What I will do as Miss America

As a contestant in the Miss America Pageant, I would like to announce my platform.

As everyone knows, modern pageant contestants must have a platform. A platform is like a cause they make you advance. This is compulsory now. It used to be that you could win the Miss America Pageant just on the strength of being escorted down the Boardwalk by a man dressed as King Neptune. Now, you have to have a cause, and spout off about it at random moments, and show how cute your brain is.

These changes have caused upheaval throughout the system of junior feeder pageants, which over the years had evolved to produce contestants nearly perfect in their appearance of goodness and wholesomeness. Now they have to appear sincere also. Let me tell you, the appearance of sincerity is very important in the modern world.

Anyway, yes. I have chosen my platform. It is this: I will be for General Awareness.

I thought this would be a good platform, because other contestants have chosen things like Cancer Awareness and Child Abuse Awareness. Miss Florida is doing AIDS Awareness. Miss North Dakota is doing Political Awareness. So it's clear that Awareness is crucial to being Miss America.

I'm coming out in favor of being generally aware. As conscientious people, we should do our best to be aware of everything. And I think that, as Americans, if we all try to get along, and show some of the love that we really feel for each other, deep down inside, the world would be a better and happier place. Thank you.

Many people have asked me about my being a contestant in the Miss America Pageant. They think it's unusual - considering that no male person has ever risen in Miss America ranks even as high as Miss Columbus Day - that I would consider competing.

But they don't know the pageant like I know the pageant. They think that the pageant is trapped in backward-looking ways, that it is unaccessible to modern ideas of equality and equal opportunity.

They have not paid attention when the pageant has said that it is now open to all, not just slim attractive women who appear to have been designed by lipstick manufacturers.

I have paid attention, and I believe. Besides, I meet all the major criteria. I am young. I am petite. I have never been pregnant. Plus I own hair spray.

And I know that this September I will be chatting with the pageant hosts on national TV, in a relaxed and spontaneous but nevertheless serious way. I will stroll about the Convention Center in my swimsuit and evening gown. Before the Convention Center audience I will perform my talent - skeet shooting - flawlessly and without difficulty.

And if I am lucky enough to win the Miss America crown, I will waltz down the runway in a squall of tears, smiling in high-wattage at everyone, showing with my expression that I am truly flattered and surprised at the honor, when in fact I expected it and have spent hours doing practice cries

I will set off across the country on my Miss America tour and -

But I have just been told that I cannot compete after all. Very well. I do not care two cents.

© Rob Laymon 2002

Return to Columns