You know what every good parent says about child pageants: the earlier you force your offspring into them, the better. In a perfect world, you'd be able to shove a bedazzled headband through your amniotic sac and set your sonogram to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," but technology isn't there yet. Fortunately, Jenny Oliver, a British child beauty competition enthusiast, has concocted another option — at seven months pregnant, she has already registered her unborn child for the "Miss Natural Sparkle" pageant.
Here are some things that the lil' contender fetus does not have yet: a fully developed digestive tract, fully developed lungs, or a name. “We may call her Ella but we might call her Eva — we’re not sure yet," says the future mother of Ella/Eva. But it's okay, because the baby doesn't even need a name. If she wins, everyone will call her Miss Natural Sparkle. If she loses, everyone will refer to her only as "Girl" and turn her bedroom into an at-home pottery studio.
Oliver sees pageants as an unquestionable good because they teach young ones "how to hold themselves and be poised, be confident and get to do charity work and wear gorgeous clothes." Having seen, like, six episodes of Toddlers in Tiaras, I feel that this charity work claim is fairly dubious. The only thing I've seen a child do after a pageant is smugly wave around a stack of money and trophies or weep and roll around on the floor of a motel. The only thing I have seen a baby do after a pageant is blink and be unable to support its own head. Furthermore, it pretty much goes with out saying that fostering confidence in a child via having strangers award her physical appearance sends a harmful message.
The pageant will take place when Ella/Eva is three months old; apparently, a newborn category was added after flocks of mums showed interest in having their infants judged in categories such as Facial Beauty and Best Hair. “Newborns don’t show talent or confidence but I’m sure she’ll be cute enough to win the judges over if she smiles,” claims Oliver. Because that's all that matters.