Thursday, April 22, 2010

HOW TO BE A BEAUTY QUEEN AND STILL MAINTAIN SOME HORROR CRED.

I've never been one to hide the fact that I'm a baton-twirling pageant queen, just to seem like some kind of horror bad-ass. Yes, I've been a queen (more than once), and I'm damn proud of it...but I'm also a completely fanatical horror geek, as you probably also know if you're reading this. Some may find this a little unusual, even contradictory, but I'm living proof that you can love blood and guts and still wear a crown with pride. No, I'm not your stereotypical "horror chick"--but i'm also not your stereotypical beauty queen either...Somehow I've found a balance and have gained the ability to get the best of both worlds.

I've recently been assigned a job for my local pageant system to be the official "Contestant Mentor". The pageant board decided that my years of pageant training and achievements in public speaking/interviewing have made me the ideal candidate to guide the new contestants vying for the coveted title and crown. All of this pageant talk has inspired me to let you all in on a part of my life that I don't necessarily talk about a lot on DotW. Here's how I have learned to combine beauty with BRAAAAAAAAAINS.

The first thing we are to always remember, is to be yourself. It sounds trivial, but there are so many girls that pretend to be something they're not. From day one, I've always been extremely open on the person I am. So I might not have any other girls to make Batman jokes or who will get my obscure horror references, but I'm not necessarily alone. I made it my goal to show my queen friends exactly why I am the way I am. They all follow my blog, they love seeing my zombie makeup, and they've even tagged along to horror movies with me. I'm not 6'0, I'm not skinny, I'm not blonde, and I'm much more comfortable in black and red than I am in pink and blue. I won a pageant based off of my merit and off of who I am, why should I change that just because there is a crown on my head? Of course there were other girls who saw me as "weird" and "crazy" for liking what I like, but more often than not, the girls accepted me with open arms because I wasn't shy about it. I never lied to them or hid the fact I'm a horror junkie, and I think that more than anything made them accept my "weird" way of life.

Pageantry has also helped me when it comes to my appearance. It's not about vanity or being full of myself, it's about having pride in what I look like. I'm not going to say "Oh, I'm sooo hot", but I will say that I always look at least presentable. When you're a queen, you don't have the option to walk out of the house in pajamas when you go to Wal-Mart, because EVERYONE knows who you are. Not to say that horror girls are slobs, but I have been to many MANY a convention where the women are wearing their horror tops that don't fit, hair that isn't brushed, makeup sloppily tossed on all over their faces, and honestly...just not put together. I love my "Vampires Don't Sparkle" t-shirt more than most of my wardrobe, but since I've gained a bit of weight...it doesn't fit. Therefore, I'm not going to wear it until it fits because if I DO wear it, I will look ridiculous. For some people, that's their deal and if they don't mind looking like a candidate for "What Not To Wear" that's fine, but I have found that the more "put together" one looks, the more approachable they are. I'd rather look out of place because I look nice than be out of place because I look like a slob.

Being able to speak publicly and intermingle with people I've never met before is also something I attribute to pageants. Thanks to the internet, most people have no problem talking to someone for hours on end through the safety of their computers...but once you put them in front of someone they freak out and don't know how to handle themselves. Doing pageants at an early age established an ability to talk to just about anybody. Anyone who has met me can tell you that I'm extremely outgoing, not afraid of conversation, and willing to talk to just about anyone who crosses my path. At conventions and film festivals, I tend to introduce myself to just about everyone and without pageants...I'd probably just keep quiet to myself and hope someone approaches me.

I've also found a way to intricate horror into my pageant activities. Other than dragging my queen counterparts to scary movies, I've used my love of horror for good. Last year, my town was potentially going to axe the idea of a haunted house because the townspeople felt it would promote satanism, fornication, vandalism, and countless other problems. Yet, I wrote letters to the newspaper and spoke at the village board meetings showcasing that I was living proof that loving horror doesn't make you a bad person, and I managed to change the minds of the city officials. People fear what they don't understand, but when a girl they know very well for being a positive role model and an outstanding citizen shows up with a tiara on their head talking about being a horror aficionado really puts things in perspective.

There are also very subtle ways to showcase a love of horror while maintaining a queen reputation. At the end of your reign, each girl must give a speech accompanied by music that you feel best represents your year as a queen. While songs like "I've Had The Time of My Life" or "Good Riddance" by Greenday have been done to death, I chose something very beautiful and very horror-centric. My farewell song was "Then We Are Together" from the Let the Right One In soundtrack. I cannot tell you how many people asked me "who wrote it?" and "which movement is it?" The look on their faces when I said it was part of the score for one of my favorite horror movies was PRICELESS.
I've also used Halloween as the basis for one of my favorite community service projects. Every Halloween, we get dressed up in costumes and go Trick Or Treating. Instead of picking up hoards of candy, we ask for canned goods and non-perishable food items to donate to our local food shelters. One year we raised over 10,000 pounds of food and delivered it to the homeless shelters on Halloween night...dressed like zombies. The people LOVED seeing us all scaried up and still doing something good for our community. You can still dress up like a zombie and do good for humanity.

10 comment(s):

Cinema Suicide said...

Gotta admit: You're a breath of fresh air, actually. In case you hadn't noticed, and I'm sure you have, horror girls all have a tendency to look alike. Take a stroll down Twitter-avatar lane in any given horror list and they ALL look like a cross between Vampira and Betty Page.

So, go you.

B-Sol said...

"I'd rather look out of place because I look nice than be out of place because I look like a slob."

Words to live by!

And the Vampires Don't Sparkle shirt no longer fits? Tragedy!

Casey said...

Let your pageant-freak-flag fly!

In my few years of covering horror conventions and such, you quickly learn that fishnets and black t-shirts are the default uniform for the con goer. The horror fan world needs variety and the simple ability to be able to keep ones self put together.

It reminds me of the time my wife and I were approached about being on an episode of Wife Swap. They were looking for a 'horror family'. Our only response was 'uh, we're awfully normal. It's not going to be all that exciting for you'.

M said...

Loved this. I'm also a huge horror fan (in my case a male) who certainly does not look the part. Your confidence is astounding.

Sarah from Scare Sarah said...

You look luurvely. Go you! We are what we are, damn it!

C.L. Hadden said...

This was great!

You really are a terrific role model - proving that while you can certainly get your freak on, you don't need to dress like Elvira or an Ozzy Osbourne concert reject 24/7 to do it.

Kudos;)

Tempest Nightingale LeTrope said...

Tempest has the same difficulties, Dahling. One would think that in this new century, people would realize that a woman can have beauty AND brains. And in some cases, she can also eat brains. But it is the same sad story as I saw at the turn of the last century, although at least now we have the right to vote!

The Mike said...

Awesome as always, BJ-C. More proof that you will someday, probably soon, rule the horror world.

Simon said...

You're my new hero. Congratulations.

gord said...

You rock!

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