6 Signs Your Style Is Too ‘Pageant’

Nicole Fabian-Weber

gretchen rossiDid you see last night's Real Housewives of Orange County reunion? Cat noise! It was a tour de force of jabs, tears, and not-so-subtle slams -- in other words, as usual, the O.C. ladies did not disappoint. But we already talked about that. Let's discuss something else. Like Gretchen Rossi and the invaluable beauty lesson she taught us last night.

As Andy Cohen astutely pointed out -- many times -- Gretchen looked incredibly "pageant" last night. With her bright pink dress, perfectly coiffed tresses, and glowing spray tan, Gretchen was a tiara, a sash, and a weird wave short of being Miss U.S.A. Or at least Miss O.C.

But the other women were all bleached, nipped, and tucked to perfection, also. Why was it that Gretchen was the only "pageant" one of the bunch? And is that a good thing?

Let's answer the second question first: No. Aside from the negative connotation the word in and of itself bears (idiocy, self-absorption, superficiality), "pageant" also conjures images of stiff, unapproachable, ersatz women who might just disintegrate if you breathe on them. Would you want to look like that?

That's just how Gretchen looked last night. Her head of giant hair was curled into perfect ringlets -- all of which were a shade of shocking blonde (how 'bout throwing a few low-lights in there?). Her all-pink dress showed no personality whatsoever. And her body and weird smile didn't seem to move a centimeter the entire evening. She sort of looked like a statue. In a bad way.

Alexis Bellino, Tamra Barney, Peggy Tanous, and even Vicki Gunvalson all sported similar looks: short dresses and miles of blonde extensions piled atop their heads, but each of these ladies looked a little messy, a little less ... monotone. They didn't look like they were about to crack. Their hair wasn't all the same color and perfectly sprayed into one place, and their faces didn't look like they just dunked their heads into vat of bronzer and finished off with some lip gloss. Really, that's not a good look. To me, at least.

I want to look a little messy, a little edgy, a little approachable. I don't want it to look like I just spent five hours getting ready, because, unless you're about to marry a prince, no one should actually do that.

So, if you're about to leave your house and you're wondering if you're looking too "pageant" (and, again, that's not a good thing), simply consult the handy-dandy quiz below.

  • Is your hair all one color -- i.e., no lowlights or highlights?
  • If you answered yes to the above question, is said hair color a shade that clearly does not naturally grow out of anybody's head?
  • Are you wearing an amount of makeup that you would be embarrassed to go out into broad daylight with for fear that people would mistake you for a drag queen?
  • Is your outfit all one color?
  • If you answered yes, is said color pink (any shade)?
  • Do people find it hard to tell when you're happy, sad, upset, mad, or tired because your expression never changes?

If you've answered "yes" to three or more questions, time to re-evaluate your look. Gretchen, I hope you're reading this.

Did you think Gretchen looked "pageant"?


Image via Bravo

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