Back in the day when yours truly was just getting comfortable in my own skin circa the mid-90s, I realized something which would soon exasperate me to no end, but which I found pretty cool at the time: I was taller than every other girl in my class and as tall or taller than some of the boys.
I thought it would keep boys from picking on me, but instead some of them (the runts) were intimidated by me. All the girls secretly envied me, telling me wistfully that I could be a runway model, given my height and (stick) figure.
WHAT THEY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT WAS THE TEARFUL FRUSTRATION OF A TEENAGE GIRL WHO WANTED TO LOOK CUTE IN CLOTHES THAT WERE ALWAYS TOO SHORT EVERYWHERE—SLEEVES, LEGS—OR HUNG LIKE A TENT WHEN GOING UP A SIZE.
What they didn’t know about was the tearful frustration of a teenage girl who wanted to look cute in clothes that were always too short everywhere—sleeves, legs—or hung like a tent when going up a size. It was incorrectly assumed that I must be an expert at basketball and volleyball, but when the cat was out of the bag, I would hang my head in shame.
I can’t remember the last time I watched the Miss America pageant. As a child I used to lay on the floor in front of the TV, chin in my hands, watching excitedly as the 53 women vied for the coveted bejeweled crown.
Then somewhere between childhood innocence and adolescent anger, the feminist in me reared its ugly head and flatly refused to watch any of these so-called beauty contests. (Disclaimer: I still have interest in Miss Universe, as I find it fascinating to see all the beautiful people from all parts of the world.)
So it came as no surprise that, last week, when a preview for this year’s competition appeared on TV, I laughed to myself and promised I wouldn’t watch—again. I also laughed because I saw that Chris Harrison (of The Bachelor fame) would be co-hosting. To be fair, I do watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette, even though we have a nickname for Chris (Hint: It starts with “P” and rhymes with “wimp”).
But I digress.
What did come as a surprise, however, was reading yesterday in the news (I realize I must be the last to know) that an Indian-American contestant had won the title.