Sunday, August 3, 2014

OZ, the REST of the Story...

In my last post I told you all about meeting our cousins in Wichita, KS. What I didn't tell you is that the "National American Miss" competitors for the State of Kansas were also at our hotel. I thought something looked odd when we arrived at the hotel and saw several little girls milling around the hotel with matching pink shirts with "NAM" printed on them. Now, I am a child of the late 60s and 70s so my immediate thought was that perhaps these were grandchildren of Vietnam Vets who were here to support their grandfathers at some Vietnam veterans function...silly me!

These cute-pink t-shirted-YOUNG girls were competitors in the "National American Miss" state competition. WHAT-THE-HECK?
I was momentarily speechless! These little girls were YOUNG, I'm not kidding. Some of them looked to be prekindergarten. I just couldn't believe it. Then someone reminded me of a commercial I had seen for a "reality" television show called something like "Toddlers in Tiaras." (I just don't watch much television and if that show actually exists, it is not something that I would be interested in...). Of course, silly me, I had to respond, "yes, but I didn't think it was a real thing!" 

too young to work
I should remind you that I do not have daughters. However, I have nieces. They are all beautiful, talented, intelligent young ladies whom I love dearly and fully support. This isn't about the "contestants," rather, as my 11 year old niece Hannah pointed out, "that contest is really about the moms," (and some of the dads, I must add). We encountered the little contestants being "schooled" in the hallways of each hall we visited, on the terraces outside the lobby, in the lobby, and in the elevators etc. Unfortunately, most of the "schooling/coaching" sounded a lot more like "scolding." "I told you to smile more," "I told you not to tug on your jacket," "I told you...". 

too young to flirt
Frankly, it made me SICK! I don't watch the "sensationalist 'news'" networks that only report other words, I don't watch very much "news" on television. One thing I have noticed, however, in several reports and advertisements and movies etc is the seemingly ever increasing focus on increasing sex-appeal using children. Then, one day, while I was "walking off the pounds" at the gym, having left my Kindle at home, I was watching "The Talk" on the built in television on my treadmill. Whoopie Goldberg made a similar observation. Hers, however, (in typical Whoopie style--I love her!), suggested that the obsession with bikini waxing is further proof that we are becoming too focused on "prepubescent" sexiness. She clarified by saying that she agreed that trimming was in order but her point was that the complete wax was of cause for concern.   

Some of our group discussed the "pageant" was clearly a "no win" situation for these girls. Rather than, as the logo boasts, "Growing Confidence," what happens to these little girls, who can begin competing at the age of 4! How do we explain to them that all though you did your best and we, your family, believe you are the cutest, most amazingly talented and poised four year old on the planet, you just aren't good enough to be the winner. Someone explain how that works to grow confidence.

Then there are the siblings, mostly the brothers...they walked around the hotel like zombies. Mostly heads down, feet dragging, and resigned to the fact that they could not be outside, running around being little boys. They were expected to be completely quiet and stay in the background while their sisters were primped, styled, made up, and dressed like miniature women.

Really, is it any wonder we were usually found in the bar?

OK, this is the end of my current rant.




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