Really. I’m not kidding.
And these were not MILFs.
Here’s a profile:
She was the best-looking of all the 30-and-up contestants. I don’t have a shot of her face, but maybe my co-spy does. Stay Tuned. Here’s what the EmCee said: “Nancy is 39 years old with brown hair and blue eyes. Three words that best describe her are courteous, outgoing, and helpful. Her future ambition is to pass her LPN test. The person she most admires is her best friend, Molly. Thank you contestant 35.”
The boy behind her in the red suit is her son, also a pageant contestant.
While Contestant #35 struts, the father/grandfather of another of the mommy contestants (She is 21 and has two children, both are also pageant contestants) is allowing his 3-year-old granddaughter-beauty-queen to maul his ear. He is clearly enjoying it a bit more than he knows he should. This is evident in his grimace of shame/joyand his repeated requests for the little girl to stop it, even though he does not use his considerably greater power to remove her from his ear.
Here’s a picture of that family’s method to reserve their seats:
Thankfully, there were only 3 contestants in the 30-and-up category.
Contestant #36’s hair was similarly greasy and unkempt. Contestant #37 was 65 and wore this totally outrageous outfit for the “choice” portion of the pageant. It included coconut shells somehow sewn into this formless shift.
Interestingly, even with the coconuts, contestant #37’s breasts were difficult to distinguish from the rest of her lumpy middle section.
I’m uncomfortable as I write this. I abhor pettiness. And I certainly don’t want a stranger critiquing my middle section.
But I’m not strapping my middle section into an unfashionable dress with my bra straps visible to all, nor am I shamelessly parading myself and children across some stage in some recently-flooded, half-redone hotel ball room.
I’ve been thinking about what interests me about these pageants. I like to make up narratives for myself about the things that people tell themselves, or the events that lead to, these unbelievably shameless, trashy folks committing all this time and energy and money to these beauty pageants.
Yesterday, I read on the website that every single contestant receives a trophy.
Is that it?
It is rare for me not to be able to muster any pity or understanding for things like this.
Only a story this bad would make me sympathetic toward these people: Nancy is the youngest of 10 children. She wore hand-me-downs from her much-fatter sisters when she was a kid, and was sexually assaulted by the men in her family, enduring horrors that only Lifetime movies and Reader’s Digest Condensed Novels brave (certainly not unfocused blogs).
These men told her she was beautiful, and since she was being raised in filth and poverty in an impoverished town and an impoverished school district, her quiet mousiness in school was dismissed by her teachers and by her friends’ parents as normal. As a defense mechanism, she told herself an elaborate story with a perfect and happy story world in which she was a beautiful, rich princess with doting parents and the choice of any of thousands of handsome and kind princes, she would retreat to that world as she was being abused. Since nobody ever told her otherwise, she accepted the flattery from her family men and still believes that sexual congress between family members is acceptable, and spends more time than not in her fantasy, princess world.
Of course, not all the pageant people had behavior that inspired such sad musing, but the ones who didn’t perplexed me even more.
I’m going to another small pageant in about a month. I think I need a professional photographer to go with me. Anybody up for the adventure?
**It should be explained that I changed these people’s names. I guess I feel some respect for their non-existent dignity is in order. Also, I’m protecting myself from liability.