I was among the contestants of ‘Miss India California 2008’…I mean, backstage…I mean, helping out one of the contestents..who is my good friend.
Okay, Okay, Fine. I wasn’t one of the contestants, but was there to help my friend S who was competing for the title.
( Hello, the title says ‘Miss’ and I am a ‘Mrs’ since years now. See? 🙂
S is a recent friend – Tall, beautiful figure, gorgeous eyes and intellect which can beat any smarty pants around. While surfing the internet she happened to see this website for the Beauty Pageant. The date for the event was one day before her 28th B’day. And, guess what? The age limit for the contestants said 28 ! So, that became the only motivation for this girl who has never ever been on a beauty pageant or ramp walks earlier. Why not add this to my bucket list and tick it off before I turn 28, she thought. Once she was shortlisted, we encouraged her enough to be confident and do the best.So, there I was, in the backstage, trying to help S put on her makeup and pin up her sari ( yes, yes! there was an ethnic round where people wore sari too).
The scene backstage was quite an experience – standing among those BEA-uuuuutiful girls and watching them flutter their eyelashes as they put on mascara.
Well, beauty isn’t just skin deep and it showed when some of them opened their mouths to speak. One girl was on the phone yelling harshly at her mom for not being on time to help her! Another one was grumbly all the time and used the f*** word every 20 seconds ! I think I even heard one another girl ( NRI second generation teenager like most others in the competition) say ” Heck, I hate Indian clothes! I wanna get this over with !” while she was getting ready for an ethnic round.
But sweetness and charm did exist too. Like, this one girl who saw me standing lost in thoughts and quite bored , smiled warmly and started a friendly conversation.Another one who spoke so lovingly to her mom who was helping her dress up, even though she was super tensed.
As I watched the whole event from backstage, I secretly hoped that S gets through as a winner. Not just because she was my friend, but since I saw her as the smartest and most humble ones among the lot. But, what do I know – she got eliminated in the talent round.
On a closer look, I noticed that all the contestants who had danced ( Kathak , Folk, Bollywood or anything ) were promptly chosen for the next round while others with any other talent – singing or poetry were royally eliminated. Okay, so anything other than dancing is not a talent worth it for a Beauty Queen – we get the hint. Arrgh !%^&*!??
As for the final questionnaire round – the questions are provided to the contestants days in advance. They get to prepare and by heart the answers and spill it all on stage when they are asked to. Hey, I helped S prepare most of her answers and here is a sample:
Question: Do you believe in the statement “Its a man’s world”?
Answer: Yes, I do. The women might be going to the moon now, but the rocket is still launched by men. The women might now have laws for equal rights now, but the constitution was still written by men. The women might be big executives now, but the founder presidents are still men. The women might seem to be winning, but the competition is still controlled by men.
I think, It shall take a few more ages to get to a neutral ground where it is just ‘people’s world’ and not exactly men or women’s.
What do you think?
Coming back to the stage, those questions and those answers that evening were nothing more than Clichéd. How many more times will Indian Girls mention Indira Gandhi and Mother Teresa in a beauty pageant??!! Agreed that they were/are great inspirations, but can people be a little more creative and think out of the box ? How about Neerja Bhanot or Kiran Bedi for a change?
Well, the evening was glamorous and full of style. But, I am not sure whether I’ll watch a Beauty Pageant on TV with the same enthusiasm anymore.
It was all too real and ‘normal’ backstage.
Note: Watch out for more on this space with stories involving Psycho Neighbor ( seriously, no kidding! ) and AWARDS * Blink Blink * 🙂
Cya, will try and be back soon !