Adorable and Ridiculous Portraits of Pooches from New York City’s Dog Beauty Pageant

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America: land of the free, home of the… dog pageant. We love our dogs just as much as we love dressing them in sparkly tutus and tiaras—some of us, anyway. Artist Sophie Gamand, whose photographs of wet dogs mid-bath previously captured our hearts, returns to the Flavorwire gallery with a series about doggie pageants (first spotted on Neatorama). Gamand was at the recent New York City Dog Pageant where pampered pooches hit the stage in their glittering gowns and outrageous costumes. “In a city like New York where having a child is so expensive, where people don’t want to give up their freedom or lifestyle, where they feel isolated and have a hard time meeting their soul mate, the dog seems to be the perfect answer,” Gamand writes about the “doggie moms” in her pictures. Most of the pups appear to be having a good time. Their personalities really shine through. But a few can’t disguise their humiliation. Gamand explains that these moms also regularly attend animal-related charity events with their stylish hounds dressed to the nines. That means the embarrassing miniature cheerleader outfit that poor Yum-Yum is forced to wear isn’t for naught.

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Beauty queen portrait for promotional material of the Doggies and TiarasPageant.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Champ, contestant of the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant 2014.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Kismet, contestant of the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant 2014.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Beauty queen portrait for promotional material of the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Beauty queen portrait for promotional material of the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Beauty King portrait for promotional material of the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Beauty queen portrait for promotional material of the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Beauty King portrait for promotional material of the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Yum-Yum on stage.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Gia Marie, 2013 pageant winner, is ready to paw her crown to the 2014 winner. Or is she?”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Chai Latte gives a kiss to her mom Karen to celebrate their win in most entertaining pup at the Doggies and Tiaras Pageant 2014.”

Photo credit: Sophie Gamand

“Aspen ready for the spotlight.”