because of my bibical namesake, i take beauty contests very seriously.
that's right: ms. crystle stewart of missouri city, texas -- a teensy little rinky-dink town right outside of houston -- beat out fifty other beauty queens to be crowned miss usa on friday in las vegas, nevada. how cool.
here's the kicker, for me: she was chosen as 3rd runner up for miss texas twice and then first runner up for miss texas twice before she won the title of miss texas. she's 26, so she's been at it every year for quite awhile. i think that's a huge deal, that she kept trying until she won. it shows a remarkable sense of focus and diligence and determination. in an interview i saw this morning, she went on about how every loss was a chance to learn what not to do and what to improve. i love that.
i know this sounds cheesy, but it takes a lot of work to look good. nevermind all the workouts, the beauty treatments and having to figure out what looks good on you and what doesn't. if you're a modern girl, that's your gig anyway. it's the dental work that kills you. that alone is enough to cave most people in, because it's crazy expensive and it usually takes a lot of time to fix whatever is wrong. shifting teeth around and pulling teeth and stuff like that. you have to take out loans and work a second job and all this. i know my teeth are going to look great next spring, but right now i'm going through hell and high water and there's nothing pretty about it.
and yes, i'm sure that they're capped to perfection but miss usa has perfect-looking teeth.
i think it's very important when women of color win these beauty competitions -- especially in light of the fact that once upon a time not too long ago, it was unthinkable to include us. it tells the world -- and us too, because frankly some of us really need to hear it -- that we are beautiful, too.
but okay, so here's the real kicker in all this: i really do believe that you can use whatever you've got to glorify God, even if all you've got is pretty. think about it: queen esther was basically a beauty queen. she saved an entire nation, and how did she pull that off? it happened because the king thought she was more beautiful than any of the others. and once he realized that killing all the jews meant killing her too, everyone's life was spared.
what on earth did she look like? she must have been a real hot tomato. the bible says that queen esther "was lovely in form and features."
God, as it turns out, can use anyone, with whatever they've got.