Are cute baby contests online legit?
October 30, 2010 1:03 AM   Subscribe

Are cute baby contests online legit?

I've got a baby, and people have been telling me that he's cute. After our new round of photo's, I'm thinking that I'd like to enter a few of them into some cute baby contests, because he really is extremely cute. Looking online, however, most of the ones I came up with have a privacy policy that basically says they have the right to spam you forever and sell all of your info to whoever they want if you enter.

I'd love to enter a few contests, but not if they are just going to sell my info to a million different telemarketers. I don't get any junk calls on my cell phone, and I'd prefer to keep it that way.

Are there any legitimate online baby contests? Does anyone here have experience with one?
posted by markblasco to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If they are asking you to give them your contact information in exchange for allowing you to pit your baby against other babies, then they are going to be selling your information, since they don't need your contact information to gauge the cuteness of your baby.
posted by Marty Marx at 1:31 AM on October 30, 2010

One thing that puts even the most benign of these things into the 'non-legit' category for me -- not morally legit, at least -- is that by participating, you are then expected to spam away yourself. Your friends, your Facebook affiliates, your Twitter feed: you will fill all of these with please click here to vote for Peighton Lexi!! We really need your vote, so please click through and thus do a great deal of free advertising for the site. If this is how it operates, it's not really a "contest."
posted by kmennie at 5:45 AM on October 30, 2010 [5 favorites]

I remember at some point being interested in this subculture. I think I discovered that you are eventually asked to submit a registration fee along with your photos. I might have learned this from a website or from a documentary. In the initial stages they do not necessarily ask for or make explicit the registration and photo fees.

So they are legitimate in the sense that you are competing against others who submit photos and pay money to participate.

Also, what made of star stuff said.
posted by vincele at 5:47 AM on October 30, 2010

Is it really worth Baby Gap or YoBaby having the private info of you and all your friends and family to risk the possibility of someone maybe using your kid's face sometime in the future in some ad that no one will ever see?

And not to be harsh but while I'm sure your baby is cute, most are. It is evolutionary. You think your baby is the cutest so you develop affection for him so when he is 2 and keys your car and stabs your dog in the eye you forgive him.

Step back and think about what you want out of this, bigger picture.
posted by k8t at 6:19 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

A side note - at least with the BabyGap ones, they are gamed. There are websites where people set up vote trading and Mechanical Turk jobs to vote.
posted by k8t at 6:21 AM on October 30, 2010

OK, good responses. I'm not looking for something where my baby will be the next face of Baby Gap or something like that, but more for something that is just for fun. I have no interest in trying to pimp my kid for money or fame, I just thought this might be something fun, and maybe a good story for him when he gets older. I'm not going to be spamming any pages in order to get people to vote, and I understand with those kind of competitions, we have no chance of winning without putting elaborate amounts of time and/or money behind it.

As for his level of cuteness, I am obviously biased, and I know that. I've just had literally at least a dozen people tell me that I should enter him into a contest (and I don't know that many people), and we get comments with him all the time about how cute he is. After the last photo's we took, people have commented that some of them look like they should be in a photo book or magazine, so I figured, what the heck, if there is a legit contest that is just for fun, let's throw his photo in there and see what happens.
posted by markblasco at 8:34 AM on October 30, 2010

I've just had literally at least a dozen people tell me that I should enter him into a contest (and I don't know that many people), and we get comments with him all the time about how cute he is.

I am not disparaging your baby's cuteness -- I love babies and I'm sure yours is really really cute! However, this is the kind of thing people say to parents of babies all the time. Because:

1) People who don't have babies often get really really excited about babies.
2) People who have had babies often get really really excited about babies.
3) People like to talk to parents about their babies, (in the case of strangers, it's the gateway to being able to stare and coo with impunity) and usually compliments are just the way you do that.

It's the same when you get a dog -- it takes a while to adjust to the fact that many, many strangers will now want to run right up to you and the dog and tell you how beautiful it is. That's part of why some people get dogs. And I'd imagine that's why people who have had babies often wind up wanting more babies -- that attention is pretty addictive, and it's hard to deal with the withdrawals as babby grows up.

(Whereas dog attention levels mostly stay consistent for years and years.)
posted by hermitosis at 9:00 AM on October 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Hermitosis is correct.

