Growing up I was always involved in sports. There was no internet at the time, and you can only play Space Invaders on Atari for so long. There was a park right down my street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, so my brother, cousins and I would always be down there playing basketball, wiffle ball or football. My mom was my tee-ball coach, and I was always involved with some sort of team.
As geeky as I was, I could always turn to sports. Junior High were probably some of the worst years of my life. I went to a public school and was in the honors program, and band, so that automatically put a target on my forehead to be bullied. But as much as I was threatened, I always had a game or tournament coming up that weekend, so that would get through the week.
Maybe it was because I had great coaches when I was young that used positive reinforcement, but the best times in my life were going on softball tournaments, and being part of a team. I was definitely a loner growing up, and in some ways I still am. But no matter how bad things got, I could always be known as a state champion, or an All-City basketball player. I had talent. That talent gave me self-confidence, and that self assurance gave me the work ethic to not only be a solid athlete, but a good student as well. By my mom putting me on teams and getting me involved in sports, it got me a college scholarship and a college degree.
I accidently saw the show Toddlers and Tiaras one day, which my good friend Michelle pointed out to me. I always thought of beauty pageants as really superficial. They breed these beauty queens from when they’re little babies. The parents of these children (usually the moms) shove fake teeth in their mouths and put more make-up on them a drag-queen hooker. From what I’ve seen on the show, which of course probably isn’t the best source to judge beauty pageants, a lot of these parents are pushing their kids to do this. They give their kids “pageant crack” aka pixi sticks and coca cola to keep them awake and a lot of the times tell them how much they sucked. You can tell a number of the contestants wanted nothing to do with the pageant. The episode I watched had this young girl doing backflips in her living room, telling the camera she wanted to be in the Olympics for gymnastics. Her psychotic mother pulled her out of gymnastics because her muscles were developing and she wouldn’t look good in her pageant dresses. The young girl made it clear that she didn’t like pageants.but
On the flip side, a lot of these little kids love dressing up, putting on their dresses and performing. There were a few cases where the toddlers were actually excited about competing.
So back to my question. In the long run, which would build the stronger female? I don’t mean physically, obviously. Which female will more likely to be an independent, positive contribution to society? Which female will be more likely to get through school without giving into peer pressure? Which female would be more likely to say no to something she doesn’t want, or not be afraid to have her voice heard? Which girl is more likely to have an eating disorder, or serious self-esteem issues?
Wrestling is a lot like a beauty pageant. I know that women in the business (and men for that matter) can agree that we are all very self-conscious. But for a woman in most cases, the more beautiful and fit you are, the further you’ll go in the business. I mean, that’s a generalization. There’s a lot more to it. But bottom line, if you’re above-average looks-wise, you’re not going to make it very far in the business. It’s funny, because my first couple years of wrestling I’ve never been so insecure in my LIFE…
I’d like to hear some opinions on this matter. I have a lot of friends with daughters, and my niece, Keeley, is the most beautiful baby on the planet. Would you put your daughter in sports, or would you rather have your child compete in a beauty pageant? I’m curious lemme know yo…