Saturday, May 11, 2013

Controversial Pageant Outfit of Choice: Bad Choices?

Why is there always so much controversy in the world of child pageants? Maybe it’s because beauty pageants are so competitive. Or maybe it’s because some parents have simply run out of ideas for pageant outfits. Perhaps in some cases, the outfits are meant to stand out from the rest of the group and demand attention. Whatever the reason, some controversial outfit of choice apparel has certainly been gaining a lot of attention – most of it negative.
Outfit of choice is just that – the contestant wears pretty much whatever she (or her mom or coach) chooses. This provides the chance to show off creativity, imagination, and personal style. Some of these outfits are amazingly elaborate, and some even include some pretty elaborate props. This freedom is great, but have some pageant parents gone too far?
You’ve probably seen some of the outfits that have caused a stir. There have been little girls dressed as hookers. A couple appeared on stage in Dolly Parton costumes, including huge fake boobies. I saw one child dressed in a pointy Madonna outfit-like chest apparatus. Are these acceptable, or do these outfits of choice cross the line of decency?
As a former pageant judge, I don’t like to see little girls in such outfits, and I’m not alone. And I’m a pretty open-minded individual. I wouldn’t mind a Dolly Parton outfit, per se, as I’m a fan of hers. But when the fake “chest” is added, that goes a little too far, in my personal opinion. And believe me – there are many pageant judges who are much stricter on things like this than I ever was.
My granddaughter once competed in a Christmas pageant that included holiday wear. She wore a super cute holiday outfit that included a midriff top. Two or three inches of her tummy showed – at most. Much more tummy area would have been visible in a child’s two-piece bathing suit. Of the three pageant judges who were judging the event, two left comments about the midriff top, saying that they didn’t like seeing any tummy skin. Obviously, I disagreed. I helped pick out the outfit, and I found it to be completely age appropriate. It was sweet and cute and was not intended to look “sexy.”
Part of the views on things like this might have to do with different areas of the nation. For example, the Christmas pageant I just discussed took place in a very small town in the middle of the Bible Belt. This is just a theory, though. I suppose it all depends on the preferences of all the individual judges. What’s your take on this?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Age-Appropriate Pageant Casual Wear

This post is about pageant casual wear and pageant outfit of choice, which are often categories in glitz pageants. Some beauty pageants might be more specific with their casual wear or outfit of choice, requiring that the outfits be holiday wear or have some other specific theme. For example, a Christmas pageant might require the outfit of choice or casual wear to have a Yuletide theme. Some glitz pageants might also require specific colors that help to keep with the theme of the beauty pageants.

When you’re trying to come up with a casual wear outfit or an outfit of choice, remember to keep it age appropriate. Okay, I know what you’re thinking: you’ve seen little girls on television win these categories by wearing “hooker-like” outfits and Dolly Parton outfits that included fake busts. Believe me, most judges frown upon such outfits. They want little girls to look sweet and cute – not sexy. Sexy is not appropriate for a very young contestant.

Of course, this varies somewhat from judge to judge and might also be influenced by the particular pageant and where it’s held. For example, some judges don’t even want little girls to show any midriff. In fact, we once had points deducted for just that reason, even though the outfit wasn’t at all “sexy.” This pageant was held in a very small, very conservative southern town, so I should have been more prepared. You might want to keep this in mind when you’re choosing casual wear outfits and outfits of choice for glitz pageants.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How to Wash Pageant Dresses

If you’re a beauty pageants newbie, you might be wondering how to clean a pageant dress or how to wash glitz pageant dresses. You might be under the impression that you have to have the dresses professionally cleaned, but in most cases, you don’t. The bodices of most pageant dresses for little girls are made of Superstretch, which is hand washable. The cupcake skirts are also washable.
Why to Wash Pageant Dresses
No matter how careful you are with your pageant dress, it will need to be cleaned sooner or later. Even when you can’t see any visible stains, washing the dress will really brighten it up. You’ll especially notice the difference with the stones. Rhinestones can be affected by makeup residue, fingerprints, and hair spray. All of these can diminish the stones’ sparkle. Washing pageant dresses brings the rhinestones back to life and makes them look brand new.

