Beauty pageant contestants deserve respect and support

0
209
COLORAlbert F header.jpg

As a youngster, with only one TV in the house, it was family tradition for all of us to sit down and watch the “Miss America” and “Miss Universe” beauty pageants. This was one of the few times that my mother insisted on what was watched. I was okay with that as long as there was a talent part in the competition. That would always keep my interest.

As a youngster, with only one TV in the house, it was family tradition for all of us to sit down and watch the “Miss America” and “Miss Universe” beauty pageants. This was one of the few times that my mother insisted on what was watched. I was okay with that as long as there was a talent part in the competition. That would always keep my interest.

Growing up, my attitude towards pageants in general changed though. Being the mid to late 70s, I came to the conclusion that these pageants did not represent the typical young American woman. It is important to note that during this time, models were tall and abnormally thin and many can relate to the Twiggy Syndrome, the model that was a size zero and the epitome of what every girl should look like. This is something I never understood. Along with the anatomically incorrect Barbie, even as a young teenager I saw that the representation of what a woman should look like and strive for was degrading and an impossible task for most women.

Here in East County, we are full swing into beauty pageant season, with the reigning Misses relinquishing their titles as new young women take over the reins as youth ambassadors of our local communities. Over the past year, these young women have shown me that I needed a change of heart in my tunnel vision view of beauty pageants.

First of all, these young women work their tiaras off in serving the community. Whether it is a city, county, state or local event, more often than not these chosen representatives are out there along with their courts representing their communities, raising money and supporting local charities. From Lakeside down to Lemon Grove and every community in between, they proved to me that this circuit of pageants is all about community service, good grades and a love for their hometown.

These young ladies earn that crown through hundreds of hours of community service before, during and after holding a title. It takes a lot of work and effort just to get into the competition and everyone that makes it on that stage during pageant time, deserves recognition for what they have already accomplished to get there. They are all winners.

Behind each one of these young ladies, are families and businesses that support and sponsor them personally and financially. Some support a contestant, while others support by supplying the money for scholarships. This is an important aspect of the pageants that is often overlooked by those looking from the outside in. These scholarships are the main prize for contestant winners and after watching how hard they work, it is my hope that more businesses will step in, increase the scholarship dollars and financially sponsor individual contestants. Consider it an investment in the community.

As hard as they work all year long, it is a bittersweet day for those whose reigns are coming to a close and a new representative takes over for the next year. I want to thank all of the 2013 Misses for the service they have done in East County and beyond and am looking forward to getting to know the 2014 winners.

I also want to thank the 2013 courts for guiding me to my change of heart attitude. Together, you showed me that beauty is in service and commitment, not in dress sizes and popularity.

But I still hold a grudge against Barbie.