Her mother tugged harder than ever, smoothing back Chevon’s deep brunette hair with a fine toothed metal comb, into a high elegant chignon. The small child squirmed in the hard chair, impatient after more than 2 hours of primping. “Stay still”, boomed her mother’s voice over her head, echoing off the grey marble flooring of the large bathroom. “Don’t you want to be pretty? Beauty is pain! You will suffer for beauty, but it’s all worth it. Money you can’t always get with brains. You do what I tell you, and you will be thanking me, and taking care of me when I am an old grandma living in your house.” She leaned her head down to press her cheek against the tiny face, and smiled at their reflection.
Tears welled up in the young girl’s eyes. At 6, she had endured this fussing for 4 years already. Since she turned 2, her mother had dressed her up like a tiny doll. The more serious makeup and hair styling had started around 3. By now, she had been in countless competitions, and won multiple trophies as the cutest, sassiest, prettiest girl in the world. “World Doll”, “Adorable Baby” “PerfectionZ”. You name the competition, Chevon had won it. First place all the way.
Her mother set up the instagram a few months ago. Hairowin was built to feature her daughter, and profit from her fame via affiliate sales. Sheila had been a hair-stylist, long before she became a stage mom. Salon work had gotten too difficult for her, with standing for those long hours. Her weight had ballooned from chronic stress, and was now considered a health hazard. However, she could still do hair like a wizard, designing elaborate up-dos, and a multitude of glamorous styles. Working at home, she could spend time with her daughter, sit down and rest as needed and save money on babysitting expenses.
That’s when Sheila had the brilliant idea to feature her daughter as a model on instagram. Chevon had a long head of luxurious shiny deep brunette hair, which her mother embellished with extensions, and featured in posts on a daily basis. The followers swooped in. No matter that more than half were most likely pedophiles. Sheila knew it was a numbers game, and the higher the following, the more opportunities she would have to turn a profit. Winning pagaents was all well and good, but creating a passive stream of income was even better. Her bank account grew daily, and so did her greed.
Chevon struggled in the chair again. Tears welled in her sparkling blue eyes. “Mommy? I have to go pee. Can I get up please?” Sheila tugged extra hard, swirling her glossy locks into a corkscrew bun and fastening it with a crystal clip. She roughly pushed her daugher and told her to hurry up. They needed to post within the next 2 hours for optimal exposure. As Chevon shuffled to the toilet, Sheila headed to the kitchen, grabbed a slab of cold pizza from the fridge and inhaled it, wiping crumbs on her sleeve.
Back in the master bathroom, her child obediently sat on the chair at the vanity, patiently waiting, while her mother swirled, pinned, combed, and teased her hair into an ultra vixenesque style. Sort of a cross between Marie Antoinette and an 80’s glam rock star. She grabbed the makeup bag, and launched into a whirlwind application, adding glitter and gloss for a finishing touch. She laughed with delight seeing the bright blue eyes glisten under long mascara coated lashes. An awkward smile appeared on her child’s face. “Gorgeous! This is a winner!” Sheila ran to the bedroom, and returned holding a hot pink and red chiffon dress encrusted with swarofsky crystals across a corsetted bodice. “Let’s get you into this dress, and start taking pics! I smell money honey!”
She roughly tugged off Chevon’s flannel pjs, throwing them in the corner. Unzipping the gown, she tossed the fluffy tulle over her head like a fishing net, careful to avoid the hair and face, yanked and zipped it tight. Custom made by her aunt, it fit like a glove. She picked up her child like a doll, and plopped her down onto the large velvet divan. Then she posed her, rearranging her arms, legs, and tilting her head a few times until she sat there, in the perfect temptress position.
“Smile!, Now, Pout! …no, not like that! Look at mommy, like this. See how sexy mommy looks?… Sheila demonstrated, pouting with a slight grimace. Her daughter dutifully obeyed and posed like a mini doll, doing her best to please her mother.
This went on for about half an hour. Satisfied, Sheila told her she could take a break and watch tv, while she uploaded the photos onto social media. Sitting in front of the computer with her phone at her side, Sheila smiled, laughed, and texted, while mouthing responses to the comments as they poured in. She was too excited to bother with any negative remarks, just deleting those as they appeared. Her daughter was a star and she was gonna be rich!
