First, Miss Georgia Spirit needs to decide which type of pageant it wants to be. Either natural or glitz, but it can't be both. It's not fair to the girls who compete (not that pageants are ever "fair," but that's another story). I wondered who would win the big prize and when 5-year-old glitzy-Story was crowned, I thought, hmm, for all the talk of the judges preferring the natural look, there ya go. Hypocrisy at work. But then we saw the disappointed pageant directors and the supposed miscalculations and the big announcement of the "wrong" girl being crowned. It was obvious the directors did NOT want a glitz-girl to win. So there's an innate unfairness right off the bat. Very strange and off-putting.
Another male judge! The director introduced him as "a local businessman." Come on. Why is he there really? Who is he? Is he a major contributor/backer? If so, why? I don't like the idea of some random "businessman" scoring young girls.
Like last week's show, this episode had some High Comedy, much of it unintentional. Marleigh! Her ex-beauty queen Pageant Mom said all the right things, didn't she? According to mother, the day when Marleigh, her two year old, tells her mom she's finished with pageants and no longer wants to compete will be the day they stop competing! Done! Suuuuure, it will.
The editors did a great job juxtaposing Mom's words with Marleigh's meltdowns. Marleigh was overtired and stressed. She's TWO! She cried and fussed and gave her mother some good strong smacks right on the chest. Well Mom, don't you think Marleigh was telling you something right then and there? Like, let's go home? In the end, Mom's own stubbornness was all for naught because the child placed only as a second runner-up. Mom's face dropped down the floor at that announcement. If only I believed her when she said she should have gone to the football game with her husband instead of the pageant, I'd feel all's well that ends well. But she'll be back. Marleigh is a hostage to Mom's fractured dreams.
Judging from Ava last week and Marleigh this week, the 2-year-old category should be abolished. Let the infant category (up to 12 months) stand for all those unattractive, obese moms to have the thrill of parading those innocents in front of strangers for "best eyes"; "best smile"; "best poopy diaper," etc. Then, jump to age 6 and above. The years between one and six are crucial in forming a child's character and personality anyway. Just forget that age group, pageant directors. Of course, I'd like children's pageants to be outlawed completely, but this would be a start.
Kaleigh was a highly-intelligent, lovely little six-year-old girl. I'm hopeful that her intelligence and her interest in other more satisfying hobbies will cause her to tell her mom and aunt that she is no longer interested in beauty contests. While I applaud mom and the aunt for keeping Kaleigh in the natural category, it was painfully obvious that the women were living their fantasies through the child. Mom was unattractive of face and Auntie was obese.
However, I will say, they seemed low-key and about as well-balanced as any of these pageant mothers have ever been. What I liked VERY much was their willingness to listen to Kaleigh. Very very unusual in this pageant life. But when the child felt uncomfortable in her crinolines, mom and auntie allowed her to remove the slips. Shockingly sensitive to their child, and they deserve congratulations for that. Now just keep it up and stop the insanity! Gymnastics and music lessons will look better on Kaleigh's application to Columbia. ;)
Story's parents and coach were not as totally obnoxious as so many others that we've seen, but did you get a glance at her room at home? There were hundreds of sashes and trophies. Leave the child alone, let her be a little girl. All the tanning and hairpieces, makeup, enough is enough. And, again, it's so much more the mother's dream than it is the child's true interest.
Story-Dad seemed level-headed and refreshingly aware of the foolishness of pageants for children. But I'm sick of men who give up all input and autonomy to shut up their wives and let them "have their fun." I believe that mothers and fathers must have equal say in their children's welfare, especially when one parent has grave doubts about the other parent's choices. It's beyond selfish to ignore your own better judgment in some kind of quest to "keep the peace" with your wife. And all that focus on one child skews the dynamics of the entire family. The older brother (6 or 7, I guess) was a harsh taskmaster in his "scoring" Story's rehearsal. Lots going on under the surface there.
I will give Story's mother props for refusing to tell the child of the scoring mistake that took away her first-place crown. That's smart parenting. Not like Ava's GayPageantDad! "Now I have to tell my little girl it just wasn't her day," said he the idiot. However, I find it impossible to believe that Story's mom and the child did not watch this show tonight, so it's unlikely that the mom kept her resolve not to spill the beans.
I noticed that even the little girls who competed as natural, still did a little hip wiggle here and a winky-wink there. All this sexualization of children by their own parents: sick and twisted, and it must stop. I think pageants are physically, emotionally and mentally harmful to young children. Don't talk to me about gaining stage presence and ease in front of an audience. IMHO, those goals are red herrings.
The crowned beauty queen who acted as mistress of ceremonies was some kind of teen queen, right? Did I understand that right? She looked awfully old for a teen. More like mid to late 20s. Participating in that pageant life year after year must be hard work. Leads to wrinkles and ages a girl fast. Are you listening Pageant Parents? Wrinkles; premature aging. I'm speaking your language!
Edited by sleekandchic, Feb 4, 2009 @ 2:51 AM.