Baby Competitions … bah humbug!

We have all seen them “please go along to xyz and vote for my nu-nu…” – moms like to enter competitions for their babies and children.

Fathers appear less interested.  Fathers appear to not really give a crap actually.  Unless the competition included beer as a prize, then maybe they would get behind some tiaras and ruffles.

I am not sure exactly what is behind the psyche of parents {normally mothers} who enter baby/toddler/children competitions.

Why as mothers we feel we want to put our children out there, and so desperately need public acknowledgement that everyone else agrees our child is the cutest/sweetest/most cherub inspired one?

I think that would only be fair if you could tell a mother that their child was actually butt ugly — but you can’t – – public decorum does not allow you to do that.  So all children – even the ones that are not beautiful, have to be told they are beautiful — the point that I am making is that when someone used to “awwww” and tell me that my baby was so pretty/beautiful, I would raise my left eyebrow in doubt, as I figured, what else really were they going to say.

The main problem with baby competitions – other than that they are pretty naff, is that they bring out the worst in people.   I know there is this feeling that “we should not judge you” – but here is a newsflash – put your child in a baby/toddler/child beauty competition and I will judge you.  True story.

Everyone believes their child is the most beautiful and the most perfect child.   I share this mass thinking – I think believe know Isabelle is without a doubt the most beautiful 2 year old there is.  I melt when I see her.

I wonder why anyone even attempts to have a child, as once they see Isabelle, they will know that perfection has been created, and everyone (EVERYONE) comes out second best.

I do however stop my obsessive adoration of my child at entering her in to competitions.

I have seen cuter kids (no I haven’t), and I have seen uglier kids (oh gawd, yes I have), and there is absolutely nothing I need that much which will require me to pi.m.p my child to win a competition.

I will confess that with Connor I was a bit more “competition befok” – as I was so sure he was without a doubt the cutest baby the world had ever seen.  I was a new mom, clearly my vision was blurry from lack of sleep.

It appears I was mistaken, he never won anything.  I entered several.  And I was devastated each time I did not get a call that he had won.

I thought “of course they must see how precious he is!!” and then they didn’t, and then I thought “okay, what’s wrong with him…?”

With Georgia I did not think about baby competitions. I was in the middle of a bit of a breakdown, so I will confess that competitions ranked pretty low on my list of priorities.

With Isabelle I really could not be arsed.

Probably because I realise the competitions are not about whether your child is really the most beautiful child in the world, or the most special, it really is about the mother needing some sort of public affirmation, and also about greed.  I also really hate the whining and begging that goes on for “votes” ….

No one would enter the competition unless there was loot at the end of the tunnel.

It is hard to say “I am going to enter my child into this rather tacky contest, which is nothing more than a meat parade. I will then proceed to annoy friends/family/Facebook mates by pestering them to vote for me, because really I want the big screen television like no one’s business.  I fully understand that my kid is not winning because they are really the most beautiful, but they have a chance of winning because mom/dad is well connected and has tons of friends to go and vote.  And all the promoters of the competition want is high traffic to their site so they can sel the advertising spots ……!!”

Nope, the phrases used are “it will be fun for little Cameron/Janet/Sarah/Johnny….” but actually baby competitions are not fun at all.  For anyone.  They are not indicative of hard work, or skill, or talents, they are simply whether you get the most votes ….

Unless you win, then they are trucks of fun.  Please stop entering them.  Please stop …. please ….

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22 Comments

  1. Tony

     /  March 27, 2012

    I entered my cat into a competition but she never came close even, and afterwards I could sense the sadness on her face… Luckily I had her favorite flavor of Energy bar in the cupboard so I gave her some to eat. Yes you read right, my cat has a favorite flavor of sweets! At least at the end of the day we were all happy and relaxed

    Reply
  2. Mandi Earl

     /  March 12, 2012

    Well, I am proud to say that I DID enter my son in a Mother and Baby Magic Moments competition many many years ago and WON!!

    Luke was 5 months old at the time (he is nearly 11 now) and obviously had no say in the matter but he did perform his best for the camera and that dribbling, laughing giggle got us through all the way!

