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The Big Question: Elbow-Elbow, Wrist-Wrist Edition | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Big Question: Elbow-Elbow, Wrist-Wrist Edition

I was in one beauty pageant.

Once.

As a favor to a friend…who wasn’t really a friend. In fact I sort of hated her, and by sort of I mean really. And really it wasn’t so much of a favor as it was blackmail. I wore my emerald green Jessica McClintock gown and put vaseline on my teeth and walked gracefully while imagining her head exploding in a variety of creative and Jackson Pollock-esque ways.  But now I’m Famous On The Internet and she has premature sun damage so I win.

ANYhoodle, with the recent chatter about Chloe Marshall the first plus-size entrant in the Miss England pageant I thought I’d ask…

Francesca and Plumcake want to know: What do you think of beauty pageants? Have you ever been in one? Would you –all other things being equal– vote for the big girl just to prove a point? 

18 Responses to “The Big Question: Elbow-Elbow, Wrist-Wrist Edition”

  1. Despina April 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm #

    I abhor pageants, but I always root for the plus-sizers on America’s Next Top Model!

  2. Sara April 9, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    As a Nice Southern Girl, I have had the invitations to compete and had friends who did (two who won), but I’m not much of a fan. I think they’re silly. Especially when you win and have to go around cutting ribbons at grocery store openings and the like. Were I on the panel, I probably would vote for the big girl if she were just as good as the other finalists in her talent and in being interviewed.

  3. Angel April 9, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    When I was a child I loved the Miss America Pageant. I was so excited when it was coming on. Nowadays, as an adult, I dislike pageants. They’re just *yawn*.

  4. Peaches April 9, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    As an admittedly pretty plumper, its easy to say that pageants are silly. Studies show that “pretty” people already have an advantage in life. Do we really need to have a contest were the best of the batch get crowned? Would love to see the money, energy and attention focused on something of value.

  5. Twistie April 9, 2008 at 8:52 pm #

    Compete in a beauty pageant? I’d rather set my hair on fire.

    All things being equal I’d probably vote for the one who seemed to have the most brain cells to rub together. After all, don’t most of these pageants (at least above the Little Miss Rootabaga level) include some sort of scholarship? I’d want it to go to the one who is most intelligent.

    Mostly, though, pageants are something I avoid. I do, however, wish Chloe well. It is nice to see a beauty larger than a size 6 appreciated.

  6. Bridey April 9, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    Well, if some women feel that going about in heels and a swimsuit in front of an auditorium full of strangers is going to do something for them, far be it from me to criticize. But to an outsider’s eye, there is something very 4H, “show us your prize sheep” about these affairs.

    And I do wish some pageants would be more honest about what they’re presenting. If a given pageant were really about personality and accomplishments and education and civic-mindedness, it would seem that a woman with thick glasses or acne-ridden skin or unruly hair or less-than-perfect teeth would occasionally make the cut.

    Yet, as it happens, every kindly and accomplished and educated and civic-minded woman at those pageants fits into the same narrow subset of trim, smiling good looks. Funny how that works out.

    (And may I also add that pageants for babies and little girls are deeply creepy.)

  7. raincoaster April 10, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    I’m with Miss Manners on this one: the best families show dogs and horses, not daughters.

  8. JRho April 10, 2008 at 7:32 am #

    I think they are events that glorify a fake-and-bake tan, bleach blonde, completely vapid idea of ‘beauty’.

    Really not a fan. ESPECIALLY NOT FOR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Toddson April 10, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    I deplore the mindset that’s created the whole pageant thing – that looks are so important, while giving a passing nod to the idea that personality and intelligence matter (remember the girl who gave the inane answer to the question about Americans’ inability to locate other countries on a map?). I’ve never entered one, never even thought about it, but I’ve never fitted into the standard anyway, so how much of this is sour grapes is open to discussion. And, yes, beauty pageants for little girls are really creepy.

