Tara Baker preps her daughter Anna Kathryn before the Miss Chilton County pageant.

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Prepping for the pageant

Published 5:37pm Monday, November 19, 2012

Hairspray, lipstick, curling irons and different hues of pink and purple dresses made up the majority of the backstage area for the Little Miss and the Young Miss portion of the Miss Chilton County Pageant Friday night.

“It is all about the hairspray,” Tara Baker said as she prepped her daughter Anna Kathryn Baker, 7, who entered her first pageant in the Little Miss Chilton County category of girls ranging in age from 5-7.

“We have been practicing pageant this entire week,” Baker said.

Baker said the experience leading up to the pageant had been a wonderful mother-daughter bonding time from purchasing the dress, practicing the pageant walk, and figuring out what hairstyle Anna Kathryn would wear for the pageant.

“I think pageants are a wonderful outlet to bond with your daughter,” Baker said. “Pageants are more than focusing on a pretty face. It has been a great way for Anna Kathryn to meet new friends and interact with others her age as well as give her more confidence.”

Miss Chilton County pageant director Diane Calloway said a common misconception about pageants is it is all about a pretty face but it goes much deeper.

“Pageants teach girls valuable and important skills they can use later in life,” Calloway said. “My two daughters participated in pageants when they were younger and were successful at finding jobs which I credit to their previous experiences during interviews at pageants.”

Calloway said the Junior Miss and Miss divisions of the pageant involved interviews prior to the pageant between the judges and the contestants.

“A lot of what the public sees is not necessarily what the judges see,” Calloway said. “The girls had the opportunity to really show their personalities in the interview portion which happens before the pageant.”

Calloway said she tries to instill in the girls that participate in the pageants that they are beautiful, talented and have a lot to offer.

“They may not win anything but they can be successful and take away things from the experience that will be valuable to them later on,” Calloway said.

Pageant moms may be able to see the benefits of entering their young daughters in pageants but for some just beginning, the thrill of the dress and the glitz and glamour is the most exciting. Anna Kathryn eagerly admitted selecting her hot pink dress for the pageant was the most enjoyable aspect as well as getting to wear makeup and have her hair done.

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