Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pageant Parent: A How-To Guide

As I've stated in multiple posts, Toddlers & Tiaras is one of my guilty pleasures. Although, I will readily admit the fact that I watch it so that doesn't really seem like a guilty pleasure if you ask me. Plenty of my friends (and Amy Jo) give me weird looks or judge me for watching T&T and I try to explain that you have to completely remove the feeling of disgust you get from seeing teeny beauty queens and think of it more as a Jane Goodall experience.

I would like to state that while watching the show, my list of mental notes is stacking. Of course the overall mental note is to never, ever (under any circumstances) do that to my child no matter how "facially gifted" (yep, that's a term). But then there are other things I think about such as: if the beauty score is meant to be based on facial beauty alone, why do they were those expensive dresses, etc. Shouldn't they just come and stick their head in a little window or something? Another idea I have is to create a spin-off series in which cameras tape people (particularly the overbearing parents) who are watching themselves on the show for the first time. Now that would be a show worth watching in my book!

While I have no intention of becoming a pageant parent, I do know everything it takes. There could come a day (God forbid) in which someone is forced to enroll their child in a some madman is going to commit a heinous crime if I don't take my little girl to compete in the full-glitz Fresh Faces 2020 or something. I know what you're thinking; that will never happen! Well my friends, it is a sick world out there with lots of sick people and we cannot predict all the atrocities mankind if capable of committing. For that reason, I have decided to create a how-to guide so that any regular individual can, in a pinch, become a pageant parent.

