Monday, April 1, 2013

I am a pageant mom!

I have a love/hate relationship to pageants.  There are some things I really love, and then there are things I hate.  It can be everything and more you see on tv, and then again it can be nothing like what you see on tv.  Mostly, it is what you make of it.  If you have never been to one in person, you really can't get a full taste of what pageants are really like.  It's truly one of those see it to believe it type things.

Believe me, I was so quick to judge them a few years ago, before my girls got into this.  I thought it would be like showing cattle or something.  In a way, maybe it is, at least at some of the pageants.  For the most part, it's nothing like that.

First let me say this, I hate that show that is on TLC, I seriously HATE it.  I will leave the name of it off my blog for tracking reasons.  Yes, we were on it one time, live and learn, I probably won't be doing it again.  It has really sucked the fun out of pageants and the good that actually comes from them.  It's also brought in some insanely crazy pageant mom's that are more in it for themselves. The world would truly be a better place if that show was never made!

I know, coming from a family that is TRYING to be non judgmental this seems it wouldn't fit in at all.  I am in the middle of two very different lifestyles.  One that is very earthy, more natural, lose and free.  While the other is very mainstream.  Neither side gets ME at all, but that's okay! :)  The whole pageant thing truly is for my girls.  For some reason they love it, until they are finished with this nonsense we will keep on doing them. 

There are different kinds of pageants.  No system is exactly alike.  The rules are different.  What they are looking for is different.

You have your natural pageants.

 Just like it sounds, natural.  No makeup for preteen and under, no tans, no fake teeth (flipper), or wigs.  Depending on the system, usually no stones on the dresses either.  Now we have been to pageants that claimed to be natural, but babies had on just as much makeup as a glitz girl. We've learned this is one of those important questions you NEED to ask the director before pageant day.  It will either make or break you.  If they say no makeup and you show up with makeup, you lose.  If they say it's allowed, you better have it on, or you will lose.  Silly, I know. Natural is suppose to be natural, really gets me when they say it is and it's not.  I like natural best, but both my girls are more glitzy.

Just because it says it's natural doesn't mean at all that it's going to be the same as the last natural pageant you were at.  They are all different.  Some just want that shinning personality, I love the personality contests best.  Doesn't matter if you aren't the worlds most beautiful, if you have a huge smile and a major personality, your chances are just as good as the next girl.  These are usually your benefit pageants or REALLY natural pageants.  Beauty isn't even scored. I like those, those use to be the only ones we did.  I often wish it was still that way.  I don't like that children are judged on beauty.  I'm trying to teach beauty is what's inside, and so far so good.  Guilty as charge, I do feel proud when they win most beautiful though. :)

Glitz, I'm still not a huge fan. Yes, it's more fun for the girls, they want more personality shown, the clothes are over the top and amazing. I hate it though.  Fake teeth on a toddler? Yeah, that's just stupid. We did buy into the flipper, and I can't honestly say I will never do it again (NEVER FOR A TODDLER!!! Stinky doesn't have one and won't till she loses teeth), you do need it to win.  Even though it is a normal (and adorable) part of childhood, a toothless grin will never win.  Glitz they want flawless beauty.  Tans and heavy makeup, even on babies, though usually that isn't started till age two.  Fake hair, BIG hair. I hate big hair.  I think it looks really stupid on a small kid, shoot, anyone. "Um hello, the 80's called, they want their hair back!!" I really don't GET the whole deal with glitz.  The glitz photos are dumb too.  They don't even look like the kid, BUT, if you don't have one, you don't usually stand a chance because photos play a huge part of your score in some pageants.

Glitz Kat
Glitz Stinky

What's the point of playing at all if you don't stand a chance at winning.  No, winning isn't everything, but I'm not paying that kind of money to set myself up to lose.  The girls love glitz.  The routines are so much fun, modeling is fun, the awards are bigger and better.  It's just dress up.  They love it, most little girls love getting all dolled up anyway.  

