Friday, January 15, 2010

"Miss America"

When I was around 12-13, I used to love watching the Miss America Pageant.  Those were still the days of Bert Parks (remember him anyone?) and fire baton twirlers.  Yep, back in the days when we all knew it was a contest to pick the prettiest girl.  There was Miss Congeniality for the nicest one and separate scholorships for the talented ones (usually not the twirlers!)  But the title went to the best looking one.  It was a parade of pretty girls, that's all.  And that was just fine.  At one point or another back then, I would bet that most girls in this country had at least one tiny little wish that they could be Miss America.  I was no different.  Those girls were gorgeous and almost all of them deserved to win.  I wanted to be one.

Within a short time after that, I realized that I was not and never would be one of the beautiful ones.  My face didn't scare small children, but Bert Parks would never be singing to me.  Well, that was sort of ok.  I mean, what are the odds of winning that thing anyway??  I was realistic enough to know that I would never have the right equipment.

Now I am NOT talking about inner beauty, or sweetness of character, or kindness or charity or goodness, or anything like that.  I am speaking strictly of the particular combination of features that make up my face.  That's all.

I would imagine that the truly beautiful, know that they are beautiful.  At least generally.  How they handle that  beauty is another story altogether, but the reality is that most of us can assess our strengths well enough to figure out where we fit in the range of beauty. 

So, bottom line, I've known for years that I am not physically beautiful in the strictest definition of the word.  I'm okay with that now.  It was a little tough during the teen years when I thought that if I were just a little prettier, I would be more....well, more everything!  Of course, I grew out of that phase and I realized that there are a multitude of different kinds of beautiful.

So, I came to acceptance all on my own.  I did the best I could with what I had.  I had good taste in clothes, discovered make-up, found hairdressers could do things with my hair that I would never have thought of and no one ever told me that I wasn't beautiful, exactly.  Still there were times throughout my life when other people have come very close.  Sort of backhand compliments if you know what I mean.

Like the High School boyfriend who said, "Well, I think you're beautiful."  or

The Dior rep in Macy's who said, "Hey if you've got some time, I could make you, I mean, prettier!" or

The dozens who've said, "Oh, you have such, nails, eye color, toes,  (its multiple choice, pick one, I've heard them all!)

Then there was the dental tech who said, "You have a gorgeous dental lamina!"  Huh??  (Its something to do with the outer layer of the enamel, I think.)  Well, gee whiz now there's a compliment!

And most recently, the old friend  who, after looking at this blog, said, "Lose the picture of you in the hat.  You're much prettier than that."  In other words, "Yikes!"

So here's my request to the cosmos...."Give it up!  I get it, I really get it.  You don't have to keep reminding me that I'm not beautiful, maybe even not quite pretty.  I got it a long time ago!!  I will never be Miss America."

So that's the reason for the new picture.  I wasn't classically beautiful in 1960 and not in 1992 and I'm not classically beautiful today and its not going to change. 

After all who wants to be ole' dopey "Miss America" anyway?


  1. Needless to say, I remember Bert Parks. I loved the Miss America Pageant and watched it faithfully until I was out of my teens. Although I've had times when I could definitely pass for "cute", physically beautiful has always eluded me. The best thing about that is there is no need to keep up the facade! My neck is sagging? So what. Lines around my eyes? Yeah, I laugh a lot. At least when we get older our hair grows slower so the mustache problem has eased up (I'm Italian, after all!).

    By the way, I love your glasses. I'm about ready to dump my contacts - maybe I'll take your photo with me and tell the doc I want the same kind!

  2. I do believe I recently left you an e-mail about what I thought of your face (oh, that sounds funny, doesn't it?).

    I tend to not so much notice beauty as I notice... life? experience? feeling?

    Yours is a face I would want to sit and talk to. For hours. Over tea or coffee or wine.

    Miss America faces? Not so much. To me, beauty isn't about being the prettiest in a sea of identical faces.

  3. One of my college acquaintances was Miss Arizona and then 3rd runner up for Miss America. Definitely classically beautiful. She was a sweetheart. I remember her telling me, "Oh, you should try it (a pageant)!" and saying I'd have what it took. It was actually kind of funny--I have various strengths, but my 5'2" body and theatre face have always been far more "cute" than classically "beautiful"!

    By the way, I like the short hair a lot. I think you'd blogged about cutting it, but I don't think I'd seen a pic until now.

  4. That's one of those other kinds of beauty and much more important in the grand scheme of things!! Thanks.

  5. The women that go the pageant route, pretty uniformly seem to love it. But it sure isn't right for everyone!! Especially these days!

    Glad you like my hair. Thanks!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It's really nice knowing what you think!! Besides, comments keep me from feeling like I'm here all by myself!! :)

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