26 October 2013

Miss Southlake "Scholarship Organization"

I'm about to soap box like a champ right now... so don't say I didn't warn you. Anyone who has ever been in or been a part of a pageant, just go ahead and stop reading now. See you next blog post, you're not going to like what I'm about to say.

Today I had the misfortune opportunity to volunteer at the local "Miss Southlake Scholarship Organization." I tried to approach the situation with an open mind. I worked the Silent Auction.

Background: I have never been to a pageant or known anyone who was in pageants, with the exception of a girl I knew in high school who was Miss Texas the year after I graduated. I'd seen "Toddlers in Tiaras" maybe twice and thought it to be obnoxious. Past this I have no experience with pageants except for having known the startling fact that the very first Miss America pageant was held the year after women in this country were given the right to vote... (Coincidence? Doubtful.) I've never even watched Miss America on television, I don't think.

The Miss America pageant, and all pageants which are a part of that program (Miss Texas, etc.) are Scholarship Organizations. Great, love that. Who doesn't need a scholarship? It was announced at the beginning that every girl who is in the pageant receives a scholarship. I think that's great.

I sat in the back at the silent auction table listening to the girls get introduced. They were each asked a question about something political, worth 5% of the overall score. Then on to the swimsuit competition (15%), the talent portion (35%), and then finally evening wear (45%). All of the girls were beautiful and very talented.

That being said, nothing inside of my heart can find a reason why there should be a swimsuit competition inside of a scholarship organization. As the girls were introduced in their bikini's, they walked around as the emcee talked about each girl's platform and what she hopes to do if she wins Miss Southlake. How in the world am I supposed to take anything they say seriously, when they're not only willing to walk around in that little clothing, but EAGER to do it!! I just cannot make those two things match up in my mind. Those girls work hard, they have good heads on their shoulders, they want good things for their futures and the world around them, they want to make a difference. I get all of that. I just can't understand why it requires a swimsuit competition. It degrades the pageant as a whole down to no more than a PCB Spring Break swimsuit competition, just more expensive to enter, and guess what! The scholarships that "each contestant will receive" is sometimes as little as FIFTY bucks.

I just can't wrap my brain around it. The neo-feminist in me just wants to scream: ladies, you're worth so much more than that! The financial adviser (yes, I passed my test!!!) in me wants to sit the parents down and show them how they could use the money they spend on dresses and hair and make up and interview coaches etc. to go towards college so that these girls don't have to be paraded around like objects. I know I complain a lot about my student loans, but I'd take them any day over being looked at the way that some of the men in the room were looking at those poor sweet girls.

Alright, I'm still getting too worked up and I'm sure I've offended someone, so I'm going to get off my soap box. I tried to be open-minded, and now I am even more convicted. And my heart hurts for these girls.

Jesus is a real man. Thanks be to God for that.

Our Lady, Queen of Modesty and Peace, pray for us.

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