Kids' pageants are competitions in which children who are younger than 18 years old or another designated age compete in several categories to win prizes as well as titles. Competition categories typically include talent, interview and formal wear. Kids' pageants are primarily for girls, but some pageants also have entrants who are boys.
Pageants for kids originated in the United States in the 1960s and have since become a very profitable industry. Each pageant has its own rules and regulations, but most pageants require an entry fee. Others expenses related to a pageant might include travel and lodging, clothing, hair, makeup and the cost of hiring pageant coaches. These costs sometimes add up to make it very expensive for children compete in kids' pageants.
A pageant might be classified as a natural pageant or a glitz pageant. In a glitz pageant, it is very common for contestants to wear a lot of makeup, hair extensions, spray-on tans and artificial teeth to disguise missing teeth or a less-than-perfect smile. In a natural pageant, the contestant wears minimal makeup, and fake hair, fake teeth and spay-on tanning are not allowed.
Most kids' pageants are divided into age groups. In a typical pageant, the age groups are 0-5 years old, 6-11, 12-16 and 17 and older. Some pageants might have different age groups.
The pageant typically consists of several categories of competition. The talent portion of a pageant features the contestants showcasing a talent, such as dancing or singing, on stage for a certain amount of time. Pageants also have portions during which the contestants model clothing such as formal wear. Some pageants have a swimwear competition, but this is more common in pageants for older contestants. The last portion of a kids' pageant usually is the interview, during which the judges ask each contestant one or more questions.
At the conclusion of a kids' pageant, prizes and titles typically are awarded. The prizes might include, toys, college scholarships and cash. Winning a title usually comes with a sash, trophy, crown or other memento.
There can be multiple prizes and titles awarded at a pageant. A winner might be selected from each age group and an overall winner picked from all of the contestants. Judges usually consider all portions of the pageant when choosing a winner. Winning a local pageant might allow a contestant to enter a kids' pageant at the regional level, and winning a regional pageant might allow a contestant to move on to a national pageant.