Cosmetology, volunteers doll up future beauty queens

Caring Queens holds pageant for girls in Treehouse Center foster home


photo or infographic by Emily Meachen

STOP AND POSE. The Caring Queens put on a pageant for girls in The Treehouse Center. Each girl received a sash and unique crown.

Sparkling crowns catch the light as they are placed on the heads of girls adorned in ball gowns. Music is played as the newly crowned beauty queens perform their last talent dance as an encore of the day’s festivities. It was just another day in the life of a pageant girl. Except, it was anything but normal for the girls dancing on the stage.
The first annual Caring Queens Pageant was held on February 7th at the North Montgomery Community Center in Willis. This pageant was held for The Treehouse Center foster girls in Conroe and was hosted by the Caring Queens charity organization organized by Celia Smith. The day was made possible with the help of pageant queens as well as local hair stylists and make-up artists that included members of the school’s cosmetology class. 

We are doing hair and makeup for the girls in the pageant,” junior Samuel Skeide said. “I just want to make them feel fabulous, and I hope that they have fun.” 

GLAM TIME. Junior Samuel Skeide preps hair for various pageant participants. (photo or infographic by Heather Jackson)

Skeide and cosmetology teacher Kaitlin Hepler styled the girls’ hair for the day’s festivities. 

“My favorite part of the day was seeing how all the girls beamed with confidence after getting hair, makeup and beautiful gowns on,” Hepler said. “Sometimes all a girl needs is a little hairspray and lipstick to feel better.”

The hair and makeup room was full of all different people who wanted to lend a helping hand in the preparation of the future pageant queens. Excited girls shuffled in as the team of make-up artists and hairdressers waited for their chance to glam up one of the participants for their special day.

I heard about the pageant from Ms. Celia,” volunteer hairdresser Ella Hranicky said. “I have done her hair before. I heard she was doing this, and  I told her that I absolutely wanted to be here. I love children,and I love doing hair, so it’s the two things that make me happy and makes me feel good.” 

The girls had never participated in a beauty pageant before and had the opportunity to experience something new that was organized special just for them. When they heard about the event, the participants experienced a mixture of feelings.

“I didn’t know what to do, and I panicked because I’d never

PAGEANT READY. Cosmetology teacher, Kaitlin Hepler curls participant’s hair to prepare for the day ahead. (photo or infographic by Heather Jackson)

done this before, and I knew I’d mess up,” participant Darla Johnson* said. “It’s about the same as what I imagined it to be because I watched pageants when I was younger on TV. I’m most excited that I get to do something that I’ve never done before.” 

After they got all glammed up in their new hairstyles, they went on stage for their first event. The pageant participants were taught a dance to the song Me Too by Meghan Trainor and performed it for their audience. 

We are doing a dance that took about three weeks for us to learn,” participant Audrey Lane* said. “Ms. Celia taught us the dance. I am excited for it, and I didn’t think that this many people would show up.” 

Following the dance, each girl was introduced. They posed and walked across the stage to a song of their choice while a brief bio about them was given by the announcer. As they reached the end of their intro, each girl was asked what they wanted to be when they grew up. 

I  want to be a veterinarian because I love working with animals,” Johnson said. “A wolf is my favorite animal because they hunt in packs, and they always group together.” 

CROWNS AND GOWNS GALORE. The Caring Queens pageant volunteers help to crown the newly named pageant queens. (photo or infographic by Heather Jackson)

Past pageant kings and queens performed dances, sang songs and even played instruments for the Treehouse Center girls. Songs performed were Hero by Mariah Carey, For the First Time in Forever from the Frozen soundtrack, the theme song from Pirates of the Caribbean, Don’t Give Up on Me by Andy Grammer and many others.

We were told about the pageant four or five weeks ago,” participant Callie Smith* said. “My heart was racing when we first heard about it because I’ve never done a pageant before. It’s easier and more fun than I expected it to be. Today I’m going to try my best to do good.”

The final event was gown wear and the crowning. The girls changed from dance outfits into elegant dresses for their final stage walk. As each girl reached the end of the stage, they were asked to share what they loved most about themselves to show them that self-love is never needless. After their final walk, the girls received their sashes and crown. Each crown given was individually unique. 

I’m excited that I’m going to get a crown and sash,” participant Bailey Peters* said. “I was dreaming of being a pageant girl, and what I really want to be when I grow up is a cheerleader because it’s gymnastics, and I love gymnastics.”


* to ensure the privacy of the residents of The Treehouse Center, the names have been changed for this story.