Beehive Beauties held its Last-Chance Luau pageant on Saturday at Weber State University. The pageant ran from 1-3 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Building’s Wildcat Theater, where the stage was decorated in balloon palm trees and a prize table designed like a Hawaiian hut.
Lacy Havea, the pageant’s director, started Beehive Beauties in 2009, after she caught her 9-year-old daughter wearing makeup, because children at school had told her she would never be pretty without it.
“I just felt horrible at that point, like, ‘well, no, you should know that you’re beautiful without makeup; you don’t have to change your appearance to be beautiful,’” Havea said. “So then we looked for activities she could do, like a pageant or something, that was all-natural, and I couldn’t find any . . . Then, at that point, I just told my husband, ‘I’m gonna start my own.’”
Contestants for the Last-Chance Luau ranged from 1-12 years old, though, according to volunteer Brittany Rogers, contestants have gone up to 18 years old in the past. Rogers, who has entered her own daughter in the pageant in previous years, said she appreciates Beehive Beauties for its strict rule that contestants remain natural in their appearances. She said Beehive Beauties contestants are not allowed to wear makeup, nail polish, fake hair or teeth, or outfits that are immodest or age-inappropriate.
“It’s a good thing just because it is an all-natural pageant,” Rogers said. “It promotes a little girl being a little girl, not a little girl being an adult. And everyone is one of the winners; nobody is left out.”
Candance Brewer, a WSU sophomore in elementary education, is also a pageant volunteer, and has a daughter in the pageant for the second year in a row.
“I think it’s important for her to know that she’s beautiful without makeup,” Brewer said. “She doesn’t need makeup to be pretty.”
Contestants were divided into six age groups, with three or four contestants in each group, and paraded their “luau wear” and then “dressy wear” on stage. Several of the younger contestants had their mothers on stage with them to help them walk. For each group, a “queen” was selected, as well as two “princesses” (the second- and third-place winners), with a runner-up award for any contestants who did not place. Awards were also given for separate categories, such as “cutest smile,” “best dressed” and “biggest stage personality.” Each contestant was given a tiara, a gift bag of candy and toys, and a Bumblebee award for participating.
Havea said the pageant is meant to help young girls boost their self-confidence and combat stage fright. According to one of the judges, Alisa Bergman, contestants are judged on “outfit, stage personality, smile, confidence and personality.” Judges are not allowed to judge on facial or physical beauty. Bergman also said that, although this event was all girls due to a lack of male entrants, boys are also welcome to participate.
Though Havea said she has never entered her own daughter in the pageant to avoid the appearance of bias, she lets her help with the planning and work involved.
“I just try to teach her the work ethic from it, that you can basically succeed in anything that you try hard enough to do,” Havea said, “. . . (because I’m) a person that’s never been in a pageant before, never done pageants, and created a pageant that’s actually trying to be a positive influence in your life.”
Beehive Beauties hold several pageants throughout the year. The year-end finals, when Little Miss and Miss Beehive Beauty will be crowned, will be held Dec. 3 in the Shepherd Union Building’s ballrooms.