When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Young stars shine at Teenie pageant show
There were plenty of tiaras but not a sign of a tantrum as the controversial world of children’s pageants came to Southampton.
With the air filled with excitement – and hairspray – children as young as one prepared and preened themselves ready to compete in the Teenie Miss and Mr Pageant Grand Final.
From miniature French maids, to Egyptian queens and Spanish senoritas, each of the 70 youngsters donned their costumes ready for their moment on the catwalk for the Global themed contest at the Grand Harbour Hotel.
Hosted by Starr’s Through the Looking Glass, a family-run business run by Anita Moss, from Hedge End, the pageant prides itself on focusing on the confidence and the talents, whether it is dancing, singing or acting of the children – rather than looks and beauty.
However, despite none of the children being judged on their looks, a lot of the children, including toddlers, were wearing large amounts of make-up and donning extravagant hairstyles.
Anita, 28, who was inspired to start the business after her brother Nicholas, who suffers from Downs syndrome, thrived after taking part in a pageant, said: “People have a certain perception of beauty pageants but they have never been backstage and seen how much the children love it.
“We have taken the idea of the American pageant and given it a UK twist, because these children are not judged on looks and how pretty a child is, it is about their performance and confidence.
If parents want to use make-up it’s up to them.”
A major part of the pageant is raising money for Follow Your Dreams charity, which grants wishes for children with disabilities.
Before the pageant started those contestants who has raised the most money through cake sales, fun days and car boot sales, handed over a cheque for more than £8,000 to the charity.