Miss Teen Filipina

I’ve never been a big fan of beauty pageants. I’ve always felt they objectified women, and come on, don’t you have something better to spend your time doing? But when a respected co-worker told me her daughter was competing, and invited me to attend, I felt somewhat obligated. And besides, it could be fun…

Another co-worker and I met up beforehand for a pre-pageant drink. “This is going to be fun.” “Yeah, fun.”

And it was. All five hours of it.

The first part was truly enjoyable. The “Filipina dress” competition. The girls all looked lovely in their outfits, somewhat nervously parading across the stage, escorted by their awkward fathers.

The talent competition was next. Too many bad renditions of Christina Aguilera songs. Balanced by several moving songs sang in Tagalog.

Then the “Fitness Competition.” Read: euphemism for swimsuit competition.

More songs. More dances. Speeches by the sponsors. Appearances by last year’s winners. The evening gown competition.

“Are you up for a drink after this is over?” my colleague whispered.

“I’m up for several rounds of drinks….” I replied.

The top five contestants were announced. They came forward. They posed. They smiled. They postured.

Then it was time for the questions. You know. The questions. Where the appropriate answer is always, “World peace. I think we should strive for world peace.”

Except we noticed a format.

Each contestant would repeat the question, pause, answer, smile at the audience, then say, “Thank you.”

Which led us to spend the rest of the evening speaking in beauty pageant-ese. Sad, but true.

“R, if you could be any flavor of Johnny Rocket’s cola, which would it be?”

“L, if I could be any flavor of Johnny Rocket’s cola…. I would be…. lemon. Lemon, because I’m tart and sassy. (smile) Thank you.”

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