This is the title track of Kacey Musgraves' fifth album. She told Entertainment Weekly: "'Pageant Material' is a satirical song poking fun of myself for being a real human. After writing [it] I could instantly see this hazy, slightly off-kilter, retro pageant world. I'm a super visual person and I thought not only that it was a great song but that it would make for great aesthetic, especially because I come from the South."
"Pageant Material" takes its title in part from the flak Musgraves caught in country circles after the 2013 CMA Awards camera showed her frowning during Miranda Lambert's acceptance speech for Female Vocalist of The Year (Musgraves was nominated and lost).
"Especially for women, you need a certain face at award shows when you lose or you're an a--hole," Musgraves explained to The Fader. "You can't have a potty mouth or an opinion. In the South, getting judged on superficial stuff is a real thing. And I'm not attacking the people that might get something positive out of pageantry, I'm just not into being judged in that way. I'd rather lose for what I am than win for something that I'm not."
Musgraves' younger sister, Kelly Christine Sutton - a photographer in Dallas - did the album cover and design.
Asked by Radio.com what makes Musgraves not "pageant material," she replied, laughing, "I'm kind of clumsy. I'm also a spiller. Anybody that knows me does not want their full glass of liquid around me. I will knock it over."