A PEMBROKE Dock mum has hit back at critics who labelled her a bad mother for supporting her daughter in competitive beauty pageants.

Last week, the Western Telegraph reported little six-year-old Mia Lilly’s triumphant second place in the Pure UK beauty pageant national finals.

Mia’s success means she will compete in the Pure International finals in Orlando, Florida, as Little Miss Wales.

A gofundme fundraiser has been set up to help little Mia's dreams come true, at gofundme.com/little-miss-wales-international-finalist-2019

Mum Chloe Priestley, from Llanreath, has since come in for criticism, in the online version of last week's story, for Mia taking part in beauty pageants.

Comments included “awful parenting”, and Chloe being labelled as “a bad mum” who is putting her own interests above Mia's wellbeing.

Chloe had responded to the online comments, saying: “Beauty pageants are given a bad name due to what the media advertises them to be.

"This is something Mia wants to do. Mia is never pressured in to do anything she doesn't want to do.

“Since doing beauty pageants Mia has learnt a lot she has become more confident she is able to get up and speak in front of hundreds of people. She learns to take instructions, to take criticism.”

Chloe added: “Makeup and fake tan is forbidden in a lot of UK-based pageants for children of a certain age.

"Mia has never worn any make up, fake tan, nail polish for any of these pageants.

"She has achieved so much over the past few years and she has grown into a beautiful polite and well-respected young person.

“Mia has made life-long friends over the years attending these pageants and she will go on to make a lot more. Mia is taught the right from wrong and Mia understands what beauty pageants entail.

“Since winning her tittle as little Miss Wales 2019 Mia intends to donate her old clothes and toys to local charities and work closely with charitable organisations.”

Speaking to the Western Telegraph, she added: “Mia’s gone in the paper in her local community for acknowledgement of such a big achievement for her, and to be disrespected like that isn’t appropriate.

"She didn’t go in the paper to get abused, but to show her success and show any other children her age that anything is possible.

“We understand that people have differing views and opinion on things and we would’ve happily listened to anyone’s opinions, but there’s a line, and I believe that was crossed on this occasion.

“To say that I am a bad mum when they don’t know the first thing about me is a bit of a kick in the teeth. We hope that people will support Mia on her journey and think about what they are saying before they comment in future.

“Mia’s just a normal six-year-old little girl who is trying to achieve something in life, and she hopes over the next six months to be involved with a lot of charity work.”