The next time we have the strong urge to feel short, fat and ugly, we need only do one thing.

Former beauty queen Kumari Fulbright was Miss Pima County 2005/Tucson Citizen file photo

Former beauty queen Kumari Fulbright was Miss Pima County 2005/Tucson Citizen file photo of the infamous mug shot

Check out a beauty pageant.

Miss Rodeo Arizona is coming up this month. Miss Asia Arizona is now accepting applications.

Others scheduled throughout the state include Miss Arizona Dream Girls USA Pageant, Darling Dolls of America Mini Nationals Pageant, and the compellingly entitled Angels of Light Beauty Pageant.

The only interesting things that ever come of beauty pageants is either when scandals erupt about a reigning queen or a former beauty contestant goes terribly wrong. We shake our heads at the tragedy.

Miss Pima County 2005 Kumari Fulbright ended up allegedly caught up in a scheme that involved kidnapping her ex-boyfriend – and a downward spiral of meth.

The horror, the horror.

To be fair, some of the contests, like Miss Rodeo Arizona, are not billed as beauty pageants at all. Rather than necessarily represent the fairest of them all, Miss Rodeo is looking for someone who “symbolizes the youth of Arizona who wish to further promote the sport of rodeo and our western heritage.”

Past Miss Arizona contest/Tucson Citizen file photo

Past Miss Arizona contest/file photo

But please note we’ve never seen an ugly Miss Rodeo.

Trying to standardize ugly – or beauty – and then brainwashing folks to believe those false standards is one big problem with the pageants.

Another is the severe entry requirements. We’ll use Miss Asia Arizona as an example since I was sent not one, but two, press releases this week touting the contest. Contestants, of course, must be Asian. At least one-quarter, to be exact. OK, we understand that requirement.

But the contestants must also be between the ages of 17 and 27, a female from birth, single and never married or pregnant.

This sends the message that not only are we ugly if our noses or buttocks are too big, but we won’t even get into the running if we happen to be an ancient 28 years old or older. We are also less attractive, it tells us, if we experienced the joy of childbirth or fell in love and decided to wed.

We’ll leave the “female from birth” requirement alone.

At least adults have a choice to willingly enter the pageants or not.

JonBenet Ramsey/file photo

JonBenet Ramsey/file photo

Beauty pageants for kids are even worse. There’s no quicker or crueler way to ruin a child’s self-esteem than to stick him or her on a stage full of other cherubic youngsters and then judge them.

If the child loses, she is crushed for life. If she wins, you’ve got yourself a little diva who will likely grow up thinking its OK to barge to the front of the supermarket line or cut off other motorists in traffic.

The only way to win is not to enter in the first place.

These pageants aren’t cheap, either. Miss Rodeo Arizona has to pay all her expenses as she spends her reigning year traveling the country and promoting rodeo. She even has to buy her own hats and boots.

Costs for entering the contests may include travel, gowns, bikinis, voice coaches, personal trainers, liposuction, lingerie, a nose job and all those books gals pile on their heads to make sure they walk with their back straight.

Think of all the animals that could be housed or people that could be fed if folks put money towards helping others instead of those nose jobs.

Each person is beautiful in her or his own way, even if the person doesn’t fit the standardized body measurements or preferred nose size.

Well, except for those who go down the road of kidnapping schemes and meth.



Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and Ryngmaster who never entered a beauty contest but once tied for first place in a suicidal poetry contest. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at and E-mail

wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Have you ever entered a beauty contest? Did you win?

What’s the most ridiculous pageant you’ve seen?

Are beauty pageants a worthwhile past time or a pestilence on our society? Please explain.