People DO think that your baby is cute and they tell you that he is. However, they're not going through the rolodex in their head of every baby they've ever seen and determined at that moment that yours is cuter than 95% of the ones that they've seen.

To compare -- sites like and are fun because it is so hard to compare cuteness. It isn't like adult attractiveness. It is biologically designed to make you, the viewer, feel good.

It is also the thing to talk about with parents with babies.
posted by k8t at 9:51 AM on October 30, 2010

OK, while I appreciate the input about how my baby may in fact not be at the top of the baby cute curve, the fact of just how cute our baby is doesn't really impact the question here. Is my baby cute? I think so, as do others. Is he the cutest baby out there? Who knows. I'd put links to photo's here for opinions, but that just seems like I'm trying to go on here to get people to tell me how cute (or not cute) my baby is, which is not why I'm posting here. I'm really looking for experiences other parents had had, and information on how to find contests that are not just big scams trying to spam people. I just think this would be fun to do, regardless of the outcome.
posted by markblasco at 9:53 AM on October 30, 2010

It might be a cute story, or it might be something your kid will regret/resent for the rest of his life.

I do not have a baby, but I would be reluctant to enter my imaginary baby in any cute-kid contests because I don't think that a baby is capable of giving informed consent to that kind of... well, I was going to say 'exploitation,' but that's harsher than I mean.
posted by box at 10:29 AM on October 30, 2010

My mom and grandma entered pictures of me into "cutest baby contests" when I was a baby. They were not online (obviously, this was 1986); I think they were in places like the mall, sears... maybe a magazine? I actually won a couple and I think my parents got a few hundred dollars. I didn't become a baby model or anything. Based on my non-memory of this event, I'd suggest you look into local brick-and-mortar stores and magazines, and find contests there.
posted by pintapicasso at 11:08 AM on October 30, 2010

It sounds like these baby contests are the equivalent of short story and other fiction-writing "contests." In these writing contests, you submit your short story, as well as $20. Whoever wins the contest gets $100 or whatever.

Obviously the contest is just an excuse to convince people to send in money, some of which is then given back to the "winner."

When aspiring writers come to me and ask if they should enter into these contests, I always say "No." If you want validation for your writing, then you should submit it to Real Places. Like publishing houses, literary magazines, agents, etc.

My answer to you is the same. If you really back the cuteness of your kid, and you want to do something about it, then you should (...please forgive me, the only term I can think of is the one from fiction writing....) shop him around to some modeling agencies.
posted by ErikaB at 11:51 AM on October 30, 2010

OK, thanks for the replies. I will keep in mind that that anyone who is asking me to pay money to enter is likely a scam. I'm not looking to join a modeling agency, or shop my kid around. I am not looking to make this a career for him or me, or to turn him into a child model, or to do this in any sort of serious way. I don't care if there is any money or prizes to be won. I am not going to bring my son to professional photographers and agents and the like. I am not going to take him to beauty pageants. Hopefully this clears some things up. I was hoping to find information about possible sites online where you send in a photo or two of your baby, and people vote on the cutest baby. I thought other people might have done something like this in the past, and might have suggestions as to where to look, or things to avoid, and similar information.
posted by markblasco at 1:19 PM on October 30, 2010

Can't you just make up a throwaway email address and phone number purely for the purpsoe and use those to enter your baby in those contests? Not entirely sure why spam has to be a problem here.....if you want to enter your baby go and enter...taking reasonable percaustions so your main contact details don't get abused!
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:03 PM on October 30, 2010

I'm not worried about the email address, but I assumed for these things in order to win they would contact you through mail or phone, which means using a fake number or address is not an option.
posted by markblasco at 5:06 PM on October 30, 2010

Many, if not most women's magazines I sometimes browse through in waiting rooms have a section at the back with "baby of the week" photos - i.e. the cutest picture a reader has sent in. You could try looking into that sort of thing. I can't see how those would be any sort of scam, and I'm pretty sure they don't ask for registration fees.
posted by lollusc at 5:11 PM on October 30, 2010

Oh, good idea lollusc, I'll have to ask my wife if any of the magazines she subscribes to has this.
posted by markblasco at 6:43 PM on October 30, 2010

If you're really concerned about giving out contact info, then why not get a post office box and a Google Voice (or some other call forwarding site) number. Set up your cell or house phone to receive calls to the Google Voice number.
posted by lovelygirl at 6:28 PM on October 31, 2010

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