focused upon. Forced smiles are a big no-no. Also, the poise and personality of the child are parameters for judgment.
➝ These pageants do not encourage parents to coach their children (above 4-6 years of age) beforehand because their aim is to allow children to be their natural, real selves. They do not expect coached or pre-decided responses to their questions. In short, parents' involvement in the pageant should be limited to the basic procedures that are need to be completed to register for the pageant.
➝ If anything, children should be taught how to develop their communication skills, and should be aware of their wants and desires before going for a natural beauty pageant. Every child need not want to save the environment or the like. Let children develop their own vision; just ensure that as a parent, you have made them aware of this vision.
In these pageants, it is children who are confident, who have a good personality, and who have the ability to showcase their personality, who make it through. As mentioned earlier, these pageants are real confidence boosters, in that they allow children to work on being true to themselves, on embracing their natural beauty, and accepting it with grace. It also makes them less competitive for the wrong reasons. Most parents are known to pressurize their children into performing well enough to be the best. However, this pressure is lesser in a natural beauty pageant. As such, it is definitely a better choice, even if your child dreams of being Miss America some day. At the end of the day, it all boils down to a wonderful combination of beauty and brains, not just beauty!