Monday, January 26, 2009

Beuaty Pageants- Now and Then

I have always loved beauty pageants. For as far back as I can remember, whenever the Miss America pageant was on TV, my family watched it together. I loved it as the contestants floated across the stage in their evening gowns and admired the various talents that each contestant performed. I probably fantasized more about being in a beauty pageant than about being a bride during those impressionable years. Eventually I saw that fantasy come true when I represented a group in my college's title pageant. Except it was more a nightmare--wearing a bathing suit at the pool and wearing one on a stage are two very different experiences. I walked away with the Miss Congeniality trophy and lost to a gal that a few years later would represent our state in the the national competition. That single experience cured any illusions I might have had about a career in pageants.

In preparation for this year's Miss America pageant, I DVR'd theTLC show, Count Down to the Crown. This was the second season for the show created to help re-invent the Miss America pageant to make the program more relevant in today's society. Count Down to the Crown was a way to get to know something about the contestants before they graced the big stage in Las Vegas. The voting public got to have a say-so as well. Four girls were selected from the gold sash winners by viewers texting in their votes a la American Idol. Even though America spoke, the final winners were in the hands of more objective judges.

The irony of the four weeks of Count Down to the Crown culminating in this past weekend's broadcast of the Miss America pageant is that I'm participating in Beth Moore's study on Esther. This week's homework has been about the preparation of Esther (and all the other virgins in the harem) before they were to be brought before King Ahasuerus so he could pick a replacement for the exiled Queen Vashti. There have been many correlations between the two "beauty parades". Here are a few quotes and thoughts from this week's homework:
  • It's tough being a woman in a world where beauty is a treatment.
  • Those of us who know Jesus personally live under divine rule where all us girls get to be princesses.
  • Praise God for a King who gives a woman dignity instead of taking it.

If you are a fan of pageants like I am, you might want to read the account of Esther in the Old Testament and see for yourself that there was more than a crown at stake in that beauty pageant.

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