    We won really nice prizes and to this day, both Luke and I are proud of that magic moment that gave us our 5 minutes of fame in the YOU magazine!

    And I am pretty sure we got a vote from C and maybe even K at the time!! LOL!!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  March 12, 2012

      Your competition was a bit before the total frantic FACEBOOK vote-vote-vote mania if I recall ……..

      Reply
      • Mandi Earl

         /  March 12, 2012

        Yeah, I had to rely on my nearest and dearest and a few ‘please vote for us’ phonecalls!!

        No Facebook, no Twitter, no social media…just the good ol’ phonecall!

        x

        Reply
  3. Sharon

     /  March 9, 2012

    I’m with you on this one! As you know, I fell into the baby competition ONCE. I entered Ava and from the second I entered her I regretted it and went so far as having her removed from the competition. As soon as I’d entered her I’d started feeling like I’d pimped her and the more I looked at her beautiful face, the more I’d felt I’d failed her by exposing her innocence to that.
    I won’t ever do it again. Ever! Never! I don’t need others to tell me that she’s beautiful and perfect, because I already know she is! (I’d insert a smiley face her but given that I know your hatred of those I won’t) *smiley face*

    Reply
  4. I must confess I entered my youngest in 1 or 2 of these ‘vote on FB’ type of competitions where there were quite nice prizes but OMG when others that I knew entered and started constantly pestering me for votes, it drove me crazy! I used to feel too guilty to pester people so I basically sent out 1 email and did 1 or 2 status updates. Not good competition mommy material I’m afraid! So now I don’t do that no more (even though I know I have the cutest 2 year old BOY in the world!)lol

    Reply
  5. Kennith

     /  March 9, 2012

    Each to their own I say. Although I would not, but if people want to enter their kids in baby comps, it is their call. If they want to ask their friends to vote for them, it is no different that soliciting a signature on a petition which others may have no interest in, or even asking friends to vote for a blog.

    I know of a couple – lets abreviate them as K&C to protect their identities, who dragged their poor pet dogs all over the country to dog shows for the affirmation that their friendly, happy dog was a champion in the eyes of dogdom as well. All the pooch really wanted to do was lie close and chase the occasional ball.

    Reply
    • Tania

       /  March 9, 2012

      Well said Kennith

      Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  March 9, 2012

      You know I am very close to blocking you from this blog ….

      Reply
    • julz

       /  March 9, 2012

      May the mom with the most fb friends who are prepared to vote daily win. And Isabell is the most beautiful girl, but Dylan has got to be the most gorgeous 3 year old boy. There I said it. Oh and he won a competition, and he got a certificate. Quite sweet and I didnt’ ask for a single vote. Strangers voted for him. Okay so he tied first place, but I was proud. Then suddenely these competitions got really ugly and strangers didn’t vote and it annoyed me (yes I wanted him to win).I am not sure why a mom thinks her kids is the most beautiful when 289 of her friends voted for him or her because she asked them to. Daily.

      I actually don’t care about the prize. I just knew that that pic of Dylan in his cute hat was a winner. The hat won.

      Can you tell this is one of my biggest irritations.

      Reply
      • Carrie

         /  March 12, 2012

        I have to agree with you Julz – Dylan is the most gorgeous 3 yr old boy!
        I have entered my dogs in a few comps – but they never won 😦 And they are the most gorgeous dogs on the planet – I just suck at getting ppl to vote 😉

        Reply
    • julz

       /  March 9, 2012

      Thanks for the laugh Kennith. I really needed it.

      Reply
  6. I share your sentiments! FB has brought out the worst of all the baby competitions. Such shameless self-promotion and the companies love it! I have not entered my children into competitions. Baby competitions are so subjective (FB it all has to do with your ‘friends’ and ability to ‘market’). I will support my boys and enter them into competitions when they can win or lose based on their own merit. When there is actual criteria to mark on! THEN and only then will they enter competitively!

