Mum sparks debate after admitting to fake tanning her three-year-old and entering her in beauty pageants

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  • It’s not unusual for your little ones to ask to use ‘mummy’s make-up’, or find them covered in your favourite lipstick when you turn your back for a second.

    But would you intentionally let your young child wear make-up, fake tan or painted nails?

    Mum-of-two Sami Bushell has defended her decision to let her three year-old daughter wear fake tan and make-up for beauty pageants. During an appearance on ITV’s This Morning, she told hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that she started entering her daughter Hallie in pageants as a way to spend more time together.

    Beauty therapist Sami added that she does take extra care with the products she uses on her daughter. She said: ‘I fake tan her the night before which is a wash off. It’s very natural products, it’s not harming. As a beauty therapist I have to patch test Hallie’.

    Image: This Morning/ITV

    She even added that her daughter gets to decide where she puts the fake tan, saying: ‘We don’t tan her face because it goes patchy. We did try her the first time tanning her face but she didn’t like it. She’s very fussy with her ears and her eyes. She doesn’t have any mascara on her eyes or anything like that.’

    However, Sami was joined on the sofa by psychologists Emma Kenny, who raised concerns about letting a child enter pageants at such a young age.

    Emma explained: ‘I’m not trying to condemn you as a mum, just to make that clear. It’s clear you love your child very, very much.’

    ‘The problems is that I think that people are very misguided about the impact this can have on children.’

    ‘For example we know from research, children who attend pageants, usually about 40 per cent more likely to suffer from issues such as mental health issues, depression, eating disorders etc, and that comes down to the pursuit of perfection.’

    ‘The more that we objectify children in this way, where being clean of make-up and clean of wigs suggest that they’re less than perfect, the more we suggest that they need to consistently need this things to make them feel enough.’

    Image: ITV/This Morning

    But Sami defended her decision, arguing that dressing up is just element of the competition and saying that she’d actually noted an increase in her daughter’s confidence.

    ‘It’s not based on their looks, its based on their talent, how they perform on stage. Beauty is 10 points of your whole score and your whole score can be 300 points’, she said.

    Sammi’s comments have divided social media, with some attacking the mum for letting her three year old grow up too fast.

    One Twitter said: ‘Dress up yes, a 3 year old in fake tan and makeup is a big no. Why try mature a 3 year old child?’

    Another added: ‘I think it’s disgraceful that we are telling children subconsciously to be “the most beautiful”‘.

    However, others supported the mum, saying that children love dressing up, and the behaviour shouldn’t be demonised.

    ‘If the child wants to do it I don’t see the problem when I did dance as a child we had to wear makeup n dress up,’ one such commenter stated.