When one has a woman or girl right in front of them, should they charis there mind and soul or their beautiful curves with a wide smile? I always ask myself this question as I look in the mirror. My mind is a symbol of what I have to give to the world. But my body is a sample of what I can offer when it comes to the imagination. Why does this come to be? Why does people see me as this object where I have glitter and a dress that shines in the light? Mommy always told me that when you are pretty, you get lots of privileges. Such as popularity, a cute boyfriend and a nice home. But when it comes down to it, is that all I'm good for.
A good for nothing doll who dresses up for competitions. All I am being seen is with pounds of makeup and a wide smile with fake teeth that isn't mine. Walk on the fake cat walk to be judge by strangers on the panel. Who don't even know me. Never understood why mommy did that. I didn't really get the reason why I was even in that position. But I guess she was preparing me for the real world, because if you are light skin like me, you know that people think you are a certain way. Just by that, they will through stereotypes at you.
I guess this judging panel is a way to handle being judge in real life. I usually think that we were in some competition to see who is perfect and the most real. Just by the evil stairs I get in school and in the beauty pageant, it must be like that. But enough of my feelings, I should just give you into my world. I always been called the pretty one. Everytime my mom was around her friends. she would brag me to the largest bit.
"Do you see my gurl rockin that outfit with her long permed hair. My baby look good as always."
My mom starts to walk around me as she was excited. She kept playing with my hair and touched my face ever so softly and said.
"Man, thank god she was light skin. Can you believe how she would look if she was dark." says my mom as she puts her hand over her chest.
When I was little I never really looked people as race. All i saw them was as colors. Black, brown, peach. All I saw was people in different colors. Racial and color issues didn't really come to my mind until my mom pointed it out. This was not the first statement she has made. Everytime she came across my relatives she would make remarks like…
"Where do you get these dark children from?' or "Hey come inside baby gurl before you turn into burnt toast because no one likes anyone who is dark."
One comment after another made me be grateful I was light skin for some reason. I always bring an umbrella because my mother insisted I do so. Since the sun was beaming so hard on my face. People would always look at me as if I was crazy for bringing an umbrella at 90 degree weather. But if they understood why, it would become clear why i was doing this.
Beauty was an important factor in my life and in every girls life. We all had to dress up and look in the mirror before we went to school. Always had to put on our high heels and purse to use to carry our books. All this stuff did not made sure that we passed the class but it made sure we got attention. As for my momma she made sure that happened.
Our training started from the beginning when it came to being a beauty queen and always looking good. High heels were always worn for practice to walk in them. Our bow at the audience was practice. Everytime we looked at the judges we smile as if we are the happiest of the world when really we are not. And do a pose at the end so we can get our practice modeling on.
The so called pretend crowd claps their hands, which is my mom and grandmother. As the crowd cheers, people fall to their feet, mom gasses me up and i have the ego of Tyra banks. Having brains was so overrated, being beautiful was the goal. My mother pulls out a piece of paper of a toddler beauty pageant. She walks to me slowly as if she was holding jesus.
"Brianna, I saw this flyer on the wall at work. I feel like this would be best for you."
She pulls me closer to the mirror and makes me see what she sees. I really don't get anything special by this but she makes me realise it. She pushes my hair back and makes me stand up straight. My mother puts her chin on my shoulder to get me closer to her. She whispers in my ear and says.
"Do you see this flyer right here?"
I shake my head as soon as she asked me.
"This could be your destiny. This could change your life for the better honey. imagine all those people screaming at you and calling out your name."
To me i didn't really care what I thought at the time because i was a toddler but my mom seemed to have it all planned out. She pictured my life from the back of her hand. When she did, I would just sit there and listen.
"This is what I…. I mean "we" have been hoping for. Once you have that crown. You will be unstoppable. You hear me hun?"
I shook my head as if I have no clue what she is talking about. I shook it off as if it was nothing and it could not be that bad. My mom was completely excited leaving me in an awkward place, yet have to accept it because i just wanted mom happy. Even though I was the one in the costume and modeling in front of judges all day. With tight itchy clothing that was way beyond my age limit. It was still all about her and I would smile and say nothing. As soon as it was all said and done, we planned for those weeks. We made sure that the routine we did was perfect over, over and over again.
My mom made me lose the attitude and get with the program. Every single minute of the day we kept practicing . From the morning till the night. Even before school. We were trying on dresses, putting on heels and practicing our catwalk. Forget going outside and enjoying my childhood like everybody else. Just work, work, and work until the big day.
I could just picture the amount of minivans and ford focuses in the driveway as we pulled up. Everybody was either getting out their child to perform or bringing in all their costumes, props, high heels, makeup and crowns in big packages to the competition. At this point, my mom was in the zone. my mom was a complete nervous maniac. Every single thing that went wrong she just screamed the daylights out of me.
