A mum revealed she was called a "bad mother" for letting her six-year-old daughter compete in beauty pageants.
Chloe Priestley’s girl Mia began appearing in contests from the age of four.
But she has been accused of bad parenting for allowing the youngster to take part.
Chloe, however, believes the events are good for her daughter’s confidence and development.
She says she picks pageants for Mia that do not allow things like fake tan or hair extensions.
Mia, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, has won several of the competitions she has entered and her mum says she loves doing it.
The mum told Wales Online : "It’s grown [Mia’s] confidence greatly. She’s only six but she feels so comfortable holding conversation with children and grown ups.
"She speaks in front hundreds of people in these pageants, there aren’t many six-year-olds who can do that on their own.
"I think the pageants we’re shown on television have really influenced how people see what Mia does.
"They see these mothers forcing their children to take part, and wear make-up and giving their children body-confidence issues, but that isn’t what we’re doing with Mia.
"I was so doubtful about pageants before I did my research and actually started to going to them.
"The children are so kind, and show Mia that she can do it, and there’s such a sense of sportsmanship among the parents and the children.
"We’ve made so many friends, it’s like being a part of a big family.
"I always ask her, right before she goes up on stage to speak, I tell her that she doesn’t have to do it, we can go home and walk out right now and it’s okay, but she always tells me she wants to do it. She wants to compete."
Mia’s first pageants were when she was four.
Chloe said: "I made sure it was the right kind of pageant, did a lot of research and made sure Mia was sure she’d like to do it.
"She ended up winning Little Miss Cardiff and Little Miss Sunshine.
"We took a break for a couple years after that, I had a baby and there wasn’t a lot of time.
"Mia loves doing it. There’s no forcing her, she does it because she wants to. It’s like her dance classes, she has competed in that hobby as well because she wants to.
"I think so many people don’t understand that there are good pageants and bad pageants, and that’s mostly to do with how the media portrays them.
"I’ve had a lot of people say I’m a bad mother for forcing Mia to do these pageants, but they have no idea who I am, or who Mia is.
"She doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to, this is her choice."
Chloe says her critics went too far.
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I understand that some people don’t like pageants, but I think they crossed a line with some of the comments made," she said.
"We’re trying not to dwell on it. Mia knows what she wants to do, and I’m going to support her.
"Pure is a good pageant for children, there’s no make-up, hair extensions or fake tan allowed.
"As an example of this, one year a little girl won it, but when she came up on stage to collect her award she was wearing lip gloss, and the title was taken away from her.
"I’m like any other mum, I don’t want my six-year-old wearing makeup and fake tan, that’s why the pageants she competes in have to be the right ones."
Chloe added: "These pageants aren’t about physical beauty, they’re about confidence and public speaking.
"The little girls have to go up on stage, in front of hundreds of people and introduce themselves, saying who they are, their hobbies, things like that, for about three minutes.
"Then they have a personal interview with the judges, where they go into a room alone with the judges and discus their schooling, the charity work they’ve done over the last 12 months, and answer questions confidently.
"There is a modelling round, and the judges look for confidence and how comfortable the child is on the cat walk.
"It’s a lot of hard work, but Mia loves it.
"She says when she grows up she wants to be a role model, or a teacher, but most of all she wants to help people."
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