Department of Sociology
Master of Art
An exploratory analysis of national beauty pageants for children was conducted through the administration of a questionnaire and through observation. The population surveyed was mothers with daughters sixteen years old or under. Questionnaires were distributed at six national pageants in five states with a total of 134 respondents. The questionnaire probed a variety of areas concerning the child's involvement, expenses incurred, beauty enhancements worn, and general demographic information concerning the contestant's family. Attitudinal statements concerning the role of women in society and the importance of beauty in society were investigated. A comparison was made between the attitudes of the pageant mother and a sample of mothers taken from the 1993 General Social Survey. The results suggested that pageant mothers were more supportive about the changing roles of women. In addition, mothers were given an attractiveness scale on which they rated themselves and their daughters. Data analysis on a variety of variables was carried out at univariate and bivariate levels.
Heltsley, Martha, "Beauty Pageant Mothers: Demographics, Motivations, and Family Structure" (1998). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 311.