Mum spends up to £3k a month entering tot in beauty pageants
A MUM has defended her decision to give her beauty pageant daughter spray tans — from the age of TWO.
Blonde-haired Savanna Jackson entered her first contest at just 10-months-old and now undergoes monthly tanning sessions.
She stands in a special tent while being sprayed with an airbrush and a roller is then used to even out any blotchy patches.
But her mother Lauren Jackson – who spends up to £3,000 per month taking Savanna to pageants – says the process is perfectly safe and her daughter “loves” her darker skin tone.
She said: “I just want her to have the best possible opportunity to win. Besides, Savanna loves it. Now, it’s a must for every pageant.
“To me the pageants are about having fun, building up her self-esteem, and giving my girl the best possible opportunity in life.
“When I see Savannah on that stage, her confidence blossoming, it’s worth every penny. I’m so proud of my tanned toddler.”
Lauren, from Michigan, USA, first entered Savanna into a ‘natural pageant’ – which allows little or no make-up and limited amounts of embellishments on the gown or dress – when she was just 10-months-old.
To the delight of the family Savanna won, and bitten by the bug, Lauren entered her into more and more competitions.
Lauren, 26, said: “I wasn’t surprised when she won – she’s gorgeous. However I was wary of moving onto more glitzy pageants.
“But Savanna loved the attention and being on stage made her happier than I’d ever seen her before.
“Her enthusiasm convinced me to give the more glamorous pageants a try.”
Within a year Lauren, Savanna and grandmother Sherry were travelling up and down the USA competing.
They soon realised that young contestants of Savanna’s age were using spray tans and took the plunge themselves.
Savanna now receives monthly spray tans before every competition while a professional make-up artist applies eye-liner, mascara, lipstick and neatens her delicate eyebrows.
Lauren said: “I’d seen another contestant with a tan and not wanting the other girls to have an unfair advantage, I got her one too.
“I was worried it might harm her young skin, so I consulted my doctor who reassured me there would be no side-effects and it was 100 per cent safe.
“Savanna stands with her legs apart and arms out and with an airbrush they will tan her body.
“They don’t spray tan her face as I don’t want her swallowing any of the tanning chemicals.
“They then use make-up on her face to make sure the colour matches.”
Lauren has even invested in a modelling coach to teach Savanna, now aged three, how to walk down the catwalk and work on her poses.
She still enters Savanna into natural beauty pageants – as well as the more glitzy versions – because she feels it is important to teach her daughter that she does not need a lot of make-up to feel beautiful.
She added: “There is a line but I strongly feel I’ve kept Savanna on the right side of it.
“I’d never even consider surgery or Botox – she already wears more make-up than I do!
“And I’m not one of those mums screaming at their child from the sidelines urging them to try harder. Savanna loves the limelight.
“She’s a natural and I know it sounds silly, but I believe she was born to be on stage.”
Savanna said: “My favourite routine is swimwear and I love winning the biggest crowns!”