• Young girls should not need a crown to prove to their parents and to themselves that they are beautiful.

    Approximately 2.5 million girls compete in more than 100,000 beauty pageants each year in the U.S., according to Statistic Brain, and at least 72 percent of contestants hire a pageant coach like Gravel, often at a cost of $100 or more an hour, sometimes three sessions a week, according to Gravel—and a long list of other expenses. Then there's hair and makeup (about $250 an hour), a spray tan ($75), and a wig or extensions ($200).

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