"Dude, where's my tiara?" That's how TweenTribune.com refers to a growing trend of pageants widening their boundaries to include boys in strut-your-stuff shows usually reserved for girls and women. This trend, notes Tween Tribune, is seen particularly in Portland, Oregon, where boys not only showcase themselves, but also humanitarian causes.
High School Pageants
High schools in Oregon have used boys' pageantry as a way to raise money for local and international charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Children's Cancer Association. "The Oregonian" reported that the high school in Canby, Oregon, raised $2,000 for a charity in Africa. In these pageants, humor often trumps beauty as the boys put a nontraditional spin on "swimsuit" competitions -- which may include boys catwalking in scuba gear or denim cut-off shorts -- and talent contests.
Despite the good results from these high school pageants, however, some have concerns. "The Oregonian" further reported that a Gresham, Oregon, high school questioned whether future boy pageants would occur because of an inappropriate incident that happened at a past pageant. The problem, said activities director Bill Chisholm, was that some kids didn't "stick to the script," implying that some boys used the pageant as an opportunity to breach the confines of what's considered politically correct.
For Younger Boys
Outside of high school, boys between newborn-age and 13 years old participate in Oregon's Raindrop Pageant. In this pageant, both boys and girls compete for the role of king or queen. In harmony with the pageant's name and location, contestants, as a part of their presentations, dress up in rain gear. Judges rate the boys based on personality -- mostly meaning that they are smiling and having fun -- and on talent for older contestants. The winning boy receives a king's crown, banner, pin and a merchandise-filled prize package.
Potential Boys Pageants
The Unique Girls and Boys Pageant also gives boys their moment in the spotlight. The pageant pulls boys from states across the U.S. to compete in the national competition held in Minnesota. As of 2011, though, Oregon has no official tie to the pageant. But according to the Unique Girls and Boys website, anyone may fill out an online registration form, emails a picture of the registering boy and pays the designated registration fee. If approved, the boy becomes Oregon's appointed king and state representative at the annual national competition.
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