"GODDAMN IT! WE HAVE BEEN PRACTICING THIS A MILLION TIMES BITCH! YOU STILL DONT GET IT. MAYBE I SHOULD DANCE TO GET THE CROWN THEN."
I started to get really frustrated as my mom kept yelling at me. I was trying my hardest to be understanding but my anger side came into play.
"Maybe you should since you care so much." i said as i whispered.
She turned around so sharply as i mumbled to myself. My mom snatched me and said….
"I AM PAYING 1,000 DOLLARS TO GET YOUR HAIR, CLOTHES AND MAKEUP DONE JUST SO YOU CAN LOOK GOOD ON THIS STAGE. NOW YOU WANT TO GIVE ME LIP. YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND!"
People started to stare as my mom was completely yelling at me. I do not know what know what what was her deal, i mean. Its not like i asked her to help me be a beauty queen, she just told me. For her to get mad over something that did not imply my opinion is just stupid. but you can't win with this situation.
When she goes left or right i have no choice. Its like a conscious jail. I am trapped but i am not sure who is trapping me. its like I let her trap me as soon as i feel like she will put me down. I start to get a feeling over as if it was completely enough. My head starts to spin and while i look at all the contestants I start to see them as robots being programmed. Every girl had an answer like their mom or parents would say. Whenever they spoke , all the parents would be on the side giving them hints on what to say or not to say.
There were 20 performances and I had to sit through them all. Everybody had a typical performance. One played a cow girl, the other an army brat and one an slutty nurse. To me it looked slutty by the way they were dressed. As if she was a stripper who was impersonating sex at a strip club. My mom was so surprised she covered my eyes. But then saw the amount of reaction it was getting and decided to give it a second thought. As soon as the girl with the fairy costume was down with her performance.
I was the next runner up. As soon as the host called my name, my mom was rushing me to get my makeup right and my clothes right. All my stuff was on point, even my mindset, because if it wasn't, my mom was going to scream the daylights out of me. As soon as I was about to go up., the host decides to stay up there to stall some time. He was making some corny jokes just so the people get a few laughs in.
Personally, I don't understand why he even tries with the jokes. I mean I know he wants us to take a break but it is just him wasting his time. The people are not even laughing anyway besides smirking so he can get off that stage. I die of laughter because of the corniness. As I look at the lame host, one tap on my shoulder as I turned around. it was little dark skin girl. She was the most beautiful dark skin girl I have ever seen. Believe me, when I mean beautiful, I mean beautiful. She was far from the stereotypes my mom tells me about dark skin people.
She had a presence that was like royalty and her hair was thick yet long. As if god gave her that hair. she rubbed her shoulder ever so lightly on mine and just stood right next to me. I Didn't know what to do with the situation except laugh. I was nervous as hell with her around me but calmed it down as soon as she looked at me and smiled.
"Hey, isn't this stupid."
The dark skinned girl looks over my shoulder. I look around quickly just to see who she was talking too.
The dark skinned girl blinks her eyes twice.
"They know the host jokes is stupid and all the moms dying laughing like it funny."
I laugh with her. Knowing what she is saying is real and completely respond in joy
"Yeah, as if they are getting an award for laughing at every single part of his joke."
We both if we where friends that missed eachother along time. We paused as we looked at each other. She didn't know what to saw as she looked at my dress. The dark skinned girl realised I was an competitor and had her game face on. She then blinked twice and looked at me.
"You know what is funny, half of these girls don't want to even be here. isn't that a waste of time.?"
I started to fidget my green dress with giant ruffles so big that it could be mistaken for a quincelleta. With my big black hair that was put up in a bun with curls on top. She looked at me, with her china doll eyes and her nicely kelly rowland shaped face. I looked up at the sky to avoid contact.
"Well, sometimes its not thier fault. The mothers force them."
She shakes her head with her white and silver fluffy dress on. The dark skinned had a silver tiara which made it stand out. I could tell she thought it was stupid as she looked into my eyes.
"Thats dumb. All these people here and they do not want to be a beauty queen? There are so many who wants this and they would just throw it away a quick second."
I looked at the ground embarrassed, I knew she was right but had to cover my ears.
"Well sometimes they have no say and no matter what, their opinion gets overruled. You do not know how it is for me."
We both paused as I almost snapped at the dark skin girl. She blinks twice as she see's me out of place. I wanted to apologize for my outburst but I could tell by the look on her face that she got the clue. The host calls me out to be on stage and I drop the conversation. The dark skin girl stares at me until I exit to the stage. Before I left, she turned and said.
"If you are in that situation but fine. Don't waste your time on trying so hard to win a trophy you do not want to win, because many girls would die and want the opportunity to be miss beauty queen."
I walk on stage shocked. Realising that she might be right.