Many advertisements seeking beauty pageant participants read, “Win Big Prizes! Scholarships! Cash! Become the Next Supermodel!” These ads are appealing to parents of young children, teens and others who are convinced they have what it takes to become the next big star. Participating in a beauty pageant may provide a rewarding experience, but many would-be contestants find that some pageant promoters do not deliver what they promise. While there are legitimate pageants, there are also those – whose only purpose is to fatten the pockets of promoters.
In 2010, Better Business Bureau received nearly 10,000 inquiries from consumers about beauty pageant promotions. “Beauty pageants can carry big price tags,” said Kim States, BBB President. “Before finding yourself scammed out of thousands of dollars, it’s important to check out the pageant operator with BBB first.”
Before entering into a pageant, parents and others who want to get involved should consider the following questions:
How long has the company been operating pageants? Who are the directors? Usually pageants are operated by for-profit organizations that solicit participants by mail or print advertising, or by broadcast media, to compete for recognition and prizes from the promoter.
What is the total cost of pageant participation for both the entrant and the chaperone? Oftentimes, family or business sponsors are asked to pay a sponsorship fee, which can vary in size, to the pageant promoter to cover hotel rental fees, awards, administrative costs and salary for company (more…)