Whenever you hear about people putting the daughters in beauty pageants images of Toddlers and Tiaras come flooding into view.
Mothers straddling the little girls so they can glue on their fake eyelashes and then hosing them down with fake tanning lotion. Make-up, teased hairstyles, clouds of hairspray always seemed to be the ingredients for the typical beauty pageant.
After attending and watching the Miss Challenger Pageant at the 2012 Coosa Valley Fair, Oct. 6, I watched one little girl twirled across the stage with such a beautiful smile, like she is was the Queen of the ball, with a confidence I had missed before.
This made me wonder why aren't there pageants out there for other girls with special needs? These girls need their day under the stage lights to be the queen of the ball too.
So the 2011 the Miss Challenger Pageant planning was underway for the upcoming 2011 Coosa Valley Fair. With the help of the Board of Education to get the information out to the schools. Parent to Parent of Floyd County that made sure that parents knew what a wonderful opportunity the Miss Challenger Pageant was going to be for the girls.
Dresses were donated for any girl that needed one for the special day. Mentors volunteered their time so the girls that needed assistance across the stage were there. Facebook messages, emails texts, and phone calls were going out between parents, friends and family to let them know that their little girls were going to be able to have their day on stage.
Anyone that has a special needs child knows that your days and activities revolve around whether or not he/she is having a “good” day. My friend already volunteered to be my little girl’s mentor to assist her across the stage so my husband and I could watch her from the audience and take pictures.
I called everyone I knew to tell them about this event. We have never had a chance to invite family to something that she is involved in since she doesn’t play sports or sing in the school chorus.
I wanted everyone to see her and all the other special girls that deserved this. The Saturday morning of the pageant, last year, everyone was running around the house making sure everything went smoothly, making sure that she had a “good day.”
My husband assisted in every way he could to make sure that mommy and daughter had everything that they needed at hand. Big brother kept asking if he could please walk his little sister across the stage, but because her walking skills were still new we told him maybe next year.
So we get to the pageant and the excitement backstage was contagious. I tried so hard not to cry, but when I saw my sweet little angel in her blue dress smiling up at me with her braces, peaking out from under dress, I did start to cry.
One little girl, in the pageant, was wheelchair bound and was dressed in a black and white dress with a feather boa wrapped around her chair for decoration. She had the biggest and brightest smile that I have ever seen.
As I took my seat in the audience I looked around, and I noticed parents, teachers, family members, bus drivers and supporters of these girls. As the pageant started I broke down and cried because this was something wonderful my little girl was going to be part of, which is rare for her. She looked like she was having fun along with the other girls.
I looked around to make sure I wasn’t looking crazy, crying like I was, but then I looked at the other mothers, fathers and siblings of these girls on this stage. They too were sharing the same feelings that I was. But when I looked at the girls on the stage and saw how they were taking all this in, the looks on their faces were of joy, pride, and accomplishment. It looked as if they were thinking, this is MY day. Today I am The Queen of the Ball.
The 2012 Coosa Valley Fair Miss Challenger Pageant, took place on Oct. 6, and Joyce's little girl participated again. For more information about the Miss Challenger Pageant, contact