Beauty Pageants Moms: The Stereotype
the real glitz pageants moms
You've seen the stereotype with glitz pageants. And if you haven't seen it, you've surely heard about it. You know - the typical beauty pageants mom. The one with bad teeth, ill-fitting clothes, and a fifth grade education. The ones who live in seedy singlewide trailers. Sometimes they're called "trailer trash." Instead of spending their money wisely to improve their station in life, they blow it all on beauty pageants for their daughters.
I'm here to tell you, that is NOT the typical pageant mom! Sure, I'll admit there are a few of that type, but that's what they are - few. Most pageant moms are middle to upper-middle class, with nice homes, nice cars, a college education, and a sense of family values.
All kinds of kids enjoy competing. Some are children of doctors, some of lawyers, some of teachers, and some of accountants. There's absolutely nothing wrong with beauty pageants as long as the kids want to do it and the parents have the right attitude.
Contestants who enjoy competing can gain a lot from the experience. It improves their self confidence, it allows them to make new friends, and it gives them a chance to be a "princes" for a couple of hours. They can also win money, savings bonds, scholarships, and all kinds of prizes. My granddaughter and niece have won bicycles, DVD players, cameras, toys, luggage, stuffed animals, dolls, jewelry, and furniture, along with the monetary prizes.
I must admit, however, that I have often wondered about people who obviously could ill afford the inherent costs involved with pageants compete. I remember once my granddaughter was in a pageant out of town. We were out in front of the auditorium when an old station wagon pulled up. Out piled a large family who definitely fit the stereotype. I'm not sure they had a full set of teeth among them. Some were barefoot, and the men wore overalls with no shirt underneath. As they parted, I saw their little girl that was going to be in the pageant. She was beautiful, with long blonde hair, big blue eyes, and a smile to die for. She had on a pageant dress that must have cost close to $2,000.
I wondered why they didn't put that money into dental work, or clothes, or shoes. But after I thought about it a while and watched the obvious pride they had in their little princess, I began to see the other side.
Maybe this was the only thing in their lives that made them feel good - that made them feel accepted. Even though they were poor and uneducated, they had something beautiful that they wanted to show off. Maybe they thought that the scholarships the little girl could win would be her only chance for a better life. Maybe they thought that by learning interview and speech skills and how to carry herself and dress for success would be her ticket out of poverty.
When the judges see the contestants on stage, they don't know the girls' backgrounds. Reputable pageants use out-of-town judges who don't know the girls competing. The girls are judged solely on their stage presence, personality, dress, poise, and facial beauty. The older girls are often judged on interview and speech, also. Maybe this family felt like a pageant could be one of the few places where their daughter would be judged fairly and not for who she was or who her family was.
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