A mother has spent £9,000 in just nine months to fulfil her seven-year-old daughter’s beauty pageant dreams.
Sian Rybak, from Alloa, Scotland, has kitted out daughter Lola in custom-made gowns adorned with Swarovski crystals, professionally styled wigs and lashings of fake tan to ensure she is at the top of her game.
The mother-of-two horse riding instructor, 33, quipped ‘we don’t do holidays, we do pageants’, declaring ‘you can’t expect to win in a cheap dress’.
However, it’s not all about how Lola looks, with her mother claiming that the events have helped boost her daughter’s confidence, and given Lola skills she can one day take into the workplace.
Lola started competing in pageants across the UK in December last year, and now has her eyes set firmly on winning the Galaxy Ireland 2020 competition.
Sian Rybak, from Alloa, Scotland, has spent £9,000 in just nine months to fulfil her seven-year-old daughter’s (pictured) beauty pageant dreams
Sian (pictured right) has kitted out daughter Lola (pictured left) in custom-made gowns adorned with Swarovski crystals, professionally styled wigs and lashings of fake tan to ensure she is at the top of her game
Proud mother Sian said: ‘I’m very, very competitive and so is Lola. I remember thinking “I’m going to have to spend a small fortune here if she wants to compete”.
‘You couldn’t send your child up in a cheap dress and expect them to do well, they’re not going to win, you’ve got to put the money into it.’
She added: ‘I love watching Lola on stage no matter what she’s doing and that’s why I try to support her in whatever way I can.
‘The competition in Ireland is costing me an absolute fortune, I priced a new dress up the other day. That’s going to be just short of £700, and then there are all the other outfits.
‘It’s crazy, but to me it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her. If she were to win this she’d have the chance to go to Chicago and compete over there. I’ll support her in any way I can to do that.’
Lola (pictured) started competing in pageants across the UK in December last year, and now has her eyes set firmly on winning the Galaxy Ireland 2020 competition
Freestyle dancer Lola asked her mother if she could compete after learning about the events from a make-up artist who styled her for a dance photo shoot last year.
Recalling when the topic was first brought up, Sian said: ‘When Lola mentioned it I was a bit on the fence about it, because of what you see on TV shows like Toddlers & Tiaras.
Sian’s pageant spending totalling £9,009
Custom-made dresses – £1,875
Hotel stays – £1,500
Pageant entry – £1,500
Dance lessons – £1,024
Fuel – £900
Wig styling – £800
Custom-made Irn Bru dress (plus prop) – £300
Hair styling – £300
Makeup – £250
Wigs – £170
Pageant training – £150
Fake tan – £100
Shoes – £85
False eyelashes – £55
‘I knew nothing about beauty pageants but this is something that I’m quite passionate about now. The make-up lady said she’d love it. So when one popped up, and Lola said she still wanted to do it, I hired a dress and bought everything else she’d need.
‘That’s the only one she hasn’t supremed [make top five] at, but she had a great time and wanted to do it again.’
It was around this time that Sian, a competitive show jumper, fell ill after having her son Devin Rybak, one, and decided to hang up the reins – selling her two beloved horses.
Sian, who regularly drives seven hours to get to pageants, views Lola’s participation simply as an opportunity to perform – but has had trouble convincing some family members.
She explained: ‘Some of my family are against pageants and don’t want to know about it. I think everybody has their own views on things, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea but we look at is as a performance.
‘Lola’s a freestyle dancer – she already wears makeup, tan, eyelashes and all these things. She’s performing on that stage, I’ve never thought she wears anything too skimpy and I’ve never once felt uncomfortable watching her.’
Freestyle dancer Lola (pictured) asked her mother if she compete after learning about the events from a makeup artist styling her for a dance photo shoot last year
Despite spending so much on how Lola looks on stage, Sian said that beauty pageants aren’t just about appearances.
Sian, who regularly drives seven hours to get to pageants, views Lola’s participation as an opportunity to perform (pictured together)
Sian said: ‘Lola’s always been a fairly confident child but since doing pageants her eye contact and confidence has gone over the scale.
‘Lola absolutely loves pageants and she’s used to getting up on that stage, looking people directly in the eye and doing what she has to do.
‘I believe in some sense she gets life skills from doing this and it will stand her in good stead in the future, not just in dancing but also whatever career she decides on. She’d love to have her own dance school some day.’
Sian said that when the schoolgirl does win she splits the cash prize with her – recognising the sacrifices made for her.
Despite sacrificing holidays, cash and weekends to pageants Sian said that if Lola decided she no longer wanted to compete she would support her decision.
Sian said: ‘Lola’s loved every second of competing in pageants, but if she turned round to me tomorrow and said “I don’t want to do pageants anymore Mum” it would be completely fine by me.’