How to Wash Pageant Dresses

Depending on the size of the dress, pageant dresses can be washed in the sink, in the tub, or in a large plastic container. I’ve always done mine in the kitchen sink. Fill the sink about half full of warm – not hot – water. Add a capful of Woolite and stir. Dip the dress in the water and move it around gently. I use sort of an up-down motion. Let the dress soak for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly in clean water.

Have several layers of clean white towels on your kitchen counter. After the dress has been rinsed, place it upright on the towels, with the cupcake skirt spread out in a circle. Let the dress dry naturally. Don’t squeeze it or use heat to dry it.

How to Remove Stains from Pageant Dresses

Sometimes pageant dresses get stains. To remove stains from pageant dresses, follow the instructions above for washing pageant dresses. If the stain is still there after washing, use a soft toothbrush and some of the wash water to remove the stain. Rinse the stained area frequently.

Washing Pageant Dresses with Stones

Oftentimes, when you wash a pageant dress with stones, some of the stones will fall off. This is not unusual, so don’t panic. Just check the bottom of the sink before you drain the water. Retrieve the stones and place them on a towel to dry. When the dress is completely dry, re-attach the stones to the dress with E6000 glue.

About Painted Dresses

Some pageant dresses have sections or adornments that are painted. I’ve never tried to wash one of these, so I can’t recommend doing so.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pageant Dresses on Ebay

Ebay can be a great place to buy pageant dresses, if you know what you’re doing. If you’re new to the beauty pageants world, however, and unsure of exactly what you’re looking for, buying pageant dresses on Ebay can be a slippery slope. I’ll share my own personal experience with you, from back when I was a pageant newbie.

My granddaughter needed a pageant dress for her first pageant. I didn’t really have any idea what to look for. This was for a glitz pageant. I’m a pretty trusting soul, so I figured if a dress on Ebay was described as being a “glitz pageant dress,” it was. Wrong! A seller can describe an item practically any way she wants to. She can call any dress “glitz,” “winning,” “national level,” or “state level.” It’s not always that sellers are intentionally misleading prospective buyers – some just don’t know any better. They might really think that their dress qualifies as a national-level glitz pageant dress. And in some locations, they might actually be correct.

You know those old fashioned-looking dresses that have layers of ruffles and lace? My pageant pals call them “granny dresses.” These dresses definitely are not appropriate for glitz pageants, yet you often see these pageant dresses described as such on Ebay.

If you’re unsure about choosing pageant dresses on Ebay, get someone experienced with glitz pageants to help you. She’ll know what type of dresses will be competitive in your area, so you won’t waste money on pageant dresses that will never be competitive in glitz pageants.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baby Pageant: Tips

So, you’ve decided to enter your beautiful little bundle of joy in baby beauty pageants. Of course, you think your baby is adorable, but exactly what will the judges be looking for in a baby pageant? Much of the judging criteria depends largely on the type of pageant you’re entering. Make sure you understand beforehand whether it’s a glitz pageant, a semi-glitz pageant, a natural pageant, or a face pageant. Also, before deciding on a pageant and sending in your entry fee, be sure to read all the rules on the application, and make sure you understand the rules. If you have any questions about the rules, contact the pageant director and ask.
Other than the written rules, there are a few “unwritten rules” with just about any baby pageant. In most cases, you don’t put makeup on a baby, and you don’t use hair pieces or wiglets. Babies aren’t spray tanned, either. As for how to dress your baby for a baby pageant, follow the pageant rules or guidelines. If it’s a glitz pageant, the baby will need a glitz pageant dress.

