so, i was in this beauty contest...

Yeah, I know I've put it off, so here it is at last.

When I was in high school, my class (as in, class of 1996, not an individual class room) needed a fundraiser for our eventual prom. I was actually my class Vice President my freshman year. I didn't win any election, mind you. It was uncontested. I lost pretty much every election I participated in until college when, against all logic, I won a national office with a Jesuit student organization. So, I could muster up support to head my Junior class, but I was find for a national leadership role of an organization which nominally represented tens of thousands of students. But, I digress...

At my high school, there were a bunch of established fund raisers that kind of rotated among the classes. They weren't that impressive, and ours was especially lame and we quickly realized we needed to come up with something better. One of our advisers had seen another school which did a male beauty pagaent and it was a huge success. So, we set out to do our own.

The idea of a male beauty contest was because we basically wanted this to be a bit of a joke. We figured that a contest for the women of the school would end up getting overly competitive and not nearly as fun as it should be. Guys could be counted on to be just self-centered enough to do it, but too insecure in their sexuality to take it too seriously. We let all the clubs and sports teams sponsor a contestant and did a proper beauty contest, complete with dramatic entrances, swimwear and evening wear competitions and even a talent segment. We first did it my sophomore year. I wasn't in it, that year. It was almost all seniors, that year, although my freshman brother was in it. We were lucky to have the help of a senior who was a budding producer. He handled sound and set design and brought me in the help run the ancient stage lights. I'm shocked I didn't die manning those things. Over the next two years, he came back from college and made the whole production progressively more extravagent. By my senior year, there were three video screens with fully produced videos and music for each participant. and elaborate lighting design. He basically paid for it all as he made the contest into school work.

I was very interesting in getting into the contest as soon as possible and did it my junior and senior years. It was a lot of fun. The other side of our concerns about a female contest being too competitive was that the potential audience would respond very differently. We could rely on the women of the school to come out and happily cheer contestants of all shapes and sizes, and cheer with genuine enthusiasm. We knew darn well that many of the men in school would act like complete dicks if they were in the audience rather than on stage and turn it into a generally unpleasent experience that would be more of a lust fest than fun time for all. Sad but true on both ends, I'm afraid, but such is high school.

But, I did have a lot of fun. Its funny, because I had a lot of self-image troubles in high school, but always had a real streak of vanity. But, I strutted my stuff as a geeky, lanky but shortish (not really, but compared to expectations of maleness...) guy. As opposed to the geeky, fatish but shortish guy I am today, of course. And I loved wearing the tux. I've always enjoyed being well dressed. We actually got a tux rental place to donate really top of the line tuxes to us for the weekend which was really cool. We all had to wear them for school, too, to promote the contest and the tux shop. (nothing comes for free, of course). I even got to sing in front of an audience. About the only time I got to sing just by myself for an audience. I did a sappy love ballad my first year that got a great applause. My senior year, I went more goofy and retro by really hamming it up to "All of Me". I didn't win either year. I'm sure I wasn't even close, but that definetly wasn't the point.

So, that's my beauty contest story. I'm sure I got details wrong, but you get the idea.

Well, Bebop is on, so I must take my leave. I'm debating getting the series on DVD, but it costs so darn much. Oh, well.

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