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From Toddlers and Tiaras to Honey Boo Boo, little girl beauty queens are popular shows to watch. They can be a hit or miss to some but they still get sky rocketing ratings. Not so for Miss America pageant winner, Laura Kaeppeler though.
Kaeppeler, who won Miss America in January 2012, says it couldn’t be further from the reality of what the pageants stand for.
"I don't agree with those sort of programs," she told E! News.
The 24-year-old, who is relatively new to the pageant world compared to many girls seen on Toddlers and Tiaras, thinks girls should want to be in pageants instead of led into them by others. It’s not just about the glitz and the glam and how much spray tan you have. Pageants do take a lot of work and preparation both mentally and physically.
"There's a misconception that pageants are beauty pageants, and Miss America is a scholarship provider," she says. “We compete in talent and community service, so there's a lot more to it."
On Toddlers and Tiaras, we see moms spray tanning their little girls, making them practice dances and routines and of course spending loads of cash on glammed up sparkly dresses. Not to mention packing loads of makeup, false eyelashes and acrylic nails on the girls.
Some parents even go to extremes. Like in one episode where a mom wanted her daughter to smoke on the stage as part of her routine.
“Don’t forget to smoke,” the mom reminded her daughter before going on stage.
The San Francisco Chronicle slams the show and blames the network for showing it on television.
To Kaeppeler, it’s "more about being a well-rounded young woman and an empowered female" than the child beauty pageants are.
Photo Courtesy of Twitpic.com