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  Home > Cultures > Stories > Painted Babies: Child Beauty Pageants -- A Mother And Child's Story, #3.
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Painted Babies: Child Beauty Pageants -- A Mother And Child's Story, #3.!
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado   


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A mother and her daughter who has a learning disability decide to hang up the pageant circuit after another child belittles the daughter in front of an audience.

Image of approaching storm (and anvil crawler lightning) (c) 2009, by Karla Dorman.

This is Jocelyn Jenkins writing.  Sorry for not writing sooner, but it's been a hard few months, culminating with the painful decision to take Elyssa out of the pageant circuit because of the irresponsible behavior of another child towards my daughter.

Back in February, last month, we had gone to Galveston, Texas, for the annual Little Miss Bluebonnet pageant.  It was a wonderful time, but then a fellow competitor ruined it for her by teasing her because she saw that Elyssa had problems reading.  Right before Elyssa was to go on stage to perform, this mean-spirited little girl called her a "retard", which caused my daughter to become so upset she couldn't sing.

I had to pull her out of the pageant and then, dejected, we both went back home to Tyler, where we live.

Elyssa has been in a blue funk ever since.  She sees herself as being "retarded", even though nothing could be further from the truth.  In reality, Elyssa has dyslexia, where she sees numbers or certain letters backwards or in the wrong places, which, in kind, affects her ability to read and write.  This is why she has only recenlty learned how to write her name or some of her numbers or read very simple words: it's just too hard for her.

I have been working with Elyssa on her reading and writing and she HAS been making progress, but then she starts thinking about what the other little girl said and it ruins her concentration; oftentimes we end the sessions with her crying a bucket of tears.  

It's been horrible.  The only thing that saves her is singing or listening to Loretta Lynn on her stereo.

Meanwhile, I'm left with a burning anger that seethes deep within my chest and makes my heart hurt, not only for myself, but mainly for Elyssa.

I only hope that mother of that bad little girl who had insulted Elyssa realizes the ramifications of her actions.  Because of her daughter's bullying, my daughter's pageant career has been scrubbed and is now doubting her self-worth.  If I see to it, I will never put Elyssa into another situation like this ever again.  She has always had such a ssnsitive spirit about her and I don't want to see her getting hurt.

The next step now is to concentrate on her being a normal little girl and try to get her self-confidence back.

~To be continued.~  



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