My daughter Natalie is in Albany this weekend participating in the Miss New York USA pageant which started the morning after Thanksgiving. I am here in Manhattan writing and working. It is undoubtedly an odd thing having a child want to do a beauty competition when I am a feminist. Odd for me that is, she's having a blast and enjoying the pampering from the staff, hairstylists, and makeup artists.
I had this conversation with her a week ago:
"I think we should come see you in one of your Miss New York beauty pageant thingies, be supportive and all, but I don't think I can handle seeing my daughter in the bikini one."
"Ah Ma you don't have to do that, there are other things I'm doing, you can see me in Playboy."
"WHAT!" I gasp, spluttering.
"Playboy, remember I'm in Playboy? You always forget everything I tell you, I've been telling you for months I'm going to appear in Playboy!"
"No, no," I say. I'm clutching the edge of the couch and sanity.
"Oh...oh.....hahahahah...remember I'm in the play Playboy of the Western World by Synge, not THAT Playboy, hahahahah."
Natalie is an acting major and a friend of hers suggested she do this. She figured, why not? Growing up around me she didn't learn much about hair, heels, and makeup beyond comb, loafers, and chap stick. And as an actress it must be great to really learn how to apply double sided tape where needed and how to walk that walk in heels that make you over six feet tall. But she must be one of the most relaxed contestants going in. She ate a huge Thanksgiving meal the day before--beat my father to a heaping plate of seconds (which has never happened in family history before)-- and happily clutching her full belly staggered to a sofa murmuring "sooo goood" and I wondered how many of the young woman shorted their T-day gorging to mere tidbits in order to maintain their svelte silhouettes? Not my girl.
Go Natalie go.