I will shamefully admit that I have fallen into this "pageant mom" trap. Think that most mothers of little girls has at least thought about entering their little darling baby into a pageant...for fun. When you read this, please remember that I was much younger, and was very stupid. Well, I am here to tell you it is not fun. Not fun at all.
When Ansley was 11 months old i entered her into a local pageant. I knew nothing about pageants. NOTHING. I decided to get my beautiful belle a "Little Dolly" dress. For those of you that do not know what that is click here. They are very popular in the south, and looking back...very hideous. I selected the "southern belle" in white with royal blue bows. It looked tacky. However, to me...it looked adorable. I also had to purchase a crinoline slip. You know...to make it poofy. I thought I was super dooper crafty and I made my little dolly a head piece. See, Ansley had no hair. She did not get hair until she was well over 2 years old. I figured my mad crafting skills would make up for that little issue. You know...blind them with fake flowers.
Everything was rocking along great until my next door neighbor came over and gave me some "tips". I HAD to have white shoes with brown bottoms. Had to. It was like a mortal sin for you to put any other color on your child's feet. That was like an automatic 100 point deduction and I think they cut off a finger or something after the pageant. I also had to have "pageant socks". These hideously fugly socks that were all frilly and practly covered up the child's must be white with brown bottom shoes.
I went into a mini melt down panic. I mean, here I was with the most beautiful child that was sure to win and just because I am a total pageant ingnoramoose she will loose. I can't let that happen! So off to hunt white shoes in September I went. There is another thing that you must know about southern women. We take the no white before Easter or after Labor day very seriously. We will talk mad shit about your ass if you where white sandals in October, even though it is hot enough to wear them well into November where I live. Needless to say, trying to find these shoes are like looking for a needle in a haystack. (This was my non internet years, now I could find a pair in 3 minutes and have them shipped over night). 23 stores later, I found a pair of shoes for my little beauty queen. Thank you! Finding the socks was easy peezy, and I must say that they looked smashing with her super hideous frilly dress.
As time drew near I was getting more and more excited. My little girl was going to be in (win) her very first pageant. Ansley started walking at 9 months, so she could get around pretty good at this point. Her age division was babies from 0-12 months. I decided that she would stand out more if she could walk. So every day i tortured myself and my baby girl with walking practice. Yes, I made her walk around the living room 50 times a day, stopping at imaginary marks. I was a freak. We had perfected our little strut. I was even more confident that we would take the crown.
The big day came. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. We arrived at the event at our assigned time. Boy, I was not prepared to enter that lions den. There were women everywhere. Not smiling happy women. Mean, nasty, scowling looking women. Women that look like they will eat you up and spit you out. I seriously got a little frightened. People were fighting over light sockets...FIGHTING. Everyone was looking for that super spot where they could plug in all of there heated essentials for making their child look beautiful. I did not have that need since my kid had no hair. That did not stop them from shoving and acting like dumbasses.
I found a little corner and dresses my baby. She did look like a little southern belle. Too beautiful for words. From the top of her fake flower head all the way down to her brown bottom shoes, she was totally cute. I just knew, she was the one...I mean hello...she is beautiful.
So then we wait. And wait. And wait some more. We were waiting in line in a tinky tiny hall. Mamas and babies. It was so very strange. I have been in many social situations with children and parents and inevitably people start talking. It is like a rule, if you are around other folks with kids...you talk. Not here. We were all silent. It was freakishly quiet. You knew that the other mothers were sizing up your child. That is just weird. I am not going to lie. I was in on it also. Trying to figure out who was going to take second to my beautiful child.
OMG it was so freaking hot. I was sweating buck shots down the crack of my ass. All the while trying to clam my increasingly getting pissed off child. 11 months old, mobile, in a hall with a bunch of moms and other babies = shitty time. FYI. Especially when no one is talking to each other. Finally, the damn thing started.
A lady that was working for the pageant came to all the mother and instructed how to hold your baby so that they may see the dress and all that jazz. I smuggly stated to her that I was going to allow Ansley to walk. She looked at me like I was insane. She tried to talk me into just holding her, but no...I am a stubborn ass.
The time had come for our grand entrance. We had to walk to 3 marks on the stage. We had this. I just knew it in my bones. I took a deep breath and away we went. We got to the first mark. Ok. We were doing good. I was holding her hand guiding her over to the next mark (in front of the judges table). She was as cute as she could be. All of a sudden I hear laughing. Laughing? Is my little adorable sweetie blowing kisses or doing something totally rocking because she knows she is the bomb. Think again. I look down and she is hobbling. I look back and one of her damn white shoes with brown bottoms has came off. SHIT!!!!!!!! What the hell am I suppose to do? Go back? Keep going? Shit! So I just keep going.
We keep walking to the judges table and there is more laughter. Fuck me. Did her other shoe come off? No. She reached up and pulled out her halo of fake flowers. Great...just great. We get to the judges table and I just seriously want to fling myself of the floor and beg for mercy for my beautiful little girl. I mean look at her...in a hideous dress, one shoe on one shoe off (but they are white with brown bottoms damn it) and her halo of flowers in her hand. I had to look like I had been rode hard and put up wet at this point. We were a pair.
I we limped back to our stranded shoe and picked up what was left of our dignity and walked off stage. Somewhere in my delusional mind I thought we might still win (yea I am fracking nuts). I mean, it was a beauty pageant, my kids is beautiful. So what if we had some small wardrobe malfunctions. We were still the bomb. I am going to spare you what I was thinking about the competition at this point. I mean all I can claim is total insanity and everything I was thinking was not true. All of the little girls in this pageant were friggin adorable. Something about putting yourself in a competitive situations like this make you really, really mean. I can not imagine how the mothers that have spent mega money feel. I was in for about $150 bucks and that made me stupid crazy. If I had spend thousands I believe I would be beyond insane crazy.
Anyway, crowning time came and my daughter did not win. I would like to say that I lost gracefully, but I didn't. I was pissy because this judge knew this person, or that person did this. I was madder then a wet hen. I got over it. We collected our little participant trophy and left the building.
Looking back now, I am so very glad that Ansley did not win. That would have just blew my head up bigger. Then I would have spent more money and entered one of these glitz pageants that are seen on Toddlers and Tiaras. I totally could have been sucked in. The fact is that all little girls are dolls. Pageants are about the money that you spend. The extremes that some parents will go to be able to have a chance to win are crazy. The amount of money spent is gluttonous. It is not about making bonds. Hell, the kids don't even talk or socialize. What are they really getting out of all of it.
I am not judging these mothers. I for a brief moment was one of them. Not to their extreme, but one of them just the same. I just hope that for every dollar they are putting into pageants they are putting 2 in a college fund so that they will also teach their daughters that it is important to be as smart as your are pretty.
**********I will post pics of Ansley's pageant in the next few days. Hopefully, we will be getting a scanner so I can show yall some old school stuff.*******************