Daisy Blake lives in Garland, Texas and realizes that what she does for beauty pageants could be seen as excessive. For the moment, Daisy is seven months pregnant, but as she drives to the Beautiful Youth Clinic, that’s all about to change. It’s three weeks before the pageant, so she has just enough time to get everything ready.

“Oh dear lord no, this isn’t abortion. How could you even say that to me? Abortion is a crime against god. What I’m doing is ensuring my darling Miranda doesn’t start to die. You’re at your most beautiful when you’re young. You start to die as soon as you’re born, I’m just making sure Miranda doesn’t have to go through that. That’s what Beautiful Youth specializes in.” We follow Daisy through the doors, the walls are lined with  shelves of ornate glass jars filled with glittery formaldehyde. “I can’t decide which Beauty Vase to get, though. My husband says I can get anything under $2,000 and I do want one with an emerald encrusted base.” She pauses in front of one with such a base and clear glass flowers along the top. “Emeralds are Miranda’s birthstone.”

Daisy goes up to the front desk and grabs a pink clipboard with the forms on it. It’s three pages in it’s entirety. She sits down on one of the waiting room chairs and fills out the forms in silence, a blank, almost irritated expression on her face. She finished and regained her cheery expression. Walking back up to reception, Daisy tells us that it’s really only precautionary and they don’t actually read anything on the sheet she had to fill out. “Mary-Ann [a friend and fellow competitor] said that they just threw her forms onto a pile and then let her go on back to the beautician.” And sure enough, as soon as Daisy sat back down they had called her name and she was standing again.

A tall balding man in a pink lab coat leads Daisy through a heavy wooden door. The other side is clinical and white, but with vases on tables every couple feet. The door slams in front of us. A sign with large type hangs on it, “NO OBSERVERS.” We wait.