Two weeks ago, I went for a stroll at Araneta Center and much to my delight, there was a parade being held for the contestants of the beauty pageant whose winner will vie for the Miss Universe crown. A huge crowd had gathered on the sides, eyeing every pretty girl, in full make-up and fancy get-up, that passed by who waved and smiled to everyone. Man, they were thin. I mean, really really slender.
I don’t watch beauty pageants anymore on TV, in contrast to my much earlier years when I looked forward to all kinds of international and domestic ones. So far, we’ve had two representatives from our country who were able to bag the title of The Most Beautiful Woman in the Whole Universe. Other than that, most of the delegates we sent got lucky only as to become runner-ups. We have always been fascinated by beauty contests in this side of our globe. I remember when we hosted the Miss Universe extravaganza here around 25 years ago, the President and his First Lady unbelievably took the time to attend and be part of the audience during the coronation night.
What’s generally beautiful to the eyes of most people here in this part of my globe is a woman with mixed blood, preferably Spanish or American or European which we call “mestiza.” Ladies here with dark brown skin, a bit of a flat nose and pure Asian physical characteristics aren’t that popular because we carry this prejudice that people who look like that must have come from the farthest provinces of our land. Not fair, I know, but that’s reality here. In the past, judges of local beauty contests chose winners who looked like Audrey Hepburn or Demi Moore. The problem is these kinds of beauties don’t get us the grand prize in international competitions. But contestants who look more like Rihanna or Jada Pinkett-Smith seem to give us better chances to take home the coveted crown. Foreign judges prefer that kind of lovelies from our land. They don’t like to see gals who look exactly like their kind. I understand that.
Still, my idea of beautiful are Nicole Kidman, Carmen Electra and Salma Hayek. Beautiful women who don’t look exactly like our kind.
In gradeschool, my classmates and I would simulate a beauty contest, complete with a host and a panel of judges, lining up the best looking girls from three class sections. Please don’t be shocked but yes, I got to be one of the contestants. And to my surprise, -drumroll please..- I always won. No kidding. Of course those were elementary years when my features still looked promising considering the fact that I’ve got ahem, Spanish origins. Reality started to set in when highschool rolled around and I didn’t grow tall and my physical features obviously didn’t turn out to be beauty queen material.
And so, I shifted my dream from becoming Miss Princess Titlist to becoming a, hold your breath, rock star. Yeah, I knew that would get you. Sorry. But you know, everybody is entitled to “out of body fantasies” and I did want to become a musician in rock style fashion a long long time ago. Didn’t we all fantasize about being one?
But this particular crazy childhood dream should merit another post. Perhaps.