Pageant winners had sugar, spice and everything nice

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 9, 2006

This past weekend I covered the Miss Greenville Middle School Pageant, which is actually two pageants – one for the 5th and 6th graders, another for the 7th and 8th graders – running concurrently.

Nobody tripped or slipped badly on stage; the audience members were good sports, politely applauding each of the girls as they promenaded across, which is just the way it should be (Of course, there were a few good-natured shout-outs to the pageant favorites of some of those attending. If I'd heard any boos or catcalls, rest assured, &#8220Miss Manners” here would point it out).

I have to say my favorite part of the entire program was seeing the younger girls take the stage. The same little gals who race around on the playground, banging up their knees; the same scamps who make &#8220slurpy” noises with their drinks at McDonald's

and tease their little brothers unmercifully, were definitely made of &#8220sugar, spice and everything nice” Saturday night.

Those ballet and gymnastics lessons are paying off, all you moms out there. They had graceful little feet, dainty hands, cherubic faces and reminded me somehow of those charming Madame Alexander dolls.

I really like it when little girls look like little girls when they get dressed up ( so many today seem in such a hurry to grow up). I applaud all the moms who dressed and accessorized their youngsters appropriately.

A ton of makeup, false eyelashes, spray-on tans, hairpieces and suggestive outfits – the kind of thing I've seen in behind-the-scenes shows on certain kiddy pageants out there – would have only taken away from the true beauty and charm of these young ladies.

And they can always go back to the playground, trampoline or ball field and scrub up those knees once again.

As for some of the older girls, it was startling to see how mature some looked in their glamorous gowns and high heels, hair upswept and glittering jewelry on. Some could have easily passed for a college girl instead of a middle school student.

I suspect more than a few dads' hearts plummeted a bit after seeing their &#8220little girls” so grown-up looking on Saturday night.

(Come to think of it, there were a few wolf whistles heard, which probably had some dads stewing in their seats.) The clich\u00E9 is true: they grow up so fast. Too fast.

Congratulations to the Miss GMS 2006 winners and their courts.

And to those of you didn't place, but still braved that stage, those lights, those hundreds of faces watching your every move (not to mention the high heels and long dresses) – I also congratulate you.

It takes courage to do it ( I know; I've been there). You are all winners in my book.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at