    Reply
  7. Tam

     /  March 9, 2012

    Ahhhh I hate those competitions, as a new mom 2 years ago I was convinced people would look at my daughter and be blown away at how gorgeous she was, clearly my mommy goggles (similar to beer goggles) where very thick because if I look back at photos of her she wasn’t that cute she was a funny looking thing just like most babies and a lot of toddlers. Fortunately she outgrew the fugly stage and is now a gorgeous 2 year old. I base this on the fact that people are always stopping me in public and informing me of this fact I smile and say thank you and leave it at that I don’t enter her into any of the millions of baby competitions out there I don’t harasses my family and friends for votes over and over again, I don’t post snide remarks on facebook about how I know who my real friends are out there and I don’t need votes to prove my child is gorgeous in my eyes, well duh then don’t enter your child into a baby competition and don’t then sulk when they didn’t win. I say bring back traditional competitions where there is a panel of voters that have no relation to the kiddies been entered. Until then I vote for my friends kids just so they leave me alone until the next competition  PS MY CHILD IS GOING TO BE MISS WORLD AND THE PRESIDENT ONE DAY TEEHEE

    Reply
  8. Princessie

     /  March 9, 2012

    Isabelle would so win, or come second to my gorgeous two year old… nah, she’d definately win!

    Reply
  9. I am completely against all those TLC programmes on DSTV where moms put makeup and the like, on their kids and fly to Hawaii for comps. Revolting truly.

    However, I must confess, we have a local Agricultural Show, where they have a baby competition. (My mom entered me as a child). I entered my kids, then aged 1 and 1 month and 1 month old. They both kicked ass and came second in their categories. AND my son only came second because the little girl that came first had two teeth and he only got his first tooth at 13 months! (whatever)…Molly, even though she was cerebral palsy, whipped all the other kids in her section. I was very proud. and exhausted coz i hadn’t slept the night before AT ALL. from excitement and total out-of-control competitiveness.

    When your baby’s names get called out, you quickly cover up your smugness and euphoria and try and behave humbly and try your utmost to deflect the jealousy and envy that gets aurored in your direction.(i’m completely taking the piss here people).

    John subsequently banned me from EVER doing it again. He said I spun totally out of control and he was literally frightened by the competitivness I exhibited towards the other moms. I think I jeered at scoffed at one poor mom who had dressed her son up in a Tigger outfit!

    Anyway my mom has been a judge at a baby competition and she says all babies are cute and they draw names out of a hat. so there…now we know the winning criteria.

    Besides…my Aunty Zelda was one of the judges the year my kids were placed….

    Reply
  10. ClaireLL

     /  March 9, 2012

    What’s worse than being asked to vote for somebody’s child on FB? Being TOLD to vote. “I see you haven’t voted for XYZ yet…click here & vote…NOW.” No thanks, I don’t want to sign up to an app, be spammed with nappy ads or even be updated on how the voting is going. Spend your energy on your child instead of on canvassing for votes.
    That is all.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  March 9, 2012

      Being told to vote …. yes that sort of takes it to the next level. I hate the fact that you need to sign up for the app, or register on a website, and then get spammed with advertisers gumph to take part in the voting.

      Reply
  11. Hmmm, methinks everyone sees their child as the most beautiful – and we should ey? I entered my eldest in a Parent24.com comp once, because there was a stonking good prize up for grabs! I must admit to feeling that there was clearly something wrong with the judges judgement, he wasn’t even placed 🙂

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  March 9, 2012

      Those judges — yes, they are all the same. If I do not win, then it is clearly rigged, if I do, then it was a fair competition ……

      Reply
  12. Tania

     /  March 9, 2012

    Emily, at age 4, is being entered in a local toddler competition this weekend, 1st time for her, just because SHE WANTS TOO. She asked. She is totally unaware of coming last, 3rd, 4th, or if there are even prizes. She asked so we will drag our butts off to have some snapshots done for her and the prize Mom and Dad gets is a happy toddler and a few nice snapshots for our walls. We were pleasantly surprised as our Emily is a little tomboy of note.

    Reply

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