FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2010
Beauty Pageants Can Carry Big Price Tag
RICHMOND, Va. – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports that female students from several Richmond-area high schools were recently solicited to participate in an upcoming beauty pageant in Los Angeles.
“Regardless of the legitimacy of an operation, students and parents need to be aware that participation can be costly,” said Barbara Homiller, vice president of the BBB serving Central Virginia.
Homiller said one student who replied to the promotion received a letter stating that she was a state finalist. “We have no idea of the criteria for becoming a state finalist or what percent of initial applicants become state finalists,” Homiller added. The letter explained that in order to “guarantee” a slot in the pageant she must attend a training session at a cost of $240. An additional $200 in fees would be required later.
“We know that a lot of teens are lured each year by the promise of big prizes and a chance for stardom. BBBs across the country get hundreds of thousands of inquiries a year about various beauty pageant promotions,” Homiller said.
The BBB offers the following tips for parents and teens who may be considering entering a beauty pageant:
If you are contacted by a pageant company, contact the BBB first for a reliability report on the company. Call the local office of the BBB at 804-648-0030. The reports are also available online at www.bbb.org.
The BBB in Central Virginia serves Richmond and Tri-Cities, as well as 42 surrounding counties, from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of the BBB include business reliability reports, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, consumer and business education and charity review.