Look like a beauty queen…ish

- by Abby Gaines

Miss Universe has come and gone, but I’m still fixated on beauty queens and pageants. Not because I’ll ever wear a swimsuit without the sea being maximum 50 yards away, and not because I have one of those gorgeous wide smiles surrounded by pouty lips….

My interest is because I had fun digging below the skin-deep beauty to find out what made the beauty queen in my new book (Her So-Called Fiancé) tick. Being fictional, she ultimately had to tick whichever way I said (ah, the power!), but writing the story got me interested in real beauty queens. The more I learn, the braver I think they are. Who else is so brutally exposed to public opinion, with everyone thinking they have the right to express theirs out loud? Well, actually, I guess novelists are…. :)

But back to beauty queens… It’s easy to mock the pageant industry, but if I was that beautiful, might I want to win accolades for my beauty? (The answer might be the same as to the question “As a writer, might I one day want to win a RITA award, the National Book Award, any darn award at all?”) Correct answer: Heck, yeah!

Julie Linker, whose young adult novel Crowned is about a teenage beauty pageant contestant, says: At the end of the day we want to be pretty too….I mean, sure we all know beauty is only skin deep/it’s what’s on the inside that counts/you can’t judge a book by its cover, etc., but c’mon. Have you ever heard one of your girlfriends say “Gee, I wish I was hideously ugly?” I don’t think so.” Hmm, Julie has a point….

So assuming we’d all like to be that beautiful on the outside, while fully maintaining our inner beauty :), I asked Hollie Domiano, a volunteer in the Miss America program and author of Myths America: A Practical Guide to Pageantry (self-published through Lulu.com for the specialist pageant market), for a couple of insider tips on how to look your best. Check out these trade secrets:

1. Got the frizzies? Here’s how you can tame them. When you dry your hair, first use warm air to dry, then use cold air. The cold air will seal the hair’s cuticle. This works on the same principle as shaping metal. The metalworker will first heat the metal to shape it, then cool it to make sure the shape holds.

2. Want to control oily skin? Use a mask of Maalox or milk of magnesia on your face. Additionally, you’ll also want to take a teaspoon a day of it. This will balance the skin’s pH.

There you go, chemistry and physics – who said beauty pageants involve checking your brain at the door? If you’ve got a beauty tip to share, I’d love to hear it…some of us need all the help we can get…especially when we get up at 5am to write. Hmm, maybe the best tip of all is, don’t look in the mirror at 5am…

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