Prissy Girls

I was in a pageant…once. I’m not sure why I entered. Maybe because it was something I hadn’t tried before and I like to try most everything once. So I was a contestant in the Junior Miss Pageant of Butler County, Ohio, in December of 1978.

Oh, my gosh. I hated it. I had never seen so many prissy girls in all my life. I don’t like prissy girls.

“Fitness” was a scoring category. We were judged on “physical stamina, agility, and flexibility.” They made us dance to “The Nutcracker.” I could dance just fine. Just not prissy dance, which was what they wanted us to do.

“Self-Expression” was another scoring category. We were judged on “poise, demeanor, and carriage.” In other words, how prissy we were. We had to wear a long, white, sleeveless dress while parading across the stage in front of the judges. I don’t do sleeveless. Sleeveless shows way too many cables, bolts, and straps on my prosthetic left arm. My mom and I contacted the pageant organizers and asked if I could possibly wear a dress with three-quarter length sleeves. They were understanding and allowed me the option. The prissy girls were not happy. They said it wasn’t fair, that it made me stand out from the other girls to the judges. I really don’t like prissy girls.

The remaining three categories were less painful. I topped the “Scholastics” category with a 4.0 GPA. For the “Talent” category I sang a Donna Fargo song called “United States of America.” The judges seemed to enjoy the only non-prissy performance in the pageant. And I held my own in the private “Interview” category.

Needless to say, I didn’t place in the pageant. I’m sure my joy of participating and my wonderful attitude toward the event shined like the Christmas tree on the stage. But I learned a few things from the experience. First, never enter another pageant. Second, never shake your hips really big when you walk. It looks stupid. And third, when you have a daughter of your own, never let her grow up to be a prissy girl.


“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

I was Contestant #20.

I was Contestant #20.

Author’s Note: Here’s Donna Fargo singing “United States of America”-