The Pink Dress, Memoir of a Reluctant Beauty Queen

8 6-1971 Phyllis George and Janie Little cropp
7-7-1971 Miss Texas Pageant 1971 Evening Gown

Jane Little Botkin, former Texas beauty queen and Guyrex Girl, reveals the realities of becoming the first protégé of “Kings of Beauty” Richard Guy and Rex Holt amid the 1970s counterculture movement. Her experiences launch “GuyRex” into Miss USA pageant history, even as her family falls apart and she struggles to leave the pageant world.

Growing up in West Texas, Jane Little Botkin didn’t have designs on becoming a beauty queen.

A pink, rose-covered gown, a Guyrex creation, symbolizes the fairy tale life that young women in Jane’s time imagined beauty queens had. Its near destruction exposes reality: the author’s failed relationship with her mother, and her parents’ failed relationship with one another. Weaving these narrative threads together is the Wild West notion that anything is possible, especially do-overs.

The Pink Dress awakens nostalgia for the 1960s and 1970s, the era’s conflicts and growth pains. A common expectation that women went to college to get “MRS” degrees; to find a husband and become a stay-at-home wife and mother; often prevailed. How does one swim upstream against this notion among feminist voices that protest “If You Want Meat, Go to a Butcher!” at beauty pageants, two flamboyant showmen, and a developing awareness of self? Torn between women’s traditional roles and what women could be, Guyrex Girls evolved, as did the author.


Release Date September 10, 2024

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PRAISE for The Pink Dress

“I remember watching televised beauty pageants with my family when I was a kid in the 1970s and Mama saying, ‘They're all pretty.’ But Jane Little Botkin unveils another view, one that shows how wild, western, chaotic, and sometimes downright ugly things were behind the scenes. The Pink Dress isn’t a beautiful walk down memory lane. It's a wild ride through the turbulent 1970s, West Texas style. Here she is, Janie Botkin, taking the town by storm." —Johnny D. Boggs, nine-time Spur Award winner

“The great meaning of this story and what makes it a page-turner is how Jane came to peace with difficult parents and extraordinary expectations to eventually become a highly successful writer, but perhaps more importantly, a wife, mother, grandmother, and role model. Her story is one that will linger in my mind and make me want to know her. Bravo, Jane, well done.” —David Crow, best-selling author of The Pale-Faced Lie

“It’s about time the story of GuyRex (Guyrex) was told, and to have someone like Jane, who was the genesis to the legend of these two incredibly talented men, share it so beautifully is a treat for all. Reading the events of their pageantry has brought back many wonderful memories that truly shaped my adult life as well. If you had the opportunity to be a part of the GuyRex system—that is, if you were a GuyRex Girl—then your life was forever changed for the good.” —Gretchen Polhemus Jensen, Miss USA 1989, former Miss Texas, and former GuyRex Girl