Time to address the elephant in the room and my love/hate relationship for the on-line pageantry community. Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, between my son drifting off and my husband arising to go to work I like to mindlessly engage in the Facebook scroll. Not looking for anything in particular but my curious mind wants to see if there is anything news worthy out there. By news I simply mean is there anything I could use for my day to day life to make it better or is it going to be just another day of the blind leading the blind as we continue on our unlit path. Then I stumbled upon this status, “Wait so a bunch of predatory online pinup pageants popped up and are popularity contests and you pay to enter? What pyramid scheme bs is this?” Maybe it was the clear ignorance of the above quoted statement (I did take this word for word), a lack of participation in their on-line presence or just plain troll like behaviour but sleep evaded me after that. The words I speak next are only my opinion and are based on my experience participating in on-line pageants.
Let’s get rid of the saying “pyramid scheme” nobody is making money off of these pageants and for the most part all money raised is going right back to the girls and in the cases where they are not it is very specific to where the funds would be going towards ie MS, Hannah’s Heart Foundation etc. There is no domino effect of money being trickled down to the contestants and if there were isn’t that just giving back to the girls? I am offended with this bold statement because by definition alone “A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.” The fee is always disclosed up front and it covers costs such as tiara’s, sashes and other prizes hat the co-ordinator sees fit. I suppose that generally speaking every other contest that happens in real life that collects a fee should be scrutinized in this way.
Now I think to be fair we should look at the usage of predatory. There is no exploitation down to these contestants that they aren’t already aware of. It gives us a platform to still be creative while working towards a common goal. It also helps expand our network to like minded individuals who also have a passion for fundraising and getting together that COVID has stripped away from us. I have been participating in these on-line pageants since the very first one popped up. There are so many styles of pageants that focus on so many different things that with all the options out there and the fact we have freedom to choose which ones I would have to again disagree with the idea of life destroying as I have had more positive experiences then negative. In fact I think the only time that I was put on blast for being too old and fat was when I one my first Queen title back in 2018 and that happened on a stage.
It is incredibly offensive to imply that these are nothing but a popular contest designed to celebrate only a few. I can promise you this is not the case. I am a small farm girl from Fruitvale, BC (Park Siding if you want to be exact). Instead of taking a back seat and letting the community I love disappear from my fingertips I dug my heels in and got ready for the ride of my life. I participated in pageants where i knew nobody. Engaging in the chats that go on behind the scenes with the girls trying to absorb all the tips, tricks and what nots to keep enhancing my personal journey. In the beginning nobody noticed me but I was determined to continuously improve no matter what. It was all about who I wanted to become and not so much what the contest outcome was. If you keep doing what you have always done how are you ever going to get better? Also let’s factor in that there are different levels of lock down all over the World so finding decent photos to submit lay squarely in my hands (me and my son are immuno compromised) so I was constantly submitting photos that I had taken. I challenged myself to learn how to take better photos and even how to use an editing program all while taking care of my chaotic household. As a 41 year old woman raising a 3 year old, caring for a house full time consisting of 9 cats, 3 dogs, 4 budgies (a baby budg), a skinny pig and a chinchilla I can 110% contest to you are who you put into your life.
When you throw boulder size stones in any direction just so you can have your say I will come to my communities defense every time. The World you think you know isn’t the World that actually is. I am a nobody sitting nowhere that can honestly say that these on-line pageants have given me a purpose and creative outlet when I have felt like I was losing my mind and my identity. The pictures I tried to capture to submit to these contests were never submitted or taken to win. All they were was a vision I had that I thought captured the mood of the contest and I just wanted to participate. IN a World with no presence I wanted to feel like even for a moment I fit in. I am offended by your whole post actually because you take away from the true beauty that resides within. You tried to steal another’s moment of extreme happiness and make it your own. Before you try to tarnish another’s women’s crown maybe you should try and understand their journey. I for one will never speak ill of my community as I know every woman deserves their time to shine. All I can say ladies is for shame you are reflecting an image that is very unflattering I hope you enjoyed your two seconds of fame.