A few months ago, I got asked to come and judge the beauty pageant at my Alma Mater, OBU. You need to know a few things - OBU is a HUGE pageant school. It's a huge music school and it seems like nearly every girl there has been in some kind of pageant. They also turn out a lot of Miss Arkansas contestants over the years.
The other thing you need to know is I have never been in a pageant or judged a pageant but I LOVE them. I grew up watching Miss America every year and it's one of my favorite things and if you follow me on twitter you will know that me and a few of my favorite blogger friends tend to live tweet the pageant each year.
So naturally, when I found out I was giddy and I immediately texted two people I knew would understand my excitement - Melanie and Sophie. I told them I felt like my whole life was leading up to this moment. And this is how they responded.
So yesterday I packed up my stuff and drove the 4 hours to Arkadelphia. In true college fashion, I knew an ice storm was coming today and I was supposed to spend the night last night but instead I left right after the pageant and drove home and got home around 2:30 a.m. I mean when in college......pull all nighters, right?
Twenty years later and I still love this place.
If only I had had a reserved parking spot when I was there. ;-)
Margie was a judge from Mississippi and she was was SOOO sweet. She reads my blog so it was fun to meet her.
And one of the best parts of the day was I got to judge with my friend Julee.
Y'all - I seriously have never had more fun in my life. We spent the afternoon doing interviews. There were 12 girls and they were all AMAZING. We asked them questions for 10 minutes each and they were all so poised. I think they could have all won, honestly.
We ate dinner and then the pageant was last night. We scored them on talent, evening gown, swimsuit and an on stage question. The talents were all great. And one girl even sang "Let it go" to my great delight.
Ouachita has a lot of beauties. Here are the winner and runner-ups. Precious girls.
I know a lot of people are against beauty pageants. I might even find them flaky. BUT I thought a lot about it yesterday. I thought about what I would say if my girls ever wanted to do a pageant. I certainly don't think we should judge people on their looks. It's hard not to but as I always tell my girls just like my Mam-ma told me "Pretty is as pretty does". Inside beauty is what radiates. Good looks can turn ugly quickly if they aren't followed by a beautiful spirit.
What I saw yesterday were 12 girls of all sizes and ethnic backgrounds. They carried them selves so well and they were proud of who they were. They all had a confidence I wish I had had in my 20's. And they were so well rounded. Most of them had traveled internationally. They had served in orphanges in Africa. They spoke several languages. The majority wanted to go to medical or law school. They were student athletes. They had adopted siblings and special needs siblings. They had interned in D.C. and worked in non-profits. They played instruments and sang and danced.
So if I wanted my girls to have someone to look up to, I would say I would be proud for them to emulate these beauty pageant contestants. I know they are all not like this but if it gives them a way to feel confident and to share their talents and earn scholarship money, I'm all for it.
I think this week I may have to ask you some of the sample pageant interview questions and see what YOUR answers would be! :-)