My, my how things have changed since I was little. In reflecting on the fact that I am due to have another birthday this week and thus push myself ever closer to the dark abyss of 50 I am pondering how things have been changing at an ever faster progression. Let's take something that you probably haven't even considered. The beauty pageant. That's right. The claim to fame that every former "queen" always considers to be part of her resume or even heaven forbid her obituary. A right of passage for some young ladies and bragging rights for many well into the plus sizes of middle age. When I was appointed to our county fair board several years ago and one of the first assignments (as one of the token females) was to serve on the fair queen pageant committee. I felt like a 6 foot tall spouse at a dwarfs convention. I was definitely out of place here. The gal who was pageant director was a beautiful and very efficient lady. She really had brought the pageant from an event in the sawdust of the show arena to a production with stage lighting and music in a theater type auditorium. Well I served my internship on this committee and then after a couple of years the torch was passed to me to serve as pageant director.
This has been my duty for several years now. I have met some very lovely young ladies and I hope have given them positive experiences for the future.
Just like any railroad running smoothly there lurks the ever present element that can quickly assure the train wreck. That's right. Government intervention. I know, I know....I was a straight A civics and government student so I am all too aware of the necessity in a civilized society to have rules, regulations and checks and balances to insure fair treatment for all. This being said I share with you the latest in the future course of things to come. Title IX! If they have given it a title you know they intend to make a big deal out of it...right? I haven't read all the blah, blah but in essence it deals with fairness to all with no stipulations as to gender, age, marital status or sexual promiscuity. Our county fair queen contest uses rules that will enable our winner to qualify and compete at the Indiana State Fair. Well this Title IX stuff says if a program gets any kind of federal funding they must comply with this federal edict. They consider affiliation with 4H as a program receiving federal funds. Now our county fair has yet to receive that first check that says "just a little somethin' from your friend the fed'ral gov'ment" but there is talk that these "everybody's equal" statues might be imposed upon us. Our pageant criterion is that the "young lady" be between the ages of 16 and 21, never to have been married, not be pregnant or have had a child. After all you kind of think of a "queen" as being a little bit virginal...right? Even queen Elizabeth. Woops sorry about that one Prince Phillip. But in essence this new progressive thinking of the all knowing federal government says...maybe some of you manly men out there would like to be queen. Or perhaps you single moms or married gals over 40 with a whole passel of youngins'. We do not have a swimsuit competition so the attire is strictly a business suit and evening gown. O.K. If I have to let a 35 year old male with a full beard compete how do I advise my judges. "Now judges please do not count off for facial hair or 5 o'clock shadow." Do I suggest that shaving their legs is to be optional? What about foundation garments? Does that include athletic supporters? One of the most important aspects in the judging is stage presence, walking and carriage. O.K. We have Miss Candy Do Them All here who is single but "very pregnant with twins" now should she be expected to walk with a fluid graceful motion or should she be cut some slack because she is doing good to put one foot in front of the other at 7 months.
We always advise the young ladies about being tasteful when selecting their evening gown and remember that it is better to be conservative when addressing the "cleavage issue". O.K. under title IX what do I do? Chest hair or wax those pecs. And not to mention when they turn around to show the judges and the audience the "back features" to their gown.....the announcer reads...."And here we have Bubba in a lovely clinging silk slip gown with low cut back, take special notice of the lack hair on his back and the striking tattoo from his stint in the Marine Corp!" Yikes! I currently have enough worries about tattoos on young girls and body piercings as it is. I think we have stampeding buffalo running for the cliff in this new progressive regulation. What will the schools do about the proms? You can have your choice...you can run for queen or king. Ain't life full of endless possibilities?
I guess I should get prepared for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Goes to the County Fair" and get in stride with the new millennium. Shoot I can even rethink things. I might consider running for queen myself. A fat, married over 40 woman with the start of a menopausal mustache. Forget those high heels I will just wear nice flat Mason shoes with support hose. The judges can't count it against me for my varicose veins or puffy ankles or even hammer toes. With the right concealer even those liver and age spots can be camouflaged. I will have to make a special effort and pick the correct foundation garments though. Something with lots of support...you know that lifts and separates like an overhead crane because if the slit up the leg of my gown is too high I am liable to show some cleavage and that would never do! Everyone should have their own tiara.
From down on the farm in Indiana
(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt