Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pageant Talk

I am having the hardest time adjusting to real life after my week in Vegas for the Miss USA pageant! I am still in shock that my sister was 1st runner up! The whole experience was magnificent and we had so much fun! Work is just not cutting it for me--I feel like I should be shaking it at a pool somewhere or screaming my head off while my sister is strutting her stuff on stage! I am usually so ready to get home and back into the swing of things, but this week I just can't. I haven't even unpacked, and I usually unpack immediately. I guess I figure once those clothes go into the wash, it's really over! I have been swamped both and home and at work so I haven't had time to get all of my pictures ready for posting. Hopefully by Friday I will have an awesome review post for you! Get excited--highlights include Miss USA welcome party, Wet Republic pool party with bottle service, and of course, the pageant itself! Yay!! There are nearly 500 pictures and videos to go through, so needless to say, it will take a while!
What I wanted to discuss today is pageants themselves. Of course, after every pageant, the internet blows up with arguments about whether pageants are good or not. I'm the first one to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinions--we live in America, duh! Therefore, I'm going to weigh in with MY opinion and want you to let me know what you think!! Keep in mind, though, that our lives as "pageant" people started rather suddenly and unexpected. Other than doing high school pageants (yes, I am Miss Purple and Gold, 2001, thank  you very much), my sister and I weren't pageant girls growing up. I actually tried to convince her to do Miss Teen Alabama years ago but she wasn't into it. When she called my mom to say she was going to compete in Miss Alabama USA we were all like "awww, how much fun" and we were just praying she got in top 15. Well, she walked away as 3rd runner up, and was hooked! The next year she was 1st runner up and this year of course, she won. She only did one other pageant during that time so it wasn't like we were going to pageants and getting all up in that world. Until this weekend. I got to hang out with tons of pageant celebs, bloggers, fans, etc. It is kind of like the blog world--small, passionate about what they do, and fun! They were always so kind to include me in the fun and I was so proud to be "Alabama's sister".
Anyway, I say all of that simply to illustrate that we haven't had to wrestle with "should we put our baby in pageants" or anything like that. I don't even have a comment on that because I honestly don't know how I feel. I know that my 4 year old self would have LOVED getting all glitzed up and performing, but whether or not that is good and healthy? I don't even want to go there because I have no experience with that situation. What I DO know is that my sister had the most fabulous time and so many opportunities have opened up for her. She has gotten job offers, modeling gigs, and has met so many people during this ride that I can't say anything negative about it. I know pageants get criticized for being sexualized and as being "old fashioned". My response to that is to say--what isn't? I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but our country runs on sexy advertisements, movies, . Look at Abercrombie ads, car ads, alcohol ads, just about ANY ads! You see "beautiful people" half naked, trying to sell things to us, the consumer. I can't agree that pageants are old fashioned for this reason. Yes, there are girls in bikinis strutting their stuff, but they are everywhere else too. To me, it is a reflection of our culture--like it or not--good or bad. The girls in this pageant are grown ups, able to make their own decisions as to what they feel is appropriate. That is the perk of being a grown up, right? I don't think it sets women back at all because women are lucky enough to have the ability to choose what they want to do and want to be. They can be models, lawyers, stay at home moms, all of the above! I think it is more a celebration of being a women--swim suits, evening gowns, bling, shoes, tiaras--what's not to love!I kind of think that a girl doing pageants is just like a guy playing sports--you want to be the biggest, strongest, fastest. That can be taken to a negative extreme as well, if you aren't careful. I can totally see how people think that pageants give girls unrealistic expectations about their bodies--I mean, did you see those girls in their swimsuits? They looked phenomenal! It's the same with magazines and actresses on tv though--they are all thin and glammed up. My mom always told me that I just had to be healthy and confident in myself, and I think that little piece of advice goes a long way when  you are a woman bombarded with images of super skinny girls. You also have to remember that pageant girls are like, 23ish so they have plenty of time to work out, and their metabolisms haven't slowed down yet! Same as with sports stars who are always sporting giant muscles--doesn't that affect men's perceptions of themselves? We never hear about that, if it does. So long as the girls are being healthy, there isn't wrong with being thin, and so long as young girls are educated about proper health and nutrition, they hopefully will be able to take pageants for what they are worth, not as an attack on their own personal confidence or self esteem.  I know there can be a dark side of all of this but in my limited experience, the pageant thing has been a positive thing. It is just something fun that my sister got to do and hopefully some great opportunities will come her way.
What are your thoughts? I obviously haven't been around pageants for very long so I don't have much to comment on at all, other than my own personal experience! I know some people love pageants, hate them, or could really care less! ALSO, before you discuss, I need to give a shout out to my fabulous blog family! I got so many emails, comments, texts, tweets, etc from you girls wishing my sister good luck and cheering her own. You voted for her and publicized about her on you own blogs, and you haven't even met me, let alone her. Thank you so much for being a wonderful, positive, encouraging group of ladies. I am so grateful for each and every one of you!!

5 comments:

  1. I was thinking about you the entire time!!! Trying to explain to my fiancé how I sorta knew one of the girls competing was met with skepticism haha. I was like honey, it's blogging! Glad she was so insanely successful and you had a great time as well!!!

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  2. It was exciting to watch the event and see your sister! My thoughts.... I actually like the pageants. I teach high school girls' sunday School at church and I explained it to them as it is an arena where you are trying to be your personal best and it takes effort to do so and that is what you should always strive for, to be the best you can be. The girls in the competition are role models. I say the swimsuit is just one area being judged and they are in those little bathing suits to show they take care of themself, eat healthy food and work out and get fresh air. Doesnt mean your personal best is going to look exactly likethey do, but it will still be amazing amd it is a worth while goal. Maybe Im a little naive about it? but I always stress to work toward a goal and improve yourself and the pageant is an example.

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  3. i think pageants can be great and sounds like they were were super helpful for your sister and they opened a lot of doors for her. i'm a little more skeptical of the toddlers and tiaras type pageants, but when we are talking about adults/college age girls who are getting scholarships or endorsements, they can be a great thing. as for body image, i think focusing on health is important too. i was so excited to see your sister out there even though i don't "know" either of you haha. hope you are all proud of her - what an amazing accomplishment!
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

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  4. I think pageants are great especially when I hear about all the scholarship money that people win. I think it's important for children to understand that there is more to looks and all that. I do think it's kind of iffy for the super young ones but I think if you raise your child right then it can still be okay. Those girls are soo smart and sooo beautiful. They have a lot going for them then just looks and I see nothing wrong with putting it ALL on display. I'd be having a hard time adjusting too after the week you had!! I have it in my DVR. I haven't watched it yet. Kinda bummed that I know who won but oh well.

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  5. I think pageants are a great confidence builder for women. sure we have the toddlers and tiaras moms (my personal fave is honey boo boo's mom) and sure some of those girls are little monsters but I think pageants are a great idea....I'm actually training for pageants right now (I'm looking into entering some pageants here in canada)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one of them and they always make me smile!

 
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