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Miss USA musings

June 16, 2014

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MisUSA

Miss Louisiana, Brittany Guidry, does not think we should subject ourselves.

I used to be really into watching beauty pageants when I was younger, although I have no idea why. Sparkly things maybe? I lost interest about the time contestants could wear two-piece swimsuits.

Fast forward to 2014 when I couldn’t bring myself to leave the couch and Miss USA was the best option. I could’ve sworn there used to be a talent competition, but it turns out that’s Miss America. One thing I am more aware of now than I was then was the interview portion. Thanks to the internet, blunders are much easier to immortalize. The Bergdahl question was kind of out of left field, but Miss Louisiana gave a non-answer that seemed to get plenty of cheers.  What got me was how little attention I was paying to beauty.

I think beauty pageants are supposed to be aspirational. However, I can’t say I spent any time wishing I had Miss Anyone’s body.  I thought the evening gown with the fringed skirt was interesting, but again, not interesting enough for me to want one for myself. And I thought it was bizarre that each contestant wore basically the same swimsuit and it wasn’t a swimsuit I’d want to wear. Because even thinking about sun will make me burn, I like as much coverage a possible. But that aside, am I the only one who wouldn’t trust a white suit to stay opaque when wet?

The aspirational component for me was more about the skills involved in the competition itself. For instance, being able to walk in those heels. My feet would go numb in five minutes if I wore those just sitting down. No way in hell could I manage a flight of stairs in them without hanging onto the railing and going very slowly. I’m also jealous that the girls either knew how to do their hair or had someone who could do it for them. My dressed up hair looks pretty much identical to my casual hair. I admire their ability to remember all the marks and cues because I suck at remembering choreography.  I think it’s pretty awesome they were able to answer questions without major gaffes in front of an audience because public speaking is a common phobia. I even liked the segments on their hobbies.EJ

Some of this might be due to the Lifetime show Kim of Queens. Kim Gravel introduces herself as an ugly duckling who became Miss Georgia and now coaches other girls to do pageants. Most episodes feature a ringer Kim brings in to inspire her “regular” girls to improve themselves.  For instance, EJ did not fit the typical pageant girl look, but was well-spoken. She had to learn how to walk in heels and the girls had to learn how to get through an interview.

In another episode, the girls and their moms had to compete together.  One of the mothers refused because she was plus-sized, but gave the excuse that she had done pageants when she was younger and didn’t need to do it now. With a lot of encouragement from Kim and her daughter, she finally does compete and nails her interview.

I really like the body positivity throughout the show, particularly when compared to something like an episode of MTV’s Made. If the new girls are given the “you’re going to die from diabetes” lecture from the doctor and a heinous workout that is clearly beyond their capabilities, it’s done off-camera. Kim herself is a size 12/14 and tells her girls during the swimsuit episode that making their body look perfect is just smoke and mirrors.

For something you’d think should make people feel bad about their bodies, Miss USA had the opposite effect on me. My bodily thoughts revolved around beautification in general. For reasons I don’t understand, make-up artists love to cover up my freckles. I’ve also noticed that very few people use their natural hair texture for special occasions. People with straight hair will curl it, people with curly hair will straighten it. I’m guilty of it myself because it’s so hard to find someone who can cut and style curly hair but everyone can do straight hair. There was an abundance of spray tan. I understand why it’s done but I would’ve liked to see a more variety in skin colors.

As the contestants started to blur together, it made me want to rock my natural state — fat, pale, bespectacled, and curly-haired. I might not be winning a pageant any time soon, but my life and my body are pretty awesome as they are.

Gingeroid Sig

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    June 16, 2014 9:45 am

    I’ve never been much into beauty pageants – seems like a waste of time and talent to me. Pretty much the same reason I don’t do make-up – it takes me an hour to put on, and there are some things I just can’t do (eyeliner is one of them). And I’ve been told I don’t look like the same person when I’m wearing make-up – people don’t recognize me right away, especially since they’re used to seeing me without it. I don’t color my hair anymore either, I hate doing something that has to be done again in 4 to 6 weeks. Besides, I’ve earned every one of those white hairs I have so I’m going to flaunt them and be proud of them. As for curling or straightening my hair – that isn’t happening either. My hair does what it wants to do no matter what I do to it, so I just wash, rinse, dry, comb and let the results be whatever they’re going to be. All of this saves me a lot of wear and tear, saves me money, and keeps me from having to worry if I’ve done everything “good” enough to suit everyone else. It suits me, and that’s what matters (and my husband still thinks I’m pretty cute – he tells me that all the time…..lol).

    • gingeroid permalink
      June 17, 2014 2:49 pm

      I’ve got nothing against pageants so long as I’m not forced to participate. If people enjoy doing them, good for those people.

      Fashion is one of those things that I’ve gotten into as the plus-size options expand. I really don’t like my I Give Up phases where I’m choosing the least ugly sack that sort of fits and I sort of don’t hate. Having options and being able to adapt them to my style is awesome. As for make-up, I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other. I like to watch tutorials and see different looks but I’m usually too tired/lazy to bother with it for my day-to-day.

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