Community Magazine

Beauty Queens Or Bust

By Rubytuesday
I watched a documentary last called Beauty Queens or bust
It followed 4 girls from Wolverhampton as they competed in the Miss Black Country pageant
In the hope of going on to represent England in Miss World
Wolverhampton has an extremely high unemployment rate
With one in four females out of work
The girls competing were hoping to make a better lives for themselves
I guess it's the classic fairytale
To make out
And to make it big
First we met Diamond
Diamond was an extremely pretty 18 year old
Unemployed, she lived in a hostel and was hoping being a beauty queen was her chance to live the life she had always dreamed of
Beauty queens or bust
We saw her with her friends
She drank and was loud
But there was something really likeable about her
Something so vulnerable yet so strong
I hoped that she would do well
Then we met Natalie
Natalie was 22 and from Dudley
She had just set up her own 'mobile' hair dressing service
Although technically she wasn't mobile as she had no license
She had failed her test 4 times
Natalie confessed to loving the glamour of pageants
She said she wanted 'a red head from Dudley' to win
She was also very charming
Beauty queens or bust
Next we met Ruby
She was 19 and lived at home with her parents
And had worked at a beauty counter in a department store since she was 17
Ruby had always wanted to be a beauty queen
But unlike the other girls she had the financial backing of her family
She also had the most experience of all the girls
Lastly we met Sammy Jo
Also from Dudley Sammy was 19
She had been unemployed for 6 months and lived in a hostel
She survived on £
56 per week
The first round of the competition was a 4 minute interview round
On the panel were the reigning Miss England and Mr England
Diamond was incredibly nervous
She was asked why she wanted to be Miss Black Country
She said that she wanted to be an example to others in her area
Then she was asked what she was most proud of
She replied that when her 16 year old friend was murdered her and her friend raised money for his funeral
The judges seemed suitably impressed
Sammy Jo also gave a good interview
As did the other girls
And they all got through to the final
Diamond was told she was an inspiration
She got further good news when the council gave her her own one bedroomed flat
In the weeks running up to the final the girls prepared for the pageant
Natalie was paying off her £225 dress in instalments
Diamond borrowed a prom dress from a friend
Ruby had her dress custom made
Sammy Jo couldn't get the £50 entry fee together
She was kicked out of her hostel after an argument with her landlord
And didn't make it to the pageant final
The day of the final arrived
And 23 girls gathered for the pageant in which they competed in rounds such as ball gowns and sports wear
We told that the judges were looking for a natural girl
And they were judged on outfit choice, poise and confidence
The girls waited anxiously as the judges deliberated
Ruby came second
None of the other girls placed
Diamond looked crestfallen
And cried her little heart out
Natalie was pragmatic and vowed to bounce back
At the end of the documentary we were given an update on the girls
Sammy Jo had given up on pageants altogether
Ruby was still following her dreams to become a beauty queen
Natalie finally passed her driving test and was now a fully functioning mobile hairdresser
Ruby had come runner up in Miss Birmingham
I thought the documentary was really good
I love documentaries like this
Where we're given a window in to somebodies world
The girls all had so much personality
And I really wanted them all to do well
They didn't come from the best background
They didn't have money
A lot of them came from troubled upbringings
But they weren't willing to let that stand in the way of their dreams
They wanted the fairytale ending
The wanted the crown and the sash
The big hair and the poofy dress
They worked hard
Apart from Ruby they all desperately struggled for money
But they were all strong and plucky girls
With that much heart I have no doubt that they will reach their dreams
Personally I have never had any interest in entering a beauty pageant
I find then contrived and too focused on appearance
Did you see Beauty queens or bust?
What did you think of it?

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