America undercover (Television program). [2001-05-13], Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen

Moving Image
Betacam SP
Created: 2001


America undercover (Television program). [2001-05-13], Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen
Summary: "Ever since the death of JonBenet Ramsey in 1996, child beauty pageants have been viewed suspiciously by many Americans. Without judgment, LIVING DOLLS: THE MAKING OF A CHILD BEAUTY QUEEN explores the child beauty pageant world from inside where pancake make-up, cat-walk routines with the unmistakable feel of a striptease and stage parents with outsized ambitions are par for the course.

"LIVING DOLLS: THE MAKING OF A CHILD BEAUTY QUEEN follows five year-old rising pageant star Swan Brooner. In her family's garage-turned-stage, spunky little Swan undergoes long rehearsals under the military-like guidance of her tough-loving mother, Robin Browne, in preparation for her upcoming local pageants, while her sister and two brothers look on. They support Swan's ambitions even though much of their mother's attention as well as the family's monetary resources have been diverted to further Swan's pageant career (some $60,000 total to date.)

"After sweeping the local pageant titles, Swan and Robin move on to the national pageant circuit. Robin carries an underdog's chip-on-the-shoulder attitude with her and eschews the idea of a pageant coach. But a string of bitter defeats compels her to bring in the professionals. She hires one of the circuit's most revered and prolific [teams] of pageant coaches, Shane King and Michael Butler. Swan becomes one of the 500 children under their tutelage, benefiting from make-overs, dance coaching and overall image consultation. Their thorough guidance, however quirky as it may be, take Swan out of the shadows and into the limelight.

"Now in the big leagues, Swan faces her toughest competition against her coach's daughter. The reigning pageant queen, 7 year-old Leslie Butler is the epitome of adult sophistication (which is helped along by a removable dental bridge of perfect teeth to cover a missing baby tooth.) But will her polish beat out Swan's underdog charm? Only one little miss can take home the Gingerbread Pageant crown for Grand National Grand Star Supreme..."2001 Peabody Awards entry form.

Corporate Producers: Landsburg Company | Home Box Office (Firm)

Broadcast Date: 13-May-01