There’s always something cool and interesting going on over the weekend. How does Towson always come up with these cool ideas? I’m guessing it’s you, students, who are coming up with these awesome events. Well, keep them coming, because this past weekend, I got to go to another interesting event. I got to watch a beauty pageant! The pageant was called Miss. Curvy and Courageous and it was put on by the National Council of Negro Women. Immersed in sparkles, beautiful poetry and intriguing dance steps, Paws hosted one of the coolest beauty pageants that I’ve ever seen.
The beauty pageant was the first full-figured women’s pageant at Towson University, so if you were there to see it, you were part of history! The purpose of the pageant was to show girls that women could be empowered, beautiful and healthy, even if they are curvier than women in other beauty pageants. And all four of the contestants were strong-willed women who want other people’s views on beauty to change.
The event began with a recitation of a poem about the definition of beauty. She spoke about how many people cover themselves with Cover Girl makeup and try to be someone who they are not. But it is important to embrace your beauty without that makeup. I agree. Don’t you guys think that people look much better without trying to pretend to be someone who they are not? And with Love is Louder week just ending, it is important to carry on everything that we learned. We’ve seen how people are bullied, sometimes for their weight, so this event came at the perfect time. Curvy is beautiful, and so are all other body types!
The contestants then came out wearing the same angelic outfits. They wore black leggings and white flowy shirts. In these plain colors, it was easy to everyone’s natural beauty before they put on their elegant dresses. They glided up to the stage one at a time, barefoot. Then the four contestants reached the stage, the poetry turned into music. Then, the girls showed their sexy dance moves. They were great, and really impressed the audience! And all of the contestants had so many fans in the audience who were supporting them. Many girls were holding up encouraging signs and cheering their favorite contestants on.
Then, the judges were introduced. One of the judges included a Towson senior who was an extra in movies like Think like a Man! Towson really has some talented students! The pageant then consisted of an introduction of each girl, an explanation of each girl’s proposed platform to put programs into place to redefine beauty, a talent portion, and a question and answer portion.
When the girls introduced themselves, it was interesting because most of them said that their majors were family and human studies and many of them were interested in social work. Through their job aspirations, it was clear that these girls really want to make others’ lives better. What a caring bunch of girls!
The girl’s platforms were also interesting. Contestant number 4, Dion, had one of the coolest platforms. She showed a video where she interviewed random students at Towson about how they thought beauty should be redefined. Many people said that people should learn to embrace their flaws. Other contestants mentioned programs that they would implement like a photo shoot and a self-esteem workshop. Everyone had great ideas.
After a quick intermission, where I almost used up my last dining points on coffee (I really need to stop getting coffee at these events!), the talent portion started! Contestant number 1 did a spoken word act. Contestant number 2 wore a bandana and a leather vest, and sang to the audience. She really got the crowd excited by coming into the audience and dancing with everyone. Contestant number 3 did a step routine. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that, and she was really impressive! Maybe she gives lessons, hmmm. Contestant number 4 then recited a poem called Divine Queen. It was very powerful and also touched on the importance of strength and inner beauty.
There were other great acts in between the portions of the beauty pageant. A student named Monty sang for the audience, and was a real hit. He hit all of the high notes as the audience sang along with him. A woman also sang a song called “encourage yourself.” This beauty pageant really made me feel good in my skin!
The question portion of the pageant was intense. I was getting nervous for the girls as they prepared to answer questions. But each girl did a good job of keeping their composure and answering their questions from their heart. The contestants took on questions like, “Do you think beauty pageants degrade women,” and, “What should be done to improve the way society looks at plus sized people?” Then, each contestant was told to look in a mirror and tell the audience what they see. Many of the girls talked about how they see a confident woman who went through struggles growing up. I’m so glad these girls overcame the bullying and hatred of other people, because if they didn’t they wouldn’t be able to share their beauty, inside and out, with us today!
Then, it was time for the judges to deliberate. I turned to my friend and we tried to decide who we thought the judges would pick. It was such a hard choice, though. Everyone was so talented and seemed to come so far from where they were when they were younger.
Dion was so emotional when she won Miss. Curvy and Courageous. She talked about how she was always told that she was not beautiful, and winning the beauty pageant made her feel so happy. In the words of Dion’s favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Dion didn’t let others put her down, which allowed her to have the confidence and inner and outer beauty to be herself and win this awesome pageant.
How do you guys feel we can redefine beauty at Towson University? Have you noticed any bullying around campus because of what people look like? Help the movement and find the beauty in everyone. Don’t let society tell you that girls must be skinny and fake-looking to be beautiful. Confidence is beautiful, so let’s help people gain their confidence. -Dana Kobilinsky