America's Beauty Pageants (ABP) are seeking to redefine child beauty pageants with a new core mission of promoting contestants message of inner beauty, self-confidence and self-esteem. More traditional child beauty pageants continue to place a heavy focus on makeup and elaborate costumes and dresses. This has caused the industry some degree of criticism and concern over what these type of pageants are teaching young children.
"Times have changed and so should child beauty pageants," according to Michael Mendelssohn, America's Beauty Pageants Communications Director and President of The Mendelssohn Group. "Pageants have always given girls and their parents an opportunity to participate. But with America's Beauty Pageants, our mission is simple: redefine beauty to mean a young woman's inner beauty. We absolutely believe this and emphasize it-our pageants are about cultivating inner strength, self-confidence, achievement, and self- respect. The result is pretty amazing."
According to a National Report on the State of Self-Esteem posted on the Campaign For Real Beauty website, seven in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way - including their looks. America's Beauty Pageants is joining companies like Dove, and authors like Katherine Schwarzenegger to forward the message that true beauty should be a source of self confidence and that all people deserve to be seen for who they truly are on the inside.
America's Beauty Pageants host child beauty pageants focusing on inner beauty nationwide, as well as a national final, and calls their events, "pageantry with purpose." Participants age 7-19 participate in casual and formal dress and most importantly, on stage and personal interviews. Mendelssohn says, "We put a heavy emphasis on interview sessions. Our participants love to open their hearts and share their goals and dreams. Even "shy" participants open up when we ask them what brings them joy. Unlike some other pageants, there are no swimwear or talent portions at any of the events sponsored by America's Beauty Pageants, Inc."
"No matter how much times change, young girls still grow up with that Cinderella princess dream," says Mendelssohn. "Our child pageants give girls an opportunity to shine, to achieve and to be seen for who they are on the inside." What a lot of people miss is that our pageants work much like soccer or gymnastics, in that they give young girls a chance to try, to learn, and to grow, all in a dynamic that they care about and want. The takeaway? Girls have fun while growing, being themselves, and making friends." "I tell anyone," Mendelssohn says, "who wonders if this sort of thing is right for their girl, to go to our website, watch the videos of the participants and pageant directors, and read our testimonials from parents, judges, and participants. You'll understand and you'll probably want to get involved."
America's Beauty Pageants kicks off 2011 in Orlando, Florida, January 15th-16th, followed by Jacksonville, Florida January 29th-30th. Additional host cities and much more can be found on their new website at AmericasBeautyPageants.com. To register for the ABP Orlando, Florida Pageant, click on the link or visit americasbeautypageants.com/orlando-fl/.