'Pageants promote positivity' - mother
THE mother of a five-year-old beauty pageant winner has defended the competitions against negative publicity surrounding them.
Ceri Dickerson, of Morriston, has defended beauty pageants after her daughter, Connie Dickerson, was recently crowned The Worlds Teenie Miss Ultimate Grand Supreme.
Ceri said: "There has been a lot of bad press surrounding pageants recently but what people forget to notice is that pageants raise hundreds of pounds for charities.
"To be in a pageant you have to raise money for a chosen charity which teaches the children the importance of doing so at a young age.
"It showed Connie there were a lot of children out there less fortunate than her."
Connie completed a sponsored walk raising over £8,000 for Follow Your Dreams.
Follow Your Dreams is a national charity operating in England and Wales that inspires children and young people with learning disabilities to follow their dreams.
Last month Kidscape, a child protection charity, said pageants are commercialising childhood and sexualising girls at a young age.
The call came as France prepared to ban child pageants altogether, over concerns that they promote the sexualisation of minors.
But Ceri said: "Connie has always loved doing pageants because she loves dancing and being on stage.
"She wins titles nearly every weekend and we are always making up new routines.
"Pageants are a bit similar to dance competitions with a bit of catwalk mixed in.
"I help Connie with her routines and am so proud of how well she has done.
"If she didn't enjoy it and look forward to doing it then we wouldn't continue.
"I think that children that take part in dance competitions wear far more make up than pageant girls.
"They aren't marked on beauty and Connie has made so many friends so I think it is a great thing to take part in.
"Her confidence has built up so much as well which is another positive side."