Pitfalls of stardom as Odisha lads hog limelight

Bhubaneswar: Beauties and talents from Odisha made a mark in national and international arena in 2017. Many among them were spotlighted at a very young age with the likes of beauty queen Padmalaya Nanda and singer Satyajeet Jena, taking the entertainment and showbiz industry by storm.

While applauding their achievements, a pertinent question arises regarding the pros and cons of exposing children to the entertainment and glamour world at a young age. Odisha Sun Times weighs in on the advantages and disadvantages of this trend of introducing kids to the world of showbiz.

Representative image
Picture source: Facebook/ IndiaKidsFashionWeek

“It could be advantageous for some children as they gradually learn to handle competition. They become competitive and skilled at modifying their conduct,” said city-based psychologist Dr. Amrit Pattojoshi.

RJ Sangram of Radio Choklate 104 FM, who was a child artist and did theatre plays and Odia films believes that the artist in him greatly benefitted from his foray into the world of acting as he was able to tap his potential as a creative person at an early age. He understood that he had a passion for fine arts and designed his career accordingly. “In the rat race to score marks in school, this helps one to stand out and have a unique identity,” he said.

However, there is also a downside to the pursuit of stardom as well. “Children sometimes get carried away if not counselled well by parents. Fame can get to their head. Moreover, the competition is so stiff today that the pressure to perform is also tremendous,” said Mamata Mishra, mother of Odia singing sensation and runner-up of music reality show Dil Hai Hindustani, Barnali Hota.

Contestant at Mr and Miss Little Miss Bangalore pageant
Picture courtesy: Facebook/ Magnitude India

Dr. Pattojoshi pointed out that the pressure to perform overmatures a child which is a strict no-no. Not only it gives rise to a superficial behavioural pattern and loss of inquisitive childlike innocence, but there also ensues a constant need for gratification. “Talent hunts and beauty pageants sometimes give children the illusion that the key to success is looking good, dressing smart or performing well before an audience. Some children are effortless in such environments, while it takes a lot of effort on the part of others. Furthermore, there is also the problem of handling the dejection of failure,” he added.

This year, a pageant called Mr. And Miss Little Odisha 2018 is all set to give Odia children a platform to showcase their talent and set the stage afire with their style and panache.

Scheduled to be held in 4 phases of auditions in two age groups (3-8 years and 8-12 years), this contest will crown a total of 28 children in various categories. The auditions will be conducted in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Sambalpur, with the two-day Grand Finale on April 14 and 15.

Contestants will be judged upon their talent, confidence and presentation skills. The jury panel will comprise local political leaders, school principals and local celebrities, among other. Experts from Bengaluru will groom the little participants on styling, presentation skills and ramp walk. The main attraction of this competition is the ramp walk and the self-styling round where the contestants will be asked to style themselves with the available apparel.

Kids stand a chance to win constellation titles such as Miss/Mr Smart, Miss/Mr Talent and Miss/Mr Cute, apart from the primary title. The prize will include Rs. 6 lakhs worth of gift vouchers, free products, coupons and scholarships for school admissions.

Winners at Mr and Miss Little Miss Bangalore 2017 pageant
Picture courtesy: Facebook/ Magnitude India

“The cities are growing smarter and so are the children of Odisha. We have a lot of talent in the state and mostly, they seek opportunities outside the state to make a name for themselves. We are giving them a platform on their home soil to display their talent with confidence,” said Deepak Singh, Odisha coordinator of Magnitude India.

Magnitude India, a modelling agency from south India is putting together this contest for Odisha, after conducting Mr and Miss Little Bangalore 2017.

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