Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pageant Parody

A big shout out to all my pageant buddies competing this week as Mrs United States and Mrs. International.  Good luck to you all!!

On a related note THIS STORY popped up on my home page today.

It's been 15 years since the "mockumentary"  Drop Dead Gorgeous hit the screen.

The dark comedy about the catty, underbelly of the pageant circuit, is a cult classic among us pageant girls. We quote lines from it as if we were quoting the Bible.

One of the most glaring inconsistencies in the movie, is it's depiction of Lincoln, Alabama, supposedly the home of the American Teen Princess Pageant. As the bus rolls past a series of high rise buildings and rolls up to the doors of the pageant office, I could not help but laugh. The real Lincoln, Alabama, just west of the Talledega Super Speedway, actually looks more like "Mayberry. "

Having competed in pageants myself, I can honestly say, I have seen it all. I have witnessed things so amazing and things so heinous, I can not adequately describe them. 

I have seen damaged dresses, dictator-like directors, and heard the hiss of malicious gossip. I have helped sew folks into dresses with busted zippers, lent out/borrowed jewelry (sometimes meeting the lendee/borrower back stage to hand them off so she could wear them too), been offered everything from shoes (that I couldn't use because my feet are so big) to spare gowns.

 I have also been voted"Miss Congeniality" twice. This would have been three times but I had tied for it my very first pageant when I was 15. They came around for the tie breaking vote and I humbly voted for the other girl.

That was also the pageant where I was more interested in chatting with my fellow contestants, than "being proper" and removed the enormous centerpiece from our lunch table right in front of the judges. The gasps and the giggles from the snooty pageant pros, who all thought I had just committed pageant suicide, were left with mouths agape.  I guess the centerpiece had been a test. All eight of us at that table made the top 12.

I have had girls, taking advantage of my helpful nature, treat me like their servants just to get into my head.  I'm sorry to say that it worked.

 I have learned some very valuable life lessons from pageantry.  Ambition is good, but can be equally dangerous. Looking for the good in all people can sometimes get you hurt. Sometimes the bad guy (or girl, in this case) wins. Three to five people's opinion that day, is not a direct reflection on who you are. Dressing the part does make a difference. Prepare for every scenario and things will work out fine.

But more often that not, I have walked away with some amazing friendships.  Life long friendships and on more than one occasion, had someone remember me because I had been "that nice girl from Leeds."

 Like the winner of that first big pageant. now a state director to a large national pageant. I went to introduce myself to them after their prelim, but they already knew who I was...30 years later.

Winning might have been cool, but the crown I know that I  have earned in Heaven will be far better than any rhinestone creation I could get here.  And after all, isn't that what it's all about?


No comments: