Saturday, March 2, 2013


One day when I was a senior in high school, all us senior girls were unexpectedly herded into the school cafeteria.  Once we were all in and captive, we learned that we had been gathered for a spiel to recruit contestants for the Miss Colorado pageant.

Pfffft, we were pulled out of class for that?!  A beauty pageant pitch??  We were at that weird in between age.  Thinking back on it, I remember feeling both flattered and offended.

I was sitting with three of my good friends.  We snickered at the thought of being beauty pageant contestants as we sat there in our jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes.  One friend began to jokingly ponder what she could do for the talent competition.  We all began contributing to a list of our talents.  They included:

  • washing dishes
  • making change
  • shooting free-throws
  • completing geometry proofs
  • diagramming sentences
  • typing

We had no intention of joining up anyway.

Let it be known that I think beauty pageants are stupid.  Yes, I know, there are scholarship opportunities, blah, blah, blah.  I don't care.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not a panel of "judges".

This week's prompt at Illustration Friday is "talent", and it reminded me of that day in the school cafeteria. We had no interest whatsoever in vying for the Miss Colorado crown.  We also knew that we were all talented.  And beautiful too, for that matter.

As for my friends?  Two of them became highly skilled nurses - one of them serving several years in the army.  The third one, we've lost track of, but the prevailing rumor is that she went on to be a pretty successful *ahem* "businesswoman" in Las Vegas.

We didn't need no stinkin' beauty pageant.


Anonymous said...

The girls are so cute! I love the look of determination on their faces!
I've never gotten into beauty pageants. Not quite sure of the purpose of them. You and your friends sound much like me and mine in high school. 'cept I wasn't much good at geometry proofs. I could swirl a mean flag though!

agg79 said...

I am always amazed how people judge themselves based upon how beautiful and poised they looked. I know several people who could be classified as not one of the "beautiful people" but they had hearts and souls that would make them incredibly beautiful. And I know people who could win a beauty contest but couldn't compete with my dogs for soul. I have absolutely zero patience for beauty contests. How can you honestly measure a person's beauty without knowing what's inside? Excellent sketch.

terri said...

Love your illustration! You've captured the innocence and sense of determination so well!

I don't know why beauty pageants even still exist. Once in a while I'll catch Toddlers and Tiaras on t.v. and it sickens me to see what those moms do to their daughters. If the point is to promote self-esteem, they're falling far short of the mark.

lotta joy said...

Thank gawd we never had to do anything in my elementary school beside show up and learn.

And, just to make your day: (Daryl is having a real life fling with Andrea.)

Abby said...

Flag, of course! The must've made the list too.

Abby said...

I'd like to think that beauty pageants are falling off the worthy radar, but we still have a ways to go.

Abby said...

I can't bring myself to watch Toddlers and Tiaras! Have you seen "Little Miss Sunshine"? Loved it!

Abby said...

*GASP* Real life fling?! Oh to be Andrea...

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm glad to say beauty pageants were dropped here in the UK years ago now. I'm amazed that they still exist in Canada!

LL Cool Joe said...

Oops I mean the States, sorry. It's been one of those days here!

Cindy D. said...

They are adorably cute! I think the whole pageant thing is just a holdover from an earlier, uglier time. But there's a lot of places in America that are not going to give up on those things for quite a while still, I'm afraid. They also tend to vote against their best interests. : /

Claire Wildish said...

Your illustration is beautiful and your story is wonderful.. full of those fun high school memories that have fondness but totally wierdness attached to them. How awesome that you were all so confident in yourselves. I especially love your list of talents!!!

Anita said...

I'm surprised that none of your readers admit to tuning in to Miss America. Surely we all were taught how much of an honor it was/is to represent our country. Guess we're all a bunch of independent thinkers who know that bikini clad bodies sell.

The little dancers remind me of the days I spent at the studio watching my little darlings.