What do New Zealanders really think of beauty pageants for kids?

Tetsuro Mitomo/Fairfax NZ

Many contestants entered Junior Miss Cutie, Miss Cutie and Fancy Dress competitions at Caroline Bay Carnival.

At a fairground in Timaru girls as young as three braved the cold wind to compete in the Junior Miss Cutie pageant this week.

The Timaru Caroline Bay Carnival pageant sparked nationwide debate after a judge said New Zealanders dressed "trashy".

Now, some locals are asking if it's appropriate to hold beauty contests for young girls.

Miss Cutie contest for eight and nine year-olds  the winner was Faith Coffin, 8, of Timaru; second was Dana Kerry, 8, ...
TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ

Miss Cutie contest for eight and nine year-olds the winner was Faith Coffin, 8, of Timaru; second was Dana Kerry, 8, Christchurch; and third was Ella Toshach, 9, of Orari.

Miss Cutie judge Lesley Walker said she liked the pageants because mothers took an interest in what their children were wearing.

READ MORE: 
Caroline Bay Carnival pageants still popular
Pageant judge calls out 'trashy' New Zealand dress sense

Walker wouldn't call it a "pageant" though. "I call it a fun thing for the kids," she said.

Tetsuro Mitomo/Fairfax NZ

Caroline Bay Carnival Junior Miss Cutie and Miss Cutie judge Lesley Walker talking about how Kiwis dress badly.

Stuff asked some members of the public in Timaru what their opinion was on child pageants such as Junior Miss Cutie. Here's what they had to say:

"They are a good idea. It depends on the way you look at it. It's mother and daughter fun. We (my daughter and I) were going to dress up but the weather's not up to it."

- Leanne Wratt, 43.

Leanne Wratt is an accounts administrator from Christchurch.
Esther Ashby-Coventry

Leanne Wratt is an accounts administrator from Christchurch.

 

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"It is no more exploitative than magazines or newspapers. I was disappointed the wee ones had make up on as they have natural beauty."

- Clive Callow, 64.

Clive Callow is a funding advisor.
Esther Ashby-Coventry

Clive Callow is a funding advisor.

"I am not a fan. Children should be left to be children. I think children are under the influence of their parents to a certain degree (when it comes to choosing to enter pageants).

They are making their appearance for the sake of other people when they should concentrate on being individual."

- Stewart Mills, 58.

Stewart Mills is a Kiwi builder who lives in Australia.
Esther Ashby-Coventry

Stewart Mills is a Kiwi builder who lives in Australia.

"They are good for confidence. It would be different if they were being pushed into it."

- Maree Murray, 40-plus.

Maree Murray is a teacher aide.
ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY

Maree Murray is a teacher aide.

 

"I think it's fine. I like it. I would be happy to be judged."

- Templar Malama, 9.

Templar Malama, 9.
ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY

Templar Malama, 9.

 
"I don't approve of kids wearing make up at a young age. Every kid has got their own look and it's (pageant) good for their confidence. If they wear make up before they are 13 or 14 they grow up too fast."

- Ariana Malama, 32.

Ariana Malama is a mother and accountant.
Esther Ashby-Coventry

Ariana Malama is a mother and accountant.

 - Stuff

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