It's a fine line we walk.  I often hear mothers say to their daughters after getting out of hair and makeup "oh my! you look so beautiful"  This makes my toes curl.  Their child was already beautiful before all that gunk!!! I make SURE my girls know this, if they struggled even slightly thinking they needed that crap, I'd pull them out.  THEY ARE MOST BEAUTIFUL WITHOUT ALL THAT GUNK! It's just for fun, dress up only. It's not needed.  Kathryn will tell you, it's her stage makeup so she doesn't look like a ghost under those lights. 

I hate drama.  We go to make friends, we go to have fun, winning isn't everything.  You would NOT believe how many times we've met people that acted all friendly only to turn around and stab us in the back.  Yes, it happens. It's almost not worth even going.  Like any sport though, there is going to be drama.  Half the people I've met at pageants probably think I am some awful person because of what someone else has said about me. :-D Sad but true!  It's happened in baseball and karate too, it's everywhere!

The treatment we've gotten from people because we do pageants has been unreal. Not only is it not anyone else's business, but to judge someone on something they do (when it's not hurting anyone!) is wrong.  My girls have cried themselves to sleep more than once because of something someone else has done or said about this.  It hurts.  It's really sad they don't feel comfortable talking about it with some people because they are afraid of the reaction they will get. I admit, we use to keep it to ourselves we did pageants.  It's nothing to be ashamed about, and I HATE I have been made to feel this way. I get that it isn't for everyone, that's 100% okay, but just because it isn't YOUR thing doesn't mean you have to knock it down for MY girls!  I don't allow people like this in very close anymore.  You're either for us or against us.  If you really love my kids, you accept them for who they are.

I already stated the things I hated about glitz, big hair, flippers, tons of makeup, pictures that look nothing like the kid.  It is what you make of it.(I will get to the pros in all of this!) Tanning scares me.  Not because of the way it looks.  Who wouldn't want to be golden brown??? The stuff in it.  Just because it's organic doesn't mean it's fantastic for your skin.  Poop can be organic too, but you don't see me coating myself in it.  We don't tan often at all.  Jemima almost never gets tanned as her skin is browner.  I really hate that tans are needed. If they aren't safe like some are stating, then they need to be banned from pageants.

I hate going to a prelim pageant (usually small, less than 20 girls competing) and there being rules about no cameras in the ballroom.  Usually it isn't even a ballroom, usually there isn't even a stage! You go to the prelims to place and get fees off a state or nationals pageant. I AM NOT GOING TO PAY SOMEONE $75 FOR PHOTOS FROM A PRELIM!!! EVER!!! I get not allowing them at the state and national ones, those are usually huge, and I am thrilled no one else is able to get a picture of my kid, and I will gladly pay the pro to take them.  Really gets me at the small pageants though, I mean you aren't even allowed to snap a picture of your kid at crowning. Uh sorry, I just paid to be here, paid for her clothes, she's MY kid.  I should by all means be able to snap a picture to post on facebook RIGHT NOW and not have to wait thee weeks for the pictures to come in!! We try to avoid prelims that don't allow cameras.  Yes, I look.  

I hate pageants where not everyone gets a crown.  It's hard work to get up there in front of everyone.  You won't see me doing it!  We avoid pageants where not everyone is made to feel special.  I don't care if it's a tiny crown, everyone SHOULD get one!  All girls are special, all girls are princesses.  You want a kid to feel proud of themselves, you give everyone a crown and a nice sounding title!!!

It's a LOT of work to get ready for them.  We start planing days, sometimes weeks in advance. These kids work hard for their titles.  Many many hours go into practicing for them. Like I said, you wouldn't get what I mean by that unless you actually went to a pageant.  You don't just go up there and look pretty, most pageants want a full on routine, almost like dancing. (Pro Am modeling)  It takes lots of time and money to learn them!

I know I've made it sound pretty bad, but there are things I really love about pageants.

