Relating to a book explaining what are pageant dreams, and how they pertain to empowerment and feminism. Book worked on by Ghost Writer, Inc. Edited by Karen S. Cole. The below is being used as an excerpt via Contract with the book’s author clients. It’s a bit lengthy. But I want you to read this whole thing, because the two young ladies involved are on a mission: they want to be real feminists! And they are running in both the Miss Universe and the Miss America pageant systems.
FIND YOUR PASSION: FOLLOW YOUR DREAM (What are American beauty pageants)?
Kendra’s Wisdom: What are Pageant Dreams for?
When it comes to Living Positively, you must always start with yourself, and potentially end with yourself as well. First, discover what you truly love, and then pursue it to the Ends of the Earth! You see, I know firsthand that it is best to find your passion earlier than later. The sooner you locate it, the longer you have to live your dream and really do exactly what you love, without censure, censorship or negativity.
Remember: don’t worry too much if you don’t know what your strongest dream is yet. Some of the most intriguing people I know took years, even decades, to realize theirs; you will find your Life’s Passion, your gut instinct will let you know about it! And yet, life itself is often a matter of winning or losing, many times. Learning how to lose graciously, how to accept winning with your head up high…or low.
What are Pageant Dreams – Who does the dreaming?
Aren’t stately, tallish women the real Beauty Pageant types? Nope! At my greatest height so far, I’m all of 5’3”. Growing up, I didn’t genuinely think I’d be competing for Miss Oregon this coming July, and finally (wish me luck!) Miss America. However, Miss USA encourages the taller ladies, leading eventually to Miss Universe; the America system allows for us shorter girls, as it includes a talent contest and other such topical portions throughout the judging process. Miss America is more platform-oriented, and Miss USA is more of a literal beauty pageant, I guess. The America contest ages out at 24, and Miss USA at 27, so my Big Sis is competing in that one.
But what of my early years – were they so negative? Deep inside, I thought that everybody knew what their passion was except me. However, I won a small Beauty Pageant at thirteen, against exactly one other girl. My Mom says she’s been “hooked ever since!” She’s done nothing but support me, in all my more reasonable endeavors. Yet the pageant system wasn’t my passion, nor was it a bête noir I was trying to avoid. Instead, by the time I graduated High School, I was following at least ten different passions, for one direct reason or another.
What are Pageant Dreams; Who am I, What’s my Story?
When I was a little girl, a preteen, others my age dreamed of lives as doctors, firefighters, teachers, cops, lawyers etc. But I found myself daydreaming about an unconventional goal. I wanted to sing! Not only that; I had to be the next Britney Spears. A fabulous appearance, Michael Jackson’s “baby-bop” girlish squeaky tones, high-pitched spectacular beauty and amazingly original blonde hair; what more could a girl want? Such a peculiar way with men, owning her glitzy, glamorous style.
Idolizing whatever she did, I look back now and wonder why I was allowed to listen to her music. All of eight-years-old, I rocked out to sexually racy lyrics like “I’m a slave for you,” and the infamous, Lolita-sequel “Hit me baby, one more time!” What did this mean…hitting’s a good thing? Nonetheless, Britney redefined self-control, bossing us something fierce. I will give her that! As an avid dancer and Spears fanatic, I couldn’t stop watching her videos. Bedecked in Baby Doll clothes on Hallowe’en, I rocked her crop-top, oozing precocious charisma and charm – or so I saw myself.
Why do other people matter – what are pageant dreams, really?
You can’t recognize how much other, older people shape your life ‘til you look back, and realize that the dreams and ideals we kept to as kids aren’t what are likeliest to come to fruition. After I was informed that only “one in a million” girls get that kind of opportunity, with my voice only being “good enough” for the showers, my dream changed.
Therefore, a serious idea resulted. Going through Elementary and Middle School, I determined to study Medicine. I ached so badly to become a doctor, I can still hear the phrase “Paging Dr. _____” echoing through my head. It had a certain ring to it that I dearly loved. Thinking about this, I knew that I’d have to attend the most prestigious college I could think of: Harvard Medical School. So I told everybody I could grab that I was going to Harvard. I was sure enough of this, I never thought about needing to create a backup plan, in case things fell through.
Why my question “What are Pageant Dreams” is Lifelong!
Commonly, the most natural question coming from those willing to bend an ear to my boasting of Med School pertained to what kind of doctor I planned on becoming. Well, this seemed like foreign information to me; as a ten-year-old I had seen exactly one doctor, and had no idea of the vast, growing amount of specialties in the medical field. Discussing my plans with Mom, after some thought I decided I’d do well as a pediatrician, the type of doctor I’d always visited. He appeared to enjoy his job well enough, so it was settled. I was clearly going to Med School for this, while nothing and no one could stop me from this new goal. That is, until I learned a lot more details about the pediatrics job description!
Dealing with sickly, contagious, puking children? The very notion was sufficient to end my dream – but I couldn’t quite give up on hearing, “Paging Dr. _____” echoing down a clean, pristine hallway. Going back to the drawing board: what other kinds of doctors were there? After again discussing ideas with my mother, due to the fact I had mediocre skin when I was growing up, the obvious solution (no pun intended) was for me to study dermatology. I spent the next several years letting folks know I’d be a dermatologist, be called Dr. _____, and would go to Harvard Medical School. Simple Simon, easy as pie, right?
