'I didn't want the other girls to have an unfair advantage': Beauty pageant mom defends decision to get her two-year-old spray tanned EVERY MONTH
23:21 GMT, 6 June 2012
If you saw a three-year-old girl smothered in pink lipstick and blusher, you would assume she had been playing with her mother’s make-up bag.
Not Savanna Jackson. This little girl has a beauty regime fit for someone far beyond her tender years – complete with monthly spray tans.
In fact her mother, Lauren, spends 3,000 a month entering her into beauty pageants.
Harmless fun Lauren Jackson, 26, from Michigan, pictured with her bronzed daughter Savanna
Savanna goes for monthly tanning sessions before every competition while a professional make-up artist is booked to apply eye-liner, mascara and lipstick
Savanna took part in her first contest
when she was only ten months old. When she reached the age of two, her
mother decided to start giving her tanning sessions – so the other girls
wouldn’t have an ‘unfair advantage’.
Yesterday Mrs Jackson defended her
decision, saying the process was 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.’
Mrs Jackson, 26, first entered her
daughter into a ‘natural pageant’, which allows little or no make-up,
when she was ten months old.
Star quality: Savanna Jackson, 3, on stage during a pageant competition
Before and after: Savanna's mother books a make-up artist before every contest
Smile for the camera: Savanna on stage
After Savanna won, Mrs Jackson began
entering her into ‘more glamorous’ pageants. She said: ‘Savanna loved
the attention and being on stage made her happier than I’d ever seen her
Now Mrs Jackson, her daughter and
Savanna’s grandmother, Sherry, travel across America from their home in
Michigan to attend the contests.
Explaining her daughter’s tanning
regime, Mrs Jackson 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,’ she said.
Savanna stands in a special tent while being sprayed with an air brush. A roller is then used to even out any blotchy patches.
Mrs Jackson said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Savanna, who said her favourite
‘routine’ is swimwear, now receives a spray tan once a month, before
every competition. A professional make-up artist then applies eye-liner,
mascara, lipstick and neatens her eyebrows.
Mrs Jackson also pays for a modelling coach to teach Savanna how to pose and walk down the catwalk.
She said she still enters Savanna into
natural beauty pageants, however, claiming she feels it is important to
teach her daughter she does not need a lot of make-up to feel
‘There is a line but I strongly feel
I’ve kept Savanna on the right side of it,’ she said. ‘I’d never even
consider surgery or Botox – she already wears more make-up than I do.’