  10. Marvel April 10, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    I have nothing of insight to add to the above commenters–I agree with them–but I dearly want to know more about the “blackmail!” Who was blackmailing whom? As another student of Southern Woman Jujitsu, exactly what was Plumcake accomplishing by her sacrificial showing in the pageant for the sake of her “friend?” Or what stranglehold did her “friend” have over her that required such sacrifice? There’s gotta be much more to this story! Unless, of course, this anecdote is as mythical as the courting English gentleman who calls upon Plumcake to take her for long walks up tall hills in Dior flats…

  11. Cat April 10, 2008 at 10:06 am #

    “What do you think of beauty pageants?”

    I think they are ridiculous.

    “Have you ever been in one?”

    No.

    “Would you –all other things being equal– vote for the big girl just to prove a point?”

    No. I would vote for the big girl if I thought that she was the best contestant. I would not vote for her if I thought someone else was a better contestant. (This is all theoretical, of course, since I wouldn’t be judging a beauty pageant in the first place.)

  12. Leah April 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    I think some beauty contests are “appropriate” – ie, contests to become a model for something (like the Sun Tropic one, or whatever). The only way you can figure out who’s a good model is by looking at her (or him). So, fine. But the idea of looks having anything to do with being a well-rounded young women who is deserving of a scholarship is kinda silly. The orignal intent (other than likelyhood of finding a husband, which is what girls were going to college *for* when these contests started) was that the girl was physically fit – as well as mentally fit. This has obviously been skewed over the years – esp. since there is no “fitness” competition.

    However, several women have used their status as a pagent queen to become good will ambasadors, trumpet causes near and dear to their hearts, and provide charity work. I don’t care if you’re pretty or not, but one more person doing good deeds is good. The end.

    I’ve never been in a pagent. I judge my own body enough, I don’t need anything confirmed by any outside party, thank you.

    Maybe I’m a bad person for admitting this, but my first instinct WOULD BE to vote for the big girl. Really, any non-traditional girl. I would vote for a transgender girl. A girl who had a handicap. A girl who grew up with untold hardships. These things make a person stand out of the pack, and give them individuality. I prize individuality, and therefore am inclined to reward it.

  13. Anon April 10, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    How’s this for a beauty pageant? http://www.miss-landmine.org/

  14. boots April 11, 2008 at 10:35 am #

    Would you –all other things being equal– vote for the big girl just to prove a point?

    I want to say no, I’d vote for whoever should win, but (embarrassing confession) I’ve been voting about 20 times each week for Marissa on Dancing With the Stars, and I don’t think she’s the best dancer at all. I just love that she’s on the show.

  15. Zoe April 11, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    Never been in one, or really thought about them much to be honest. Beauty pageants aren’t very common in Australia (yay!)

    Baby/kidlet pageants are definitely creepy though – you guys should check out the doco “Painted Babies” for some serious ick.

  16. dcsurfergirl April 11, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    I loved beauty pageants as a kid. I would sit up with my grandmother watching Miss America, Miss USA or Miss Universe. I was so fascinated by the beautiful women in the sparkly outfits. This was a big deal to a geeky, chunky kid. I hoped that one day I could enter one, but I never did.

    I still want to be in one. Let’s face it-every woman wants to be thought of as beautiful. Deep down, we all want to fit in. Pageants reflect this thinking.

  17. dcsurfergirl April 11, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    OOPS-I hit the submit button a bit early!

    As for every woman wanting to be thought of as beautiful, I once heard that from a pageant contestant in some long-ago contest. Just want to give credit where it is due (as much as possible).

    As for kid pageants, I don’t want to pass judgment since my only experience is the JonBenet Ramsey case and “Little Miss Sunshine”. I would think there is good, bad and ugly at any level of pageant competition.

    I would only vote for a plus-size girl if she truly was qualified. Wouldn’t any other scenario be discriminatory?

    Take care, ladies.

  18. Jen April 14, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    I really don’t think people voted for her to make a point. She’s beautiful and has a lot going for her.