I love a lot of the people we have met! Some of my best friends (who am I kidding, MOST of my best friends) have came from pageants.  From dragging me out of the house kid free, to visiting my sick kid in the hospital, to inviting my super sized family over for dinner, or just calling to say HI.  We've met some amazing people, our lives are truly better because of them. I would have never met a single one of them without pageants.

Who am I kidding, I love making the clothes too.  It's so much fun.  Where else would my kids get to wear my over the top creations?!?  Plus I've gotten so much better at sewing because of this.  I LOVE coming up with new and exciting things for them to wear.  Really makes me all fuzzy inside when they say "My mama made my outfit, isn't it amazing?!" with so much pride, and then go and win in it. AWESOME. Totally rocks my socks off!

I love who my girls have become.  Jemima was so very shy, she wouldn't look anyone in the eyes, cried when a stranger tried to talk to her, I couldn't leave her even at my parents house without a melt down.  Now, she almost never meets a stranger.  She's learning to talk when asked questions. Makes good eye contact and is friendly.  She asks to go visit people without me.  Not only that, she is very proud of herself. Kat is now at the age where interviews are a huge part of her overall score.  She's been interviewed twice, and both times has won overall best interview.  Being homeschooled there wouldn't be many opportunities  for any sort of public speaking, we actually look for pageants with interviews. This will be a huge help when it comes time for jobs and getting into collage.  She is sure of herself and is able to face whatever is thrown at her, pageants paid a huge roll in that. Both girls are gaining so much confidence, that is something I could never have just taught them. They also like themselves, and are comfortable in their own skin.  Something I envy, I never thought much about myself, still don't.  They value their self worth. They take pride in who they are.  That is so special.  I really hope they keep this up, kids that like themselves are less likely to get into trouble later on.

I don't allow them to cry if they lose, they are to be happy for the girl that did.  This was hard on one of my children at first, but she's sat out enough where it comes easier now.  You can't always win in life, even if you did do your best.  They both fully understand this!  Yes, it's disappointing, but you can always try harder. There is always next time.  You just can't ever give up, at a very young age, both girls get it!

None of my children will probably ever go to Prom. I don't think I will allow dating while still in high school. We homeschool so there won't be a prom. My girls won't need it, they get all dressed up and have their shinning moment just about once a month, or at least every other month.  They feel special often enough, it is my hope they won't feel they missed out on prom.

I love the look on their faces when they take it all.  

Learning to be super proud of their sister when her big day comes and she takes it all and being just as happy for her if you won it yourself. :)

  It's true, we will probably have to rent a storage unit to store all their winnings, we have trophies and crowns in nearly every room.  It's really hard to part with something you worked so hard for.  Yes, even more work for me, dusting those things are a pain in the neck. 

Childhood is so special.  I know from the outside it might look like pageants rob children of this, I wouldn't deny that in some people that is probably the case.  I've seen parents beat the crap out of their kids and really knock them down for not being perfect.  That just sucks.  That is not at all what we are there for.  This is fun for them, they feel special.  It's also amazing mother daughter bonding time.  We've had some amazing conversation while fixing them all up.  It's just glorified playtime with added benefits of learning some very valuable lessons.  I am raising some amazing young ladies.  They know how to act a lady (something I will never learn haha!) yet they know how to play hard too.  


  1. Are you adopting the two kids you hosted? Are you hosting them again? Would be interested to read an update on your process or where you're at!

  2. Hey, wonder how you are doing? Is there a new baby yet? Hope your well! Kim

  3. Hi My name is Marissa, Im a college student doing a speech on Children Beauty Pageants, We haveto find someone to interview with our topic.If you would be willing to help me out or answer some questions Ican be reached by email, please and thanks

  4. Hey Sarah,
    just thinking about you and wonder how you and your family is doing, I can't find your e-mail, and I want to e-mail you..... mine is jmrekab at yahoo dot com email me if you get a chance :O)