I Was a Teenage Beauty Pageant Loser February 15, 2021 – Posted in: Readings & Excerpts – Tags: natasha ramoutar
Natasha Ramoutar, author of Bittersweet, recently wrote for The Walrus about her experience participating in a beauty pageant as a teenager. Here’s a short excerpt of the piece.
The straps on the silver high heels dug into my feet, the prelude to the welts that would come later. Under the bright lights, my skin threatened to sweat off layers of concealer and foundation. My legs were shaking and my fingertips ached from a set of acrylic nails. By the time I arrived on the stage in my evening gown, after a half-hearted opening dance number and a fumbled interview, I already knew I had lost the beauty pageant.
In 2010, I had just started my junior year of high school when I decided to enter the Ontario qualifier of the Miss Teen Canada pageant. With my short, scrawny build; thick-rimmed glasses; and jet-black hair that I flat-ironed daily, I didn’t think of myself as particularly beautiful or popular. Instead, I prided myself on my good grades. While I dabbled in group sports like swim team and softball, I was more likely to be found buried in a book or volunteering on student council. But I was ready for my makeover, and I decided that a pageant was the perfect thing to get me there.