I saw an advert for a baby pageant. There were women putting fake tan and eyeliner onto baby boys. I have a baby boy. As far as I am concerned he is the most gorgeous little man that has or will ever poo into a pampers. ( I have noticed that he seems to be very blessed in the nose department, instead of having one of those tiny baby button noses he was set up for REALLY smelling things from day one. He is still the greatest and best baby ever) However Idon’t feel the need at all to change his skin tone and draw all over him in make up. Especially not for the purpose of parading him in front ofa panel of judges to decide whether or not he is the best boy in competition. And this is because he will always be my best and if anyone said negative stuff about him I am likely to punch them.
I don’t do it to my fluffy babies either. and dogs don’t have the same sense of self that people do, and if they do get a ribbon, they are colour blind and illiterate so they won’t know where they placed anyway. And they are obviously all the best ever specimens of the cross breeds that they are made of. ( ok so they could never do obedience or agility courses, they would run amok and hump everyone else in show, but that’s perfect enough for me) And I am just as defensive of the fluffy children as I am of the human child.
Saying all of this I have a competitive streak thousands of miles wide. Winning is lush. Being the greatest is one of the best feelings and I revel, loudly, embarrassingly, a lot of times with a dance. Lovely boyfriend will not play monopoly with me, or any member of my family again after being exposed to what ridiculous dickheads me and my brother became when we played. I have never really had any satisfaction from winning as a team, at school I hated team sports and favoured things like trampolining, dance, swimming and other thing where I was the winner, the glory is MINE ALL MINE!!!!!! So I can sort of understand, that after you go through the total ball ache that is growing another person inside you for nine months, and the horrific gore fest that is getting said child to exit your body, that getting some sort of prize for your achievement (other than feeling utterly shite about your body and not being allowed to sleep) is a reasonable wish.
But surely the prize is your baby, right? And even if you are so fixated on appearance that you need constant reassurance that your offspring are the next set of supermodels, is it cool to put that on them? Surely we should be edifying our children and teaching them that what is on the inside is most important, shouldn’t we? I am worried about bunches of future things that my stupid brain will do to accidentally mess up my baby. I am going to try to not push my stuff onto him, be open minded, fair, honest. To hopefully raise an emotionally balanced, healthy and happy human. No matter how appealing the crown, sash, trophy or whatever bit of cheap internet tat they give out as prizes for these competitions how do you decide that they are worth more than the sanity of your child? Every January my parents would declare that they were fat and go on a diet. Two grumpy weeks would pass and then they would abandon the diet, buy some booze and a take away and live with being fatties. Its only from looking back of pictures of my size 14 mum that I realise my impressions of fat may have been slightly skewed, and watching my mum hate herself in the mirror taught me to be super critical of myself. What sort of crazed ball of neurosis would I have turned out to be if I had to go and compete against the other little girls to see if I was pretty enough? Or the prettiest?
Everyone should be able to do whatever they want and if children want to take part in these vain contests then they should be allowed. Buy them a talking mirror that tells them that, yes, they are indeed the fairest in the land. let them bathe in tango so that they can be as orange as a carrot ( never have understood why this is supposed to be beautiful, but crack on guys if it makes you happy)
But for me I am going to opt out from anything of this ilk. Unless in a few years time I am begged by my child to attend them. I really hope he doesn’t because I think it would bring out the ugliest side of me. I would be the most ridiculous pushy mum, armed with glitter, hairspray and venom on my tongue. I would be terrible at hiding my disappointment if he didn’t win. God, I probably shouldn’t go to his future sports days either. I may need to seek some therapy before he reaches these stages as the more I write about this, the more I am feeling that I am a heavily closeted competition mum, and that awful bitch should NEVER be unleashed on the world.