We went into this pageant thinking it would be a good experience – a way to boost self confidence, practice public speaking, and show diversity on college applications. We never expected Brighid to win, especially when she came home from the first practice claiming to want to abolish imperialism as her platform.
She looked gorgeous, as Brighid always does. We put together three really nice outfits for her, and without hair and makeup people, managed to put together three different looks for her hair. She had a short list of interests and hobbies compared with the other girls, but their interests included “hanging out with my friends”, “hooking up with my boyfriend”, “working at the bowling alley”. Then there was the future plans speech – which again was much shorter for Brighid compared with the girls who “love Bellmawr, grew up in Bellmawr, will go out, save the planet, and return to Bellmawr”. But I thought she did great.
The end of the show came, and all of the girls were standing on stage with their gowns on for the announcement. I thought if we didn’t get at least 4th runner up (Brighid could have EASILY beaten at least 4 girls), we were not politically connected enough to get anything. 4th runner up – not Brighid. 3rd runner up – not Brighid. 2nd runner up – Contestant Number 9 – BRIGHID SKAMARAKAS!! Holy cow! Brighid looked at the girl standing next to her, waiting for her to go out and collect her trophy, then her mouth dropped open when the realization hit that SHE was number 9, and Brighid Skamarakas!! She walked out on stage, was handed a trophy the size of Eilis and a bouquet of flowers. She was so excited! Then she collected a $50 savings bond from Commerce Bank and a piece of luggage. She posed on stage for pictures that will probably be in the next issue of the Bellmawr Bulletin, and that will be cool to have to keep.
She appears on the Miss Bellmawr float in the 4th of July parade, and I think that is the end of her list of duties. The only negative was a woman who made some nasty comments on our way out, but that was just sour grapes because her kid didn’t win.
All in all, I don’t generally believe in beauty pageants, but I think Brighid did a great job and I was so proud of her. She plans to compete again next year, and hopes to take home the trophy the size of her dad!!