At the urging of a good friend, I recently entered a Pageant for women over 60. It isn't meant to be a typical "Beauty Pageant". There is no bathing suit competition (thank your lucky stars!), the idea being that these women are at the age where beauty, most likely, comes from within. The women who enter these competitions are remarkable and gifted. They are judged on their poise, composure, talent and elegance, and their ability to communicate. They all have a story and their stories are impressive, in every case.
At the end of the second day of competition, the winners are announced and the "Queen" is crowned, sashed, paraded and photographed. It's quite touching and sweet, knowing that most of these women are grandmothers. The losers remain gracious and supportive. And always elegant.
It all makes for a lovely scenario, all these older women engaged in a friendly competition where the most talented, lovely and magnetic woman wins the coveted prize of Ms. Senior California, and the right to compete at the National Pageant to become Ms. Senior America. As I traveled through the various segments of the competition, I kept thinking to myself how wonderful the whole idea is, giving these women a forum and an opportunity to show the world and themselves that they are alive and viable, active and productive women in full bloom. What a glorious concept!
But NOOOOOOO!! It isn't quite that simple. Am I naive, or what??? Alas, it's not a level playing field after all. It's an organization that needs to function financially as well as creatively. The women work their way through and up the ranks. They donate their time AND their money. The way it was explained to me, it was just simply Mrs. Wheeler's turn to win. Hmmm. For myself, I had no emotional investment in winning, as I had a different reason for being there. My concern is for all the women who enter this Pageant, believing that they actually have an honest chance of winning the crown and all the privileges it brings, just for being good at being themselves. How cruel and parasitic the organizers are. Shame on them!!
My only regret is that I did not own a SPANX concession backstage.