Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mama says

Trying my hand at fiction again for The Red Dress Club! This post is pure fiction. It is not about me, my past, or anyone I know. Nor does it represent pageant enthusiasts as a whole.
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I don’t like that sound. That hissing sound from too many spray cans in one place. I don’t like the smell. Fumes, Mama calls them. Just fumes. Nothing to worry about.

I cannot remember a time without the fumes.

Fake tan. Hairspray. Body glitter. Even more hairspray.

I am a five-year-old beauty queen.

Despite being six months away from Kindergarten, I am already considered a pro. My Hello Kitty bedroom is full of ribbons and trophies. I was two years old for my first pageant. My walk is sassy and confident. My smile is white, bright, and big. My hair? Even bigger. Mama has a passion for hairspray.

Mama has a passion for pageants. She is always pushing. Practice more. Stand up straighter. Don’t squint.

I never asked to be a beauty queen.

Mama told me I would be a beauty queen. She always said it was something she couldn’t do. She always said it was important. It was what I was meant to do. Because I’m pretty.

No one asked me.

Today is my best friend Audrey’s birthday party. She turned five on Thursday while we were at school. Our teacher, Ms. Linda, gave her a birthday hat and we all sang “Happy Birthday” during snack time. We had cupcakes for our special snack that day – pink cupcakes with sprinkles on top. My birthday was last month. Mama didn’t have time to send in a special snack, but at least I got to wear a birthday hat.

I did not have a birthday party. We had a pageant that weekend. Instead of playing with my friends and eating cake, I pranced and posed and shimmied. Mama said it was a really special weekend – such an important competition for me. She sculpted my hair into a big poof and snapped a hairbow on to hold it in place. The hairbow pulled and hurt a little. I wanted to cry, but Mama told me there was a price for beauty.

I wish I could have had a party.

It was hard to fall asleep last night. Thoughts of Audrey’s birthday party swirled through my mind. But when Mama shook me awake early this morning, she was wearing her big button proclaiming “Pageant Mom. I (heart) my daughter!”. It was good I hadn’t had breakfast yet, because my tummy did a sad little flip. That button could only mean one thing; we were going to a pageant. Mama smiled and picked at my hair. She always complains that I sleep on it funny. I cried – silently, because Mama doesn’t like the sound. How could she forget about Audrey’s party? Mama said parties are for babies, we have a good chance to win today. And why would I want to miss that?

Crying makes my eyes puffy, so I had to stop.

In the car, we listened to my song six times. Mama said I will sing better tonight after the hot tea. I think hot tea is gross.

We crossed the state border and arrived at the civic center by 11:05.

Audrey’s party started at 11:00.

I wonder if she’s having fun?

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This week's prompt:

Write a scene in which a physically beautiful character is somehow impacted by that trait.


Jenna said...Best Blogger Tips

sadly accurate from the perspective of at least one first grade pageant girl in the world. breaks my heart. you wrote this achingly well!

Nancy C said...Best Blogger Tips

Oh, that poor girl. The details about mom....especially the detail about how she hates the sound of crying and the line about the "price of beauty."....they speak volumes.

Vikki @ She Has Cute Shoes! said...Best Blogger Tips

Oh. That poor little girl. You spoke her voice so well. Makes me wonder who she grew up to be.

Thanks for sharing. :)

vinobaby said...Best Blogger Tips

And I wonder why I can't watch Toddlers & Tiaras. Well done--great voice on the little girl. I hope you weren't writing from first hand knowledge! What people will do to their own children...

Galit Breen said...Best Blogger Tips

Oh poor sweet little girl!

I loved that you went for the child voice and also how you developed the mom with her words and reactions.

Lines like this: "My hair? Even bigger. Mama has a passion for hairspray." were tight, east to read, and really grabbed my attention.

Cheryl said...Best Blogger Tips

Loved that you used the voice of a little girl. It really never seems like those girls really like it at all. So sad, you know?

Wanda said...Best Blogger Tips

What a sad, sad story. It's hard to imagine that a Mom could be so self-centered that she would willingly ignore that her daughter didn't want to do this. I hope your fictional little girl is somehow able to break out of this, just as I hope the same thing for real little girls who might be caught in this situation.

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