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Former Miss Iowa Abbey Curran will be the first to admit: “beauty pageants invite judgement.” But for contestants of Abbey’s annual Miss You Can Do It pageant, judgement isn’t new.

A documentary airing tonight on HBO explores the lives of the pageant’s contestants – young girls with disabilities and challenges. Instead of being scored on what they can do or how they look, the pageant’s focus is on “how bright their heart light shines,” and everyone goes home a winner.

Far from Toddlers And Tiaras, the families profiled in Miss You Can Do It don’t consider themselves “pageant parents;” they’re average Americans with modest (read: non-Miss America-level) hopes for their kids. This doc gives viewers a chance to peek inside the daily lives of these families and hear about their struggles in their own words.

"Life isn’t easy for anybody,” says the mother of one competitor. “But sometimes it can be harder for some.”

Miss You Can Do It premieres tonight on HBO at 9PM.

 

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