Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bad Boys and Beauty Queens

The really funny thing about the Fancy Bra Flyer is that I was still excited to find it in the mailbox one morning. I obviously have no pride? I don’t know if any of the kids in my school ever saw it, no-one ever said anything, so apart from this blog of course, I guess I got away with it.

And the money? I earned a whopping $40 for my twenty minutes of smiling in an ugly bra. Maybe the true worth of the paycheck is more understandable when you know that at the time I was also working as a check-out girl at our local supermarket, where I earned R3 (30 US cents) per hour. Hey, three hours of work and I could afford one Fancy Bra! With my Pep pay I could buy fifty. 

That first taste of fortune and fame was not repeated anytime soon though. Before I knew it, I was in my final year of high school and thoughts of modeling were far from my mind as I had a new boyfriend.

A Bad Boyfriend.

A jealous, possessive, manipulative, criminally insecure boy who'd estranged me from my friends and kept us couped up at home when we should've been out and about having the time of our young lives. Apart from the fact that we weren’t allowed to go out and socialize, this bad boyfriend also prescribed what I wore.

This will become increasingly absurd when I tell you that I clearly wasn’t an overconfident, alluring seventeen-year-old running around in revealing outfits. If anything, I was a bit of a mousy do-gooder heavily under the influence of grunge. So when I say he prescribed my wardrobe, it means he criticized the provocative fit of my faded baggy jeans and moaned that my oversized Nirvana t-shirts were too revealing. Seriously!

To further illustrate my truly unfeminine, unflattering personal style at the time, this anecdote. In SA we wear uniforms to school. On the odd Spring- or Sportsday we are allowed to wear our own clothes. While most girls would use this opportunity to dress up in pretty, flirty little sundresses, I would uhm, not.

One particular Spring day, each senior class had to choose a representative for the school beauty pageant. On this occasion, I wore beige knee-length baggy shorts with an oversized black t-shirt, several old-silver necklaces and my 8hole black Doc Maartens. They were my prized possession and the only shoes I wore, ever. Obviously my class was a bunch of subversive indie kids as they voted me and my Docs into the pageant!

Not your average beauty pageant attire:

Not your average beauty pageant attire

I went to the interview round, feeling mighty uncomfortable amongst the pretty, sweet girls in their sundresses, but what could I do? Besides, I was immensely flattered by my class’ vote of confidence. Despite the courage to do the modeling course and strut my stuff in the Fancy Bra, I didn’t actually feel like a pretty girl. I just figured I’m tall and skinny and that’s enough.

Unbelievably I made it to the finals of the Miss High School Pageant and I WISH I had pictures. I wore a floor length, chocolate brown crushed velvet sheath with long fluted sleeves, my Vixen lips and straightened hair parted severely down the middle. I must’ve looked like a vampire next to the pretty ones in their pastel ball gowns!

14 comments:

Being Brazen said...

I have SO been in one of those relationships. Very hard to get out of too - so glad you eventually did :)

I used to LOVE doc martins. I had a few pairs :)

Stephanie @ Gossip. Style. Wed. said...

Doc Martins were seriously the coolest. I had a pair of flat, leather ankle boots with a floral pattern. I wish I was making that up.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Ugh, I wore Doc Martens too! The thought of them now makes me cringe!!

Jess said...

I had a pair of red Doc Marten boots and I absolutely loved them!

Not good about the terrible boyfriend. I imagine he wasn't happy about the high school pageant...

TinyToes said...

i would prefer a sexy vampire over a floral rokkie girl anyday!

Ruby Slippers said...

How do you NOT have pictures of that pageant? Someone must have taken one! Go hunt down your old friends.

I hear so many stories about those abusive, controlling boyfriends, and I feel really thankful that I escaped that. Of course, that could be because I only ever HAD two boyfriends before Mr RS, so I was always the nerdy girl on the sidelines wishing she had any kind of boyfriend.

I lived in my docs back then too. I had eight-ups for my birthday in 1994, and then I got 14-ups which I wore to my matric dance with my semi-goth/medieval black and blue dress. I'm so happy I did that. Never regretted doing something a bit offbeat. My gran used to ask me how I could wear "those heavy boots" with pretty flowing sundresses. Hey, it was cool. I still think it's a good look.

Cate Subrosa said...

I wish you had pictures too, but I can totally see it in my mind's eye.

Ugh, the boyfriend... yuck.

Marie said...

I love the beauty pageant images you create, I can just see it now... Brilliant!

beauty gal said...

Adams family vs Stepford Wives? My vote goes to crungy docs and your vixen lips.

Hannah Noel said...

Geez!! what a terrible boyfriend!

agirl said...

Ah the hideous controlling boyfriend at precisely the age when one should have been making the most of youth and beauty. Been there, done that my dear. For a supposedly smart girl, I made a dumb-ass decision when I chose my first boyfriend. Thank goodness we both finally saw the light!

LPC said...

I have my Doc Martens on my shoe rack. Still waiting for the promised comeback.

Barefoot Billionaire said...

My higher-heeled ox blood Docs were the only shoes I wore from '98 to 2003... Still in my cupboard and I still feel seriously Don't-Fuck-with-Me when I wear them (very occasionally).

About your choice of outfit: nothing as sexy as a beautiful girl trying to tone down her beauty a bit.

Julia said...

aaahahaha! that's cool, wish there were a picture. So glad you got into the pageant; that's how things should be - go your classmates!