  1. Get a kid: You might think it has to be your kid, but you're wrong! It can be a grandchild, niece/nephew, or even the child of a friend. I do not recommend just snatching a child off the street, that's called kidnapping.
  2. Money, money, money: It's time to get, get, get, get, get that paper! Popular ways of making extra cash for pageants is to start doing hair, makeup, spray tans, and/or making outfits for other pageant girls.
    1. Poor math skills: Your daughter winning that $250 totally offsets the $2500 you spent on the pageant.
    2. Altered financial priorities: It's simple Pageants > mortgage, car payment, electric bill, credit card debt, church tithe, etc.
  3. Pageant Dictionary: OK, I don't think this is actually a thing (yet). My point is that you need to know a variety of key phrases to survive in the pageant world.
    1. Words of encouragement to scream at your child while he/she is on stage: Sparkle, baby! Pretty Girl! Work it, Sis! Wooooo! Work them judges! Smile, baby! Rock it out!
    2. Crowning lingo: Know the awards such as queen, princess, grand supreme, ultimate grand supreme, novice/mini supreme, etc. The verb "pull out" no longer refers to the Vatican's recommended method of birth control. To pull out means that your child did not receive a divisional title such as queen or princess because she has "pulled out" of her age range and is in the running for a supreme title.
    3. Practice: Pretty hands, pretty feet! Look at the judges! Go to your X. Slow down. Smile! Are you gonna rock it out?
    4. Game: You and your daughter should be ready to spit game about how she's going to rock it out and beat all the other girls.
    5. Buzz words: Make sure you're ready to talk about why you do or do not agree with pageants. Be prepared to tell people who don't agree with pageants where they can shove it. Don't forget to talk about how the pageant helps your daughter's confidence.
    6. Colorful words: You may have to flip your shit if something doesn't go your way. You need to be prepared for your child's music to get cut off, a prop to malfunction, your child's name and/or number to be read/pronounced wrong, or your room key to not work.
    7. Holy Words: Remember, you're good Christians and you should pray that God blesses Trinitee during her beauty walk and
  4. Gather the Pageant Arsenal: There are a lot of tools needed to succeed in pageants and I'm not just talking about the white patent leather shoes and cupcake dress. All tangible arsenal items are to be stowed in rubbermaid totes.
    1. Name: Does the child competing have a pageant name? The weirder or more obnoxious/ridiculous the name, the better. A few examples include: Trenleigh, Caydence, Sequoia, Queen, Heaven (or the backward version, Nevaeh), etc. If you're not big on absurd names, why not try a normal name with an absurd spelling? This goes way beyond adding a superfluous letter here or there. Sarah, Brittany, and Cassidy are not winning pageants. You know who's winning? Seraah, Britainee, and Kassadee.
      1. Put her name all over her room. Cut out wooden letters with glitter zebra stripes on the wall or door, picture frames with her name in bubble letters...
        1. As long as we're discussing her room: Make sure there is ample space to store all of her crowns, trophies, and sashes. Ask her if she remembers when she won each crown (hint, she doesn't because she was only 2 years old at the time). Ask her which crown is her favorite. Tell her which crown is your favorite. "Jokingly" put on a crown and declare yourself to be the Grand Supreme (you know you want to).
    2. Coach: All true competitors have a coach. And it's totally cool if your coach is a pageant "veteran" who's all of 14 years old. The point is that girl has been in the trenches showing off her "pretty hands, pretty feet" since she was 6 weeks old. Don't be afraid to use a drag queen, either; they know what's up. You may also choose to go with an agency to help further her modeling "career".
    3. Enhancements: I'm not talking about plastic surgery (not yet at least). Virtually everything on your child should be fake. This includes but is not limited to the following: tan (preferably an airbrush spray tan done in your kitchen or bathroom because you're so hardcore that you own your own spray tanning equipment), flipper (that's fake teeth that sort of snap on over your regular teeth for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo), wig and/or fall (fake hair for days, y'all...and don't forget to have your professional hair stylist "jack it to Jesus"), nails (acrylic or gel), contacts (who says your eyes have to stay the color God made them?), make-up (applied by a professional make-up artist), eyelashes, and honestly I'm sure there are more enhancements I haven't even considered.
    4. Clothes: It's not just one outfit...oh no, no, no. You need your beauty dress (the standard "cupcake" dress that someone has bedazzled the shit out of is key, be prepared to drop anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars on that bad boy), outfit of choice (anything goes but it damn well better have a unifying theme to it), crowning dress (optional; some girls are ok wearing their beauty dress again during crowning), outfit pertaining to the theme of the pageant (western wear, patriotic wear, Christmas wear, candy wear, beach/luau/swim wear, Vegas wear, Mardi Gras wear, I could keep going), monogrammed zebra/leopard/hot pink beauty cape (every 7 year old needs something to wear while she's having her hair and makeup done).
      1. Clothes for the family/fan club: Anything emblazoned with your daughter's creepy beauty headshot on it. T-shirt, buttons, etc. Rhinestones make everything better. Airbrushed lettering that says something like "Maddisyn's Dad" adds a special touch. If you have more than one daughter competing you may choose to go with rhinestone letters that spell out "Pageant Mom" or perhaps the name of the modeling agency that received half of your paycheck each month.
    5. Props: Anything that will catch the judges' eyes during the outfit of choice or talent portion of the show. Make sure to have the aforementioned ridiculous name of your child somewhere on the props.
    6. Food & Drink: Have plenty of "Pageant Crack" (Pixie Sticks) and Go-Go Juice/Special Drink (Mountain Dew, Red Bull, Monster, or any mixture therein) to keep her "spirits" up.
  5. Disregard for reality: Remember, your child loves doing pageants and you're going to keep her competing until she says "stop". Be ready to overlook her crying, her uninterested expression during all things pageant, or even her blatant statements such as, "I hate pageants. I don't want to do this anymore. I want to be an octopus." Sure others may comment on how spoiled, bratty, or impossible your daughter seems; they don't understand her. You see, at her age it's still cute and she's just so high-spirited and independent. Ignore the haters.
Do you think you've got what it takes? I guarantee that if you follow my guidelines, I'll see you and your child (but most importantly you, because that's who it's all about anyway) on the next season of Toddlers and Tiaras. And if I happen to remember any more crucial tips, I'll let you know ASAP.

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