Competing against each other toughens them up': Pageant mum has entered rival daughters into 70 beauty contests since they were TWO
Last updated at 11:29 AM on 7th February 2012
Pushy pageant mum Keetra Barnes forces her young daughters to compete against each other - despite it causing constant tears.Eager to make her girls 'tough,' Keetra pits seven-year-old Kylie against five-year-old sister Karley in beauty pageants across their home state of Georgia, USA.
While Kylie was once the family champion, Karley has now become her mum's pageant darling.
Kylie, seven, right, and Karley, five, have been competing against each other in beauty pageants for the last three years
The competing can cause the girls to have massive rows and leaves Kylie in tears, but Keetra insists it is in their best interests.
Housewife Keetra, who spends thousands of pounds each year on the girls' pageants, said: 'Karley is my supreme queen.
'She's younger but has taken 30 supreme titles - the most coveted prize in the pageant circuit - and more than 100 prizes in total.
'Kylie only has eight supremes and has never beaten Karley. Some people might say it's cruel to make them compete against each other, but I think it's good for them. It toughens them up and drives them to be better.
Karley, right, the more outgoing of the pair, also started competing at two years old, but won almost immediately
'And at the heart of it, they always enjoy themselves in the end and want to do more. If they ever said to me they didn't want to do pageants any more, we'd stop.
'I didn't know if they were enjoying it or not as babies, so I decided to wait until they could tell me if they liked it.'
Kylie, who started competing aged two, had been successful in her own right, scooping her first win in 2008 after 18 months of trying.
Karley, the more outgoing of the pair, also started competing at two years old, but won almost immediately.
The girls compete in local pageants up to four times each month and have competed in the same category nearly 70 times
In November 2009 she took her first Supreme Queen title at the Miss Southern Harvest pageant in Sumner, Georgia, winning a five-foot trophy with an angel on top and a seven-inch silver tiara covered in jewels.
Kylie won her division but took home only a small trophy.
'Kylie was upset and cried because Karley's trophy was bigger.
Karley, posing for a pageant photogenic round, has won more than a hundred prizes
'She asked why Karley's crown was bigger than hers. I told her it was Karley's turn to win and maybe she'd win next time.'
But it's been more of the same since, with the girls having competed in the same category nearly 70 times.
They compete in local pageants up to four times each month.
Housewife Keetra Barnes, left, pictured with the girls and husband Matthew, spends thousands of pounds each year on the girls' pageants
Keetra, from Warwick, Georgia, USA, said: 'I tell them competing against each other is their chance to see who is best.
'It can cause fights. Karley goads Kylie saying 'I'm going to win' or 'I always beat you' and Kylie lashes out.
'Sometimes Kylie cries after losing to her sister. But she's more disappointed in herself than anything else. I tell her maybe next time she'll be Supreme Queen.
Karley, dressed as Reese Witherspoon's character Elle Woods from Legally Blonde
'One of the reasons I put them both in pageants is because it will help them to become models, singers or actresses - what woman wouldn't want that? *Holds up hand*
'Kylie is very good, but Karley has that something special. She has a certain charm that melts the judges.
'Even before they started competing against each other, Karley was getting more prizes.
'A couple of years ago Karley won an MP3 player and Kylie was very jealous. I made Karley share her headphones so they would stop fighting.'
Other prizes have included toys, bouquets of roses, sashes, and, of course, the highly-desired tiaras.
The girls share a bedroom where all their prizes are stored.
Karley's 30 Supreme Queen trophies are enough to over-fill two cabinets while Kylie's eight only fill a shelf.
Keetra insists they both love competing, but occasionally they have tantrums when they don't want to practice or compete.
Keetra said: 'Sometimes I bribe Karley with chocolate milk. And if they' are sleepy, I use my secret weapon - "Pixie Sticks" - which are packets of sugar candy.
'All kids eat candy and this is something lots of pageant mums do.'
Keetra stays up late to tailor expensive dresses costing £1,000 each once the £300 of Swarovski crystals are glued on.
In 2010 Keetra once outrageously dressed Karley as Reese Witherspoon's sexy character from Legally Blonde wearing a revealing low-cut pink one-piece with bunny ears.
And Keetra also has to polish their chosen 'talents' - singing pop songs by Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus.
'They hate practice,' says Keetra.
'But I make them stay until we get it right. It can take hours.
Karley, right, has wone 30 Supreme Queen trophies while Kylie had won eight
'I don't feel bad. They know if they agree to a pageant and I pay the £200 application fee then they are doing it no matter what.
In July 2011 they wore two-piece bikinis in a 'Girls of the Summer' pageant round.
'I worry about what paedophiles might think if they saw them," says Keetra. 'It horrified me to think they might look at my girls in the wrong way.
'So I only use what they would wear on the beach in public.
'I know not everyone sees it that way - but I really think I'm doing something positive for my girls'