It’s not as easy as it might seem. How do you define “cute?” Sailor Suarez struggles. “When you are beautiful?” she asks/says with a laugh as she turns to mom for help.
“Models,” Arianna Brown says.
Brittany Kirkpatrick uses “cute” to define “cute.” “Seeing a baby in a really cute dress,” she says.
Two-year-old Bella Spinner, with her curly dark-chocolate hair bouncing and her frilly dress shimmering, stops long enough to say nothing. But she smiles a sweet little smile and then stomps on a bug. Now that’s cute.
Fortunately, no one in this group has to define cute. They just are. Sailor, Arianna, Brittany and Bella are winners of beachblvd magazine’s Cutest Kids Contest. The winners were treated to a professional photo shoot at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport.
But they have more than cute going for them. Bella likes to dance like a princess and shop for shoes, says mom and kid-speak interpreter Kelly Spinner of Biloxi. She likes to play basketball with her brother and she likes to throw things — especially leaves and especially at adults with digital recorders in hand.
Her favorite color? Bella says something, well, cute. “Pink,” mom clarifies.
Sailor, 10, isn’t afraid to try most anything. She’s just back from a parasailing trip in Florida. She likes snowboarding, four-wheeling, soccer, swimming and drawing. She wants to be a veterinarian — in part because she describes herself as “good-hearted.” She owns a guinea pig and hermit crab.
Not too long ago, she shot a six-point deer. Cute? Debatable. But definitely cool. And she can make deer jerky with help from her grandfather. “It’s good,” she says. “Really good.”
Arianna just turned 8, “but I used to be 7.” She’s especially proud of herself when she gets all A’s in school, although she admits it doesn’t happen all the time. Her favorite subject is math. She loves summertime and going to the beach.
Arianna also likes to “grow stuff a lot.” She most recently grew her own pumpkins. You’ll likely see her on the tennis court. If you doubt she’s any good, she has a trophy to prove her worth.
Brittany, 10, hobbles with her crutches. She’s coming off a knee injury from a bicycle accident that required 10 stitches. But that doesn’t stop her from her destiny with beachblvd.
“My mom said I did really good because I didn’t cry,” she says. “I was supposed to do a fashion show, but since I hurt my leg, I’m a liability now.”
She likes science, which explains why she sees her cut knee more as an opportunity to learn than to worry about being hurt. She proudly describes the ligaments that unearthed themselves from under several layers of skin.
She further illustrates her love for science. “I asked my mom to get a chicken heart so I could cut it up and look at the valves.” She explains about a recent field trip that included fishing and cutting up the catch. Someone mentions a long-ago field trip he took to a dairy farm where the kids milked cows.
She pauses for a scientific moment and adds: “I was wondering a couple of days ago if you could milk a donkey.”
There are several sides to Brittany. She describes herself as “playful and cheerful.” In fact, she likes performing in plays and cheerleading in school.
“I’m not afraid,” she says. “If my leg weren’t hurt, I could go up to that tree, climb it, jump down and land in a good pose.”
She sings. Blue grass is her music of choice. And she also has 126 titles from beauty pageants she’s competed in since she was 4 months old.
“I like beauty pageants,” she says. “It’s fun, and I can see my friends. I make friends at pageants and get to wear cute clothes.” There’s that word again. Now, that’s cute.