As fans of Toddlers and Tiaras know, people across the country travel great distances and spend large sums of money to enter their daughters, and even sons, in beauty pageants. Though the popular TLC reality show is more about behind-the-scenes drama, the reality is that beauty pageants do have a purpose according to Cindy Bradford, director of the Puttin’ on the Glitz pageant.
“We promote lifelong success skills for children such as poise, confidence, being able to perform in front of others and we’re here to help children from babies on up to young ladies develop their skills,” Bradford said.
Several contestants had the opportunity to hone those skills this past weekend at the Miss Valentine Pageant held at the . Participants ranged in age from just a few months old to 15 years of age.
Joscelyn Mandall, age 4, was one of the contestants. Her mother Jennifer Mandall said Joscelyn has been doing beauty pageants since she was just six months old. Mandall said they took a break from pageants for a while, but have been doing a pageant or two every three months since Joscelyn was age two.
“We’re kind of dabbling in them. We’re not really hard core,” Mandall explained.
Mandall said she keeps doing the pageants because Joscelyn enjoys participating.
“She loves just getting up there,” Mandall said. “She loves doing them, she always has.”
During the Feb. 5 pageant, queens were crowned in each age division. Awards also included two Mini-Supreme titles (six and under and age seven and up) and a Grand Supreme title for the contestant with the highest overall score. Joscelyn took home a Mini Supreme title.
“The judges are looking for one, facial beauty," Bradford explained. "Number two, personality -- is the child having fun on the stage. They’re looking for just overall appeal."
The other Mini Supreme title went to Peyton Zimmer. The Grand Supreme winner was McKenzie Langford. Queens included Zoe Redden (age 0-12 months), Alyssa Butler (age 13-23 months), Shyanne Steeley (4-year-old queen), Kaiden Bartel (5-year-old queen) and Savannah Zaria (13-15 year-old queen).
Sunday’s pageant was just one of several that Bradford, a Dacula resident, and her daughter Savannah run throughout the year as part of the Puttin’ on the Glitz pageant system. The program consists of several pageants leading up to a national pageant.
Next month, Bradford will host an Easter and Spring Fling Beauty Pageant. The pageant is scheduled for March 18 and will also be held at the Trophy Club. Bradford hopes more people will try a pageant and find out what the program has to offer.
“We would invite everyone from Dacula and the surrounding area to come and join us,” Bradford said. “We’d like you to come and try our pageant and have a lot of fun."