More than just pretty faces

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 13, 2003

I have to confess, for a southern ‘girly-girl’, I have never been big on beauty pageants.

I was the shy, retiring bespectacled bookworm for years and couldn’t imagine myself pivoting on cue in high heels while smiling, smiling, smiling for the judges.

I couldn’t even fathom the idea of sporting a bathing suit on stage in front of hundreds of people. Hey, I’d sing, I’d talk, I’d clown around with the best of them (like many shy people, I’m a ham

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on stage). Just let me be dressed while doing it, pretty please.

And yet, I find myself a tremendous fan of America’s Junior Miss program. You see, Junior Miss is not your typical beauty pageant. Its participants are far more than just another bunch of pretty faces. There’s no crown, no swimsuit and no award for Most Photogenic.

What it does offer these high school seniors is a chance to earn valuable college scholarship monies. Everyone I have spoken to who has participated in this program on any level, be it local, state or national, tells me the Junior Miss experience is &uot;unforgettable&uot;—one they wouldn’t trade in for the world.

Junior Miss demands a great deal from those who seek that coveted medallion. The young women have to be strong in academics; they need to be physically fit and flexible, poised and confident both on stage and in interview situations.

Real talent and the ability to ably articulate their thoughts and beliefs are important, too.

The road to Junior Miss is no walk in the park; it’s the real deal, baby (my apologies to a certain ubiquitous Montgomery car dealer).

That’s why I consider all nine of the young women participating in the county program this Saturday night to be winners, no matter how the event turns out. Best of luck to all involved and kudos to the Greenville Junior Woman’s Club for their continued strong support of this program.

Is it just me, or is there a definite taste of fall in the air? Summer will be officially over in just a couple of weeks, but we all know how it can linger on—and on—and on around here.

While we are likely to endure at least a few more very hot and humid days, it sure is nice to enjoy a taste of crisp, dry autumn air.

September also means local clubs and organizations start meeting again after their summer hiatus. We want to hear from YOU about special events, fund-raising plans and other exciting things going on with your group and/or your church.

I myself am looking forward to hearing all about the plans for the coming season of the Greenville Area Arts Council at their luncheon meeting tomorrow. Be on the lookout for a preview here in the pages of the Advocate. Have a great week!