Child Beauty Pageants…in the UK

Fish tacos and filibusters... while some elements of American society have yet to take off in the UK, it seems child beauty pageants may have finally reached our shores.

The woman behind a controversial beauty contest for children aged six to 12 in Scotland has defended the project and says she is in discussions with TV firms to turn the pageant into a reality show.

Angel Diaro, 25, told The Scottish Sun that her Little Miss Scotland pageant is "about confidence, poise and inner beauty."

Olive (Abigail Breslin) felt the pressures of a junior beauty contest in Little Miss Sunshine, above

Last month's competition, which was won by a 12-year-old girl from Falkirk, received more than 250 entries.

Diaro said she want the contests to be aired as reality TV "to show the difference between events like Miss Little Scotland and the pageants in America."

"Critics claim that it sexualises kids. TV exposure will show people that it’s not the case," she told the paper. "The pageants I run give an opportunity to kids who lack confidence and also those who do have confidence and want to build on that."

Charity campaigners have criticised Little Miss Scotland and Kidscape director Claude Knights said that while Miss Little Scotland is not at the extreme end of the children’s pageant spectrum, he believed six is too young enter.

"When all’s said and done, the beauty pageant industry is about the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood," he added.

Are children's beauty contests harmless fun?