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Byline: Audrey Vijaindren
BEAUTY pageants and talent competitions may be the last thing on their minds, but babies and children are getting caught up in the controversial glamour of the modelling world, writes AUDREY VIJAINDREN.
SHE spends hours in front of the mirror, pursing her glossy lips and flashing her pearly whites. While others fuss over her hemline and high-heeled shoes, she worries about her painted nails and braided hair.
When her appearance is flawless, she takes to the catwalk with an air of confidence.
She hopes to win a coveted crown. She wants to be a beauty queen. She's desired it for months. And now that this babe is 10 years old, she's finally got a shot. Over the past couple of years, more and more Malaysian children are being trained to sway their hips and give "Miss Universe answers" at beauty contests and talent competitions.
As parents drag their young ones from one audition to the next, live shows, TV or print castings, state beauty pageants for children are just a hop, skip and jump away. But are our children ready for the land of the bold and beautiful? The jury is still out.
Are parents living out their dreams through their children? Are they doing it for money? Or are they just hoping to have some fun and bonding time with their children? Two-year-old Lucy has posed and smiled for the camera for over a year.
She models baby clothes, shoes and accessories, whatever the job calls for. Her mother says there's nothing that gives Lucy as much pleasure as seeing herself in a fashion catalogue. And that's as good a reason as any for her.
"When we were first approached in a shopping mall, I was hesitant. I didn't know how Lucy would handle the long hours of modelling. But now that we have done many shoots, both Lucy and I are loving it.
"There have been times when she gets cranky. That's when sweets, toys and games really help. It can be tiring for her. Sometimes she has to model up to 30 outfits," says Lindsay Raj (not …