Texas, the state that brought you overzealous cheerleader mom Wanda Holloway, has a new parent who is perhaps too fixated on her child’s high school success.
In a move that would make Tracy Flick blush, Killeen mother Tammy Day rented out a bright pink billboard to support her daughter Brandy’s bid to become prom queen.
Brandy, a senior at Harker Heights High School, ultimately did not win the campaign, though not for lack of trying. The eighteen-year-old and her mother spent more than $1,000 on the campaign to get Brandy elected, also buying a newspaper ad and distributing fliers. The unorthodox prom queen election campaign even attracted the interest of ABC News:
Day said Brandy approached the race for prom queen like a real campaign, making hundreds of fliers at home, which she hung up at school and at local businesses in the area. (Day said Brandy’s classmates particularly liked one with a slogan, playing off the Victoria’s Secret tagline: “Guess who’s got Victoria’s Secret? If you want to find out, vote for Brandy Day!”)
Together, they canvassed the neighborhood, she said, asking local businesses to display fliers and sponsor her, and soliciting funds from friends, family and Day’s colleagues at the information technology company where she works. Brandy mentioned the billboard as a joke and her mom decided to follow through.
“I said, ‘If you’re going to do it, give it 150%,’” Day explained.
Perhaps predictably, there was a backlash to billboard, and Brandy has been teased about it at school. Day told ABC News she launched the campaign to give her only child, who suffers from mild cerebral palsy, “a bright, shining moment after a life of pain.”
“They may consider it overboard, but I don’t look at it like that,” she said. “I look at it like it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make memories …This is her last prom. She’s never going to be in high school again and I wanted her to have the best moment possible during her last school year.”
At Jezebel, Katie J.M. Baker was unsurprised that the campaign flopped:
The weirdest part of this whole situation is that Brandy’s mother actually thought this over-the-top sales strategy would go over well with high schoolers. No teenagers (nor anyone, really) read print newspaper ads, no one wants their name displayed outside of a Mexican restaurant (actually, that part’s maybe the coolest — do Brandy supporters get free tacos?), and it’s highly unlikely that an ostentatious billboard will garner the poor girl any votes. Anyone who’s ever lived through high school knows that the advertisements could, in fact, lose her the election — who wants a spoiled brat with an aggressively pink PR campaign to win?
Those comments incensed Tammy Day, who sent a 559-word screed to the Huffington Post in response the Jezebel item, calling Baker something of a mean girl:
In ref to: Jezebel statements: Of course teens don’t read newspaper nor pay any attention to billboards along roads. THAT was not the PURPOSE! The purpose was to give my Mild Cerebral Palsy (from waist down) daughter for once in her life a “SHINNING MOMENT!” The WOW factor! She has suffered through physical and mental pain from MCP, to being bullied and made fun of by her peers…throughout her school years and she has never ran for any office at school! I felt she deserves to get to shine for once in her life! This is her last prom and school year and I wanted to help make the best possible memories for our family that I could. Thanks to local businesses support, family, and friends who all helped and contributed help make it happen! Brandy made her own flyers, banner, posters, bandanas, buttons, handouts etc…herself at home! To include she campaign locally for herself as I tagged along to hang flyers in local businesses windows etc…. All teens joke all the time about things they wished or want to do, but this one joke I thought was within reach and I collected/campaigned for it! The billboard nor the newspaper ad was NOT her doing. She had NO idea! It was all a complete surprise to her. It is just a shame that others and her peers do not have the desire or the motivation to do the same. All they have to do is “WORK HARD, CAMPAIGN, AND LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU NEED HELP!” But guess that is “TOO MUCH WORK FOR THEM.” That is the problem with these peers of hers, they want all for nothing and if they don’t get it then they look to blame the ones who do! I am a firm believer if you “want something” then “you need to work for it” i.e. campaign strongly, get out and talk to people etc… If you don’t want it, then DON’T TALK BADLY ABOUT OTHER WHO DO AND WORK THEIR BOTTOMS OFF i.e. BRANDY! It is no different than what politicians do, the president, mayors, city officials etc… You have to put forth the effort! It is only to her peers and other that it is overboard or over the top, because they “chose not to make those special memories for themselves!” I can’t help it if I wanted to GIVE MY DAUGHTER THOSE LAST MEMORIES OF HIGH SCHOOL! SHE HAS WORKED EXTREMELY HARD ON THIS CAMPAIGN AND DESERVES TO SHINE IN HER FINAL SCHOOL YEARS AND HAVE THAT WOW FACTOR (all girl teens want). FAMILY IS IMPORTANT TO US and WE WORK TOGETHER AS A FAMILY FOR EACH OTHER. AGAIN, IT IS NOT A MATTER OF WINNING OR LOOSING, IT IS ABOUT SHINNING, MAKING LASTING MEMORIES WITH ALL THE WOW FACTORS YOU CAN DURING YOUR LAST HIGH SCHOOL YEAR! It is a shame that KATIE J.M. BAKER is a pathetic writer who wrote lies (far from the truth). She is the lowest of the low a very trashy writer/journalist. She gives good journalist/writers a bad rap. But there are those folks who like trash unfortunately. Well Jezebel is not better they placed themselves right along her i.e. trashy, disrespectful, dishonest and the list goes on… Sad that people in this world are making their (Ms. Baker & Jezebel) paycheck by enticing such trash!
Watch Brandy and Tammy Day on ABC News: