Spray tan on a two-year-old is causing controversy as her mother, Lauren Jackson, defends the practice so her daughter can win beauty pageants. Savanna Jackson now tans monthly for the competitions.
Spray tan two-year-old, as she is now called, stands in a tent where tanning solution is sprayed on her. After that, a roller blots out any of her fair skin she has left. Although the process is touted by Jackson as perfectly safe, she says the reason it's done is for the competitive edge.
"I just want her to have the best possible opportunity to win. Besides, Savanna loves it. Now, it's a must for every pageant," Jackson told the Daily Mail. "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."
The "pennies" Jackson talks about is actually about $4,600 spent on pageants. Without the tan, other contestants would have an "unfair advantage," the Michigan mom claimed.
"I'd seen another contestant with a tan and not wanting the others girls to have an unfair advantage, I got her one too," said Lauren. The mom said her doctor assured her that it was "100 percent safe."
The spray-tanned 2-year-old doesn't stop with tanning, however. Savanna wears makeup, including eye-liner, mascara, lipstick, and she even has her eyebrows done. Although she wears a lot of beauty products, the young girl didn't always.
Savanna began competing in beauty pageants at 10 months old— back then they were "natural pageants," which allow little or no makeup and toned down outfits. After winning, Lauren and her mother, Sherry, felt Savanna could compete at a higher level.
Now, Jackson pushes her daughter to win, even hiring a modeling coach to teach Savanna how to walk and pose on the stage. The 2-year-old still competes in some natural pageants so that she understands the importance of living without makeup, said the mother.
"There is a line but I strongly feel I've kept Savanna on the right side of it," Lauren said. "I'd never even consider surgery or Botox – she already wears more make-up than I do."
Click below to see a video of a 2-year-old spray tanning on "Toddlers and Tiaras.