If your baby is walking, here’s another baby pageant tip: don’t let her run wild on stage! Many pageant moms think this is cute, but most judges don’t. It’s fine for the baby to be a little rambunctious on stage, but she shouldn’t be running around. It’s hard for the judges to focus on a constantly moving target. Another thing: don’t overstay your welcome. In other words, don’t remain on stage for too long. This is another no-no in the eyes of most judges. Make sure the judges get a good look at the baby’s face, and if it’s a glitz pageant, make sure they get a good look at the baby’s dress. Practice holding the baby so that the baby pageant judges can judge the dress fairly.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pageants Problem Alert!

A couple of beauty pageants gurus asked me to write this, so I am. This recent problem has to do with glitz pageants in the South. Apparently, some newbies are creating a bad reputation for themselves in the pageant world by copying the outfits and routines of other contestants in the outfit of choice category. As you can probably imagine, this is a big no-no.

I won’t give you the specific details, but I’ll paint a similar scenario to give you a clear picture of what’s happening:

Mary is a young contestant who’s been extremely successful with glitz pageants. She’s won scores of grand supreme titles. For her Outfit of Choice, she dresses as a fifties-style car hop, complete with roller skates, car hop hat, and pink uniform. He dad wheels her onstage in a pink 1955 Thunderbird convertible – a kid-size version, of course. Mary jumps out of the car holding a tray and does sort of a dance routine on skates. It’s super cute. Lo and behold, up pops a newbie doing the exact same routine: same outfit, same hair style, same car, same stage moves. Coincidence?? I don’t think so. There are simply too many details that are exactly the same in both routines. Even worse, both the girls were competing in the same pageant, in the same age division!

PLEASE don’t do this! It’s fine to get ideas from other pageant girls. Everyone does that. But let it stop there. Being inspired by another contestant is far different from stealing their whole routine. Let’s say, for example, you saw a contestant dressed as a cowgirl, and you liked the idea, so you decide to get a cowgirl outfit made for your daughter. Your outfit is similar to the one you saw, but it’s different in some ways. You also use different props, and your daughter does different moves. That’s okay. You haven’t stolen someone else’s idea in your case.

There’s no quicker way to alienate people and create enemies than to completely steal their ideas that they’ve worked so hard creating. You wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, so don’t do it to others. Maybe you don’t care if the other contestants and moms at pageants like you or not, but it doesn’t stop there. You’ll also gain a bad reputation with others involved in pageantry: directors, hair and makeup people, dress designers, and judges. Yes, judges. Oftentimes, the judges are a lot more aware of what’s going on than you might think.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pageant Etiquette

One reason beauty pageants – especially glitz pageants – get a bad reputation is because some people don’t use common sense or follow simple rules of courtesy. This is true of contestants, pageant moms, and audience members. Below are a few tips for proper pageant etiquette:

1. When you’re in the audience watching a pageant, do not talk bad about contestants. You never know if the girl’s grandma is sitting right behind you. Don’t talk bad about the pageant, the pageant director, the judges, etc., for the same reason – you never know who might be within earshot.

2. Arrive on time to the pageant, whether you’re a contestant or a spectator.

3. Show respect to each contestant by being quiet during her onstage walk. This is especially important during the beauty portion of the pageant.

4. Clap for EVERY contestant!

5. If you’re in the audience and need to get up from your seat, don’t do it during a child’s walk onstage. Wait until the contestant is leaving the stage.

6. If you’re going to be onstage with your baby or small child, dress appropriately! Don’t try to “outdo” the child, but do try to look presentable.

7. Even if you’re backstage or somewhere else in private, don’t talk bad about other contestants in front of your child. This sends a bad message to impressionable children.

8. If you want to give cues or stand up to get a child’s attention when she’s onstage to help her, try not to stand up in front of other audience members. Move to the aisle to do this, if possible.

9. Congratulate the winners. This is a good way to teach sportsmanship to your child.

10. If your child is one of the pageant winners, don’t allow her to gloat or flaunt her crown and other prizes in front of the other contestants.