Why Beauty Pageants are Good for Girls

"Toddlers and Tiaras" makes child beauty pageants out to look scary. But Traci Eschenberger thinks beauty pageants have been a great influence on her daughter, Taralyn, 6, who appeared in last night's episode of the show.

Pageants are a great activity for the whole family. Taralyn's dad is involved in everything she does-he builds the pageant props, helps with her outfits and tans her. And I started competing in pageants to show her that I have to practice too!

I always said I would never put a fake tan, hair extensions and makeup on her at such a young age, but I thought we should try glitz pageants and see what they were really like. Taralyn fell in love with the lights, cameras, and the entire theatrical production of it all.

Would You Spy on Your Kids?

The truth is that pageants have helped Taralyn gain poise, confidence, showmanship, discipline and grace. She loves the stage and loves to perform in front of people.

Some people say parents are abusing their kids by putting them in a pageant. But I would never force Taralyn to do something that she didn't want to do. She takes private piano, guitar, voice and drum lessons in addition to three days of cheer practice a week. I asked her if it was too much and she asked if she could take violin lessons too!

Would You Eat Your Own Placenta?

I'm not worried that pageants are sending the wrong message to Taralyn about beauty. She knows that beauty comes from within and competing is about having a positive attitude. If you asked Taralyn the most important thing about pageants, she'd say having fun.

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