Monday, August 6, 2012

Surrounded by Beauty Queens!

As a little girl, I loved watching beauty pageants. It didn’t matter if it was Miss USA, Miss America or Miss Universe, I tuned in. I would watch with a pen and paper and keep track of everyone’s scores. I figured that I would know who the winner was before it was even announced. That is a perfect indication as to what a dork I was am.

I stopped watching the pageants a long time ago, I guess I just lost interest. However, I recently started watching Toddlers and Tiaras occasionally with Spice. She claims that she would like to do this, but I contend that the first time I say, “No you can’t play outside because you have to practice your flaming baton twirling,” she’ll lose her shit and I’ll be stuck with thousands of dollars in accoutrements and she’ll be out making mud pies.

As a child, I always thought these women were beautiful and talented and I would have given my right leg to look like one of them… and to be as poised as they were. Since I started watching Toddlers with Spice, I’ve come to see where the stereotype given to beauty queens comes from. These little girls are spoiled, screaming brats who have an entire staff waiting on them.

When Skinny Bitch initially invited me to attend this fundraiser for our state’s pageants, I didn’t have a whole lot of interest. I thought we’d spend the day surrounded by a bunch of spoiled princesses that simpered and batted their eyelashes and repeated the one line about saving disadvantaged youth and world peace that they all seem to rehearse.

Despite my initial misgivings, I plunked down a princely sum to bring my girls on a three-hour brunch cruise on a lake about an hour from our house. The six of us-Skinny and her girls, me and mine-drove up together. We set off early as we were both afraid of getting lost. Her girls behaved like angels while mine fought on the way up. We were lucky and found our way immediately, so we had plenty of time to people watch and I could continue to lecture my girls about getting along. At one point, I had to threaten calling EN to come pick us up while Skinny and her girls actually went on the cruise. The heat surely didn’t help anyone’s attitude.

It was finally time to board after the kids all posed with the slew of pageant girls in attendance. It was easy to look at them all and think, “What a bunch of beautiful, stuck up, snotty bitches” and that really is how I went into this event. I’m generally not open minded and fully expected to drive home and make fun of these girls with Skinny.

Instead, I was impressed with how genuine and sweet the girls were. They gathered for pictures and encouraged all the kids attending to pose with them. They were endlessly patient as the little girls tried on their “real crowns” and then were presented with crowns they could keep. They signed countless autographs, encouraged the little girls to join them on the dance floor, and interacted with the crowd in general. They all participated in and seemed to enjoy the Tissue Paper Fashion Show, where each beauty queen teamed up with a little girl and designed a gown for her using tissue paper and stickers.  

I should also mention here that there didn’t seem to be any “pageant moms” in attendance either. We interacted with several mothers and they were all just as gracious as their daughters.

I worried that Sugar might be too old for this event, but she enjoyed herself thoroughly. I knew Spice would adore every moment, and she did. I knew she would think her partner for the fashion show was her new best friend and she did not disappoint. She tore out a page from her new autograph book and carefully wrote down her phone number so she could keep in touch with her new friend. Sadly, we didn’t see her again before leaving the ship-HA!

I must finally be a mature grown up. I attended an event that I thought would be lame and I talked with people that I would never have bothered to before… and I’m glad I did. Every stereotype I had about beauty queens and their mothers was shot to hell. I was just so impressed by how kind and considerate they were to everyone they interacted with. Perhaps it is all an act and the image we have in our heads about them being conceited and obnoxious are true… If that’s the case,  then every one of these 20+ girls need to be nominated for Oscars because they sure had me fooled!

Definitely another lesson on why I should be a little more open-minded… You just never know!

Ice Princess 

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