Finally, she headed to the living room to find her daughter fast asleep with the tv on. A program about serial killers blared in the background. She picked up the small child, shaking her gently. “Bedtime princess. Someone’s gotta get that beauty sleep. You did so good today, doll, You did so, so good, 5,000 likes so far and counting….we’re gonna be so rich. I love you. Tomorrow I’m gonna do a sleek long style, and I have a silver sequin gown for you to wear! It’s going to be topped off with one of your pageant tiaras.”
She carried the small child, a bundle of chiffon and hair, into her pink princess room. She laid her down on the canopy bed, surrounded by twinkling strands of tiny white and pink lights. Chevon looked like an angel. Sheila began arranging and spreading her silken hair on the pink satin pillow. The child’s eyes fluttered, and closed again as she fell into a deep sleep.
Sheila pulled out her phone and snapped away. A few more photos, the hair on the pillow, so perfect. Ultimate in glam. This would be a sellout image. She titled it “The Real Sleeping Beauty.” Uploaded, and boom….instant likes and comments. “Living doll” “OMG” “beautiful” Adorable “Sexy” well, who cared where it came from, she was getting lots of likes and action….meaning money. Money. Money. Money.
Her husband still worked nights for the city morgue, and he was doing a lot of overtime these days. He really had no idea about social media, and had always stayed away from all that “girly stuff”. When he got home that night after 11, Sheila was dressed in her favorite long black slip, with a slit up the front thigh. Her large silicone breasts overflowed, and her thick body bulged out in quite a few directions. He smiled. She offered him a beer, and they went to their room. She was in the mood, and they stayed up late into the night doing things they had never done, and many more than once.
Sheila slept well that night. So well that she didn’t hear her alarm. Today was the day she was going to do the long luxury ponytail look on Chevon. She rubbed her eyes, looking at the alarm clock. Grabbing her phone off of the side table, she quickly logged into the instagram. Her eyes cleared and she saw the thousands of likes on the last post. Sleeping Beauty was a giant hit! She had DMs for buisness proposals, and a multitude of opportunities coming her way. Today was gonna be a good day. Finally all of her hard work was paying off. The baby beauty pagaents, the styling, the sacrifices she had made. All paying off big time.
She texted her husband. Dan texted back “last night was hot, babe. Let’s do that more often.xoxo” She smiled. “definitely babe. I love you” she responded, smiling as she glanced into the bedroom mirror admiring her afterglow. Sure she had gained weight, but it made her feel powerful and her husband was enjoying her extra curves and fleshy hips and thighs.
Grabbing her silky robe and putting on her favorite sheepskin slippers, Sheila shuffled towards her daughters bedroom, humming as she thought about the next “look”. The little angel was still asleep. Her hair splayed out in tendrils. She touched the shimmering bronzed forehead, realizing she hadn’t removed the makeup. She headed into the bathroom, and brought back some makeup wipes. Sheila began gently removing the makeup from Chevon’s delicate tiny face, with a tenderness she hadn’t felt for some time. Her little girl still looked like a baby in the morning light.
Sheila pushed the hair back gently off of her tiny forehead. As she pushed the hair, it moved further back. She pressed a bit harder, and she saw pale scalp showing through. To her shock, as she took hold of a tendril, lightly lifting it, effortlessly, the hair lifted completely from her daughers head. She moved her hand through the hair, and felt it detaching from the scalp with ease. In fact, all of Chevons hair seemed to have become loose overnight and was now just falling off, leaving bald sections. Sheila was horrified, as she took sections of the long tresses in her hand, watching them slip through her fingertips onto the bed and floor. Her daughter stirred. “Was anyone in your room last night?” Sheila whispered loudly.
Chevon cracked her eyes open and squinted, “No mommy!” Nobody came in here. Why? What’s wrong. Mommy! What’s wrong?” Alarmed at seeing the expression on her mother’s face. “Mommy?!” Chevon reached up to her head and felt the bare skin. She touched a loose lock of hair that had fallen over her face. Holding it between her forefinger and thumb, she slowly took it from her head and held it up in front of her own eyes. “Mommy! What happened to my hair?” Mommy!” She started to get hysterical. Sheila grabbed her, hugging her close. “What are we gonna do now? Your hair was our life!!! We need to figure this out. Get up right now!”