A tall slender woman with cheekbones spiking at the hearts of the seated crowd is walking the runway. She hurries down and up the runway. The crowd cheers. The still cameras flash. Lights hung on the roof flash violently to reveal and conceal her bony face. The woman in her unspoken trickery untangles her heart of any heartache and fakes a smile for the judges. The truth is nobody here cares for her. Nobody cares that she hugs the toilet after every meal, that she starves herself and that she swallows slimming pills every day. All the crowd cares about is walk the runway, wave and fake a smile. If you don’t have long bones, your face is not moulded in the right form; you will be ridiculed.
Nothing shatters little girls like beauty pageants. The truth is at crèche and perhaps primary school beauty pageants are entered on the basis that the event will be scraped off the calendar. Off course, the minority of the little girls might have bony cheekbones and long bones but the rest are chubby and short boned little girls. They are here, parading themselves coz there are no strict rules yet opposed on them when they are entering. They might win here coz the judges have no idea what they are looking for. These little girls grow up believing they will enter beauty pageants and win. Their mothers do not know the height, weight rules imposed on the entrants in the real world of beauty pageants so they do as their matriarchal traits dictate; wholeheartedly support their little girls in whatever sound endeavours they partake in. In their good intentions they set up their little girls’ dreams to be shattered by heartless judges. Some parents even obsess over their little girls winning the beauty pageants to a point where they get upset when their little girls do not win. They stare at them at the dinner table so the little girl does not eat the fried chicken. They starve them of fast food, Chocolates, sweets, cakes etc.
Some girls go into their adulthood and still believing that the queen crown will be placed atop their foreheads some day. The mirror lies to them. It makes them appear tall and slender. Their friends, family and parents shun them from the bitter truth. They go to beauty pageants riding above clouds. She has been told she is tall and slender. The mirror has confirmed it. Nothing sets her up for the slaughter. No warning. Not even a slight hint of it. The heartless judges’ brutal honesty cuts her heart in half. The brutal honesty damages her image of herself for eternity unless they snap out of the conditioning that being chubby is ugly.
Beauty pageants also perpetuate a vain belief in girls. They obsess over looks and weight. The two knowledge questions asked at them by the judges to test if their brains work is not enough to overshadow the vanity. In a world where girls are already objectified by men; seen as nothing else but meat. This is rather sad. There is nothing wrong with girls wanting to be beautiful and slender. The real problem is when this is the only thing they take pride in. The high competition that exists in beauty pageants promotes exactly that. By quite a long stretch this is detrimental and survives the excitement of dressing up and looking pretty.
Winning a beauty pageant can be rosy and set up one for life. Basetsana Khumalo and Zizo Beda being the obvious examples of this but those who do not make form the majority of the stats. The rejection makes them feel unloved, not beautiful, and their confidence gets a dent that lasts forever.
But all of this I cannot say to my aunt who seems eager for my little cousin’s school beauty pageant to come. She is a little chubby with dimples on both cheeks. She tells me she is as beautiful as Jill Scott but I disagree. She is more beautiful. She is looking forward to the beauty pageant but she wants to be a doctor when she is a lot older than thirteen. I hope she becomes a doctor and not live the life her mother lived when she was young. Chasing after a queen crown has left her bitter.
By The Blurred Hipster