Coach Charming's Bill Alverson on raising strong, independent daughters
Tonight was the night! I am very excited as America got to meet the core of my existence: my family and my work as a pageant coach in TLC's new series Coach Charming.
My kids are all different. Throughout the series, you will see aspects of my personality in all three of my children. Most say my eldest, Blanche, is most like me — except don't tell Stella, my youngest, because she says she is becoming more like me. In tonight's premiere episode, we met Lexie Collins, a pageant hopeful who is totally real and herself on the show. We also get a flavor for one constant mission throughout the series, which is gender equality and raising strong, independent daughters. I am thinking I have more than succeeded. Welcome to my hometown of Andalusia, and my life. Life's a pageant and I am putting mine on TV!
As a father of daughters, gender equality is very important. I remember being in law school in the '80s when the women essentially dressed like men, almost becoming gender neutral. Clearly, this was not good. I coach and see women struggle with knowing their own voice and being empowered to make their own choices. Recently, a college freshman told me she didn't think that a woman should be president because women are indecisive. Interestingly enough, she was OK with women in the military. I can honestly say at the end of her session she thought otherwise.
Lexi from tonight's episode is an amazing, vivacious woman who in many ways sees herself as a teen. She experiences growth on the show and it's so great to see and watch. I am very direct on how she is caught in a self-made quagmire. It's not uncommon for one to hold on to what works, being fearful to go the next step. I see this with lawyers, pageant girls and everyday people. We all know the phrase, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it.” But what if it's dated? Lexi learns to be the woman she is and use what is inside her to grow. Her willingness to embrace change with guidance is the key to success, I think.
In the family portrait scene of the episode, we see something that's not common for me — a better idea. The photographer, Vicki, knows me and my family; she even took my kids' baby pictures. I ultimately show second choice what's affecting my emotions and you see Blanche calming me down. In the end, I win, because I get a great portrait. I knew the kids were not into this idea but in the end, I got what I wanted and they liked it, too. Maybe next time I might go with Vicki's idea from the beginning... maybe.