I opened the letter from the Miss South Carolina Organization.It read, “Join us for the 75th Anniversary of the Miss South Carolina Pageant where we will honor you for your reign……” All of this translated in my mind to….”Jane, you have to lose 15 pounds, try to erase 20 years, buy a new gown, Spanx, false eyelashes, a spray-on tan, make sure your roots are covered, get a facial, pedicure, manicure and take half a valium in case you don’t get this all together.
What would I do if the weight will not come off my body? I had heard about this all- in-one body suit that takes at least 15 pounds off. So on my speaking engagement to Minnesota, I went to the Mall of America to find the wonder garment.The first one of these spandex marvels I located could fit in the palm of my hand.I thought even Barbie would struggle with this thing. I pulled that gismo as high as my knee and knew then to peal it off. The search continued and I finally settled on a Nordstrom body suit.Pulling the undergarment up was like stuffing an opened can of Crest Rolls back into the canister.
I have a love-hate relationship with false eyelashes.Years ago, I decided to try wearing them in the Beaufort Water Festival Pageant at an outdoor theatre.On the command of, “Ladies, please turn to the right….”I felt my left eyelash depart as in gone with the wind.Alas, I discovered my lash in Miss Myrtle Beach’s hair.
After seven skin cancers and counting, the only option for a tan is the spray-on kind. I rushed to the tan place and even paid for a dose of longer lasting color. The procedure only takes a few moments but the instructions say, do not get wet for four hours.The spray-on girl suggested staying dry for at least a day.
I was the emcee for Tuesday night and wouldn’t you know that a thunderstorm popped up as I was leaving the Township Auditorium.I did a u-turn in the parking lot running to my car when I remembered what the fake tan girl said. All I could think of was the song I sang in another pageant called, “Come in From the Rain…”
Well, the entire week was as spectacular as ever. The best part was hearing what other formers did to get ready for the 75th.We all laughed and hugged.By the time we walked the runway at the pageant on Saturday night, we were all 23 years old, naturally tanned, thin and beautiful.
What made the difference? The people made us feel beautiful.The Miss South Carolina Board and Pageant Committee went the extra mile honoring us with a luncheon, Gala, and our wardrobe items on display at the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Our new Miss South Carolina, Bree Boyce and Outstanding Teen winner, Caitlen Patton are lovely representatives for our state.And when the time comes and they take that long walk down memory lane, we will all cheer them on and remind them that true beauty comes from being the best they can be….not in eyelashes, spray-on tans and Spanx.But all those things sure help……