Eighty-six beautiful girls stepped onto the stage, dawning their best smiles, high heels and faces made up to perfection. All were hopeful that they would be crowned the next Maryland Teen USA Pageant winner, but knowing that only one could win. After several months of raising funds and shopping for the perfect dress, several days of final prepping with the experts, and several hours practicing, primping, and being paraded before judges, within minutes, it was all over! One lovely deserving girl took home the crown, the remaining eighty-five hopefuls packed their things somberly: some in shock, some sobbing in their parents arms, and others holding back tears while comforting the other girls.
So Many Lessons Learned
My daughter participated in the 2014 Miss Maryland Teen USA Pageant on November 2-3, 2013 and was one of the eighty- five that left without the crown. And, although she did not win the crown, nevertheless she left a winner. She was a winner because she took a risk and tried something outside her comfort zone. The Pageant world is a world of high heels and makeup; she had only worn makeup once before the Pageant and that was to get a photo for the Pageant. She is a winner because she learned valuable lessons that she would never have learned looking in from the outside. For example, she remarked, “I had to wear a fake smile at times because there was so much to think about that I wasn’t really enjoying the experience.” She said she got more joy out of reciting her poetry to audiences and tutoring little kids. She was a winner because she learned to experience loss with gratitude, grace, and beauty and to focus on others (which is her nature).
Radiance’s Most Notable Experience
Now the most fun was hands-down the Saturday night party. When I asked her to share one notable experience of the Pageant, her face lit up when she shared how she had helped the makeup artist who desperately needed someone to talk to. The lady had arrived late to do her makeup because she was sick, had cancer, and was being treated meanly by the other makeup artists. Radiance joyfully concluded, “Maybe that was the whole reason I was there!” After the Pageant, while all the girls were scurrying around saying their final goodbyes, she insisted we find the makeup artist so she could get a picture with her as she had promised. The lady beamed and explained how she got goosebumps from talking to Radiance and felt that she was the winner. Radiance however felt that God’s Will had been done, “If I had won,” she said, “I’d have to wear a two piece bathing suit at the USA Pageant,” she said. “And I feel that would be compromising my values.”
Well, that’s the overview. In part 2 (SMH x2), I share my observations from a mother’s perspective on pageants. Now, you’re probably wondering why I titled this article butt glue? Well it is the one thing that can make or break a Pageant hopeful. I didn’t even know what the stuff was. Evidently all models and pageant people know about it. It glues your swimsuit to your butt so that it doesn’t slide up or in. You can even lose ten points from your score if that happens. Imagine that! As for the bronzer, they were selling that stuff at the orientation like it was the secret to the fountain of youth. Anyway, check out part two for my SMH conclusion.