How what are pageant dreams continued their colorful influence…
Attending Middle School, I was bouncy, beyond excited! I’d finally get to take mostly science classes, and plot out the course of my doctor’s destiny. However, like many matters in life, it didn’t go as planned. I absolutely dreaded my very first science class, couldn’t wait for it to end each day, coming to the understanding that I was not in love with the whole idea of me in medical science. Well, maybe I loved the idea, the prestige and public service potential…the title of MD, and the status accompanying it. But it wasn’t my passion. I had to let go of that dream. After years of sighing and applying my best studies, it was hard; but I knew I had to uncover what it was that I really loved and would find worth pursuing.
Next, of course, came High School, rearing its ugly head. I felt time was running out on me, pouring as the sands of an hourglass dumping onto my dream-finding mission. That is, until I took my first photography class. Mom had just bought a brand-new camera. Thrilled, I pledged to take a class to explore all of its exotic, high-tech features. Soon, I was hooked! It was strange, how I would go from one end of the spectrum to the other, from science to art, as the biggest leap of faith I could have made. But at long last I found my true calling in the field of Art, loving what I was doing.
Why “what are Pageant Dreams“ meant Everything to me
Taking similar classes, I and my friend learned programs inside out, Photoshop for example, and I got to create a whole page of photos, crafted by me and others for our High School Yearbook. Once again I was happy, the capabilities of the program were enormous, and I couldn’t wait to attend my photography class every session. My dreams had shifted only slightly, as I saw it, as science was still involved – the science of computers, photos and Photoshop’s stream of artwork, videos and stylings.
One summer, our family traveled to California, visiting Universal Studios; again, I was hooked solid. Now, I knew my life’s purpose was to study film direction. I’d always enjoyed film, finding the creation and direction of movies highly fascinating; why not, right?
My junior and senior years of High School, I was fortunate enough to be accepted into a program called Running Start. I’m a little ahead of myself, here! I mean, instead of attending senior school, I would be going to college and graduating with both my H.S. degree and an Associate’s Degree. Once there, I got to take an amazing number of wonderful classes, including one concerning film studies. We would watch movies, analyzing each aspect and angle of them, which was incredible. It pushed me further toward an exciting, vibrant career in the film industry.
If you ask what are pageant dreams, what do others really think?
Not 100% sure I needed to learn overall directing, it was a toss-up between directing the movies and assuming a more standardized women’s role, that of becoming a casting director. I would just about die to have any opportunity to audition the actors and actresses who played their roles with clarity, function and focus, in the most amazing ways. Well, after reviewing my options and weighing each opinion I received from family members and friends, I figured out that mostly I liked dealing with computers, high-tech and Adobe software. So I went with graphic design – fooled you, huh?
As much as we’d like to believe that other’s views don’t affect our own lives, I know for a fact that they do. Maybe if I hadn’t listened to others, I could’ve segued into a role as the next Britney Spears, belting my lungs out for millions of people, fans and dollars. Okay, that might not be exactly accurate, as I’ve been told my voice…is a bit touchy. Who knows; the folks who surround us, friends, family, teachers and the people we meet once at a neighborhood coffee ship, all of them have an effect on the decisions we make about learning, partners, careers, fortunes and lives.
How will you make your greatest dream YOURS? What are pageant dreams to YOU?
When it comes to what you’re passionate about, you have to learn to always trust your gut instincts. Take the words your beloved ones say the most wholeheartedly, as they have the most love invested in your time, support and future. They care deeply, hopefully being willing to push you in the right direction whenever you’re straying. They will help you, but do take whatever they’re saying with a grain of salt.
When folks say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” it can be true. And yet, you must spend the remainder of your life after school waking up each workday, until you retire, and if it’s something you dread, then you’re going to have only a miserable life. Consider deeply what others tell you, but ultimately, you must do only what you love. It is YOUR life and YOU have to live it!
I was extremely fortunate. I happened to have two extremely (somewhat, anyway LOL) wise parents. Ones who were constantly at my back when I was down, telling me to not give up on my dreams. My father gave me advice, starting when I was very young, that I still carry to this day. I share it with anybody with a passion who doesn’t quite know what the next step to take in his or her life or career might happen to be.
Say, WHAT ARE PAGEANT DREAMS in College and Life Afterwards?
Finding what you like and love to do is work, it’s a lifelong process; so work your way backwards and carefully. My eventual dream is entering the Disney World milieu as a Graphics Designer. Because I deeply comprehend what I need my end goal to be, I can then research what Disney needs from me, following the necessary steps to fulfilling their most strict and most creative requirements.
Nowadays, I see students who attend University solely because somebody else insisted on it. Meanwhile, I’m thriving at college, knowing you cannot be “over-educated.” It’s expensive, so if you don’t know your passion, you must figure it out first. Not by wasting your or your parents’ time and money to find out that what you’ve undertaken is unworthy of your dreams and interests. Search ‘til you find your passion, along your life’s journey discover all you need, set your goals – and most importantly, throw yourself into it, don’t hold back – make sure that you go for it!