09 September 2009

"Miss Big and Beautiful"

It's taken me a while to get around to it, but I'm finally posting a few photos from my birthday last week. Brett made a strawberry shortcake (see below), and Jan and her friend Darryl, who was visiting from Scotland, made a chocolate fudge cake (see further below). They were both gorgeous and even more delicious!

After dessert, we celebrated with a night out at the "Miss Big and Beautiful" pageant that just happened to be held at The Regatta on the same day. Tickets were a little steep ($20/ea.!) but we decided to splurge. The show was interesting, to say the least. At least as much of the entertainment took place off the stage as it did on it. Brett and I arrived about 30 minutes after the starting time, which turned out to be about an hour and a half before the show began, so we spent the time people-watching and chatting with a few of the kids we know from Saturday swim lessons. We were happy to have snagged seats in the front row, despite being "late". At one point while we were waiting, we got a short spurt of rain and the water droplets that fell through the bright spotlights shining onto the stage looked almost white. A bunch of the boys jumped out from under the small roofed area and starting jumping around, yelling "It's snowing! It's snowing!".

At around 10pm, the emcee turned on the mic and introduced the pageant, at which point a group of women picked up their chairs and set them down directly in front of where Brett and I were seated, creating a new front row. We exchanged somewhat perplexed glances, and then just scooted our chairs a few inches to one side or the other so that we could still see the stage.

The emcee explained that the "Miss Big and Beautiful" pageant has become an important part of TCI tradition because it serves as a reminder that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. The event is in no way a mock pageant or an excuse to ridicule its bodacious (as one of the women described herself) contestants, but rather a celebration of the many and various curves of the female figure, as well as of each contestant's inner beauty.

There were only three contestants from different islands within the TCI, and from the very beginning the crowd had picked a clear favorite. We sat through the casual wear segment, the swimwear, evening wear, and talent show segments, and also stayed to hear each of the women answer the questions that had been submitted by the judges, one of whom was our very own Ben (SFS lecturer). The questions pertained to hurricane preparedness, HIV/AIDS prevention, and also making use of a single wish, were it to be granted by a genie. Unfortunately, Brett and I were so tired by that point in the show that we couldn't make it until the end, and so we didn't hear the announcement of the winner. However, we learned the next day that, as expected, the title "Miss Big and Beautiful 2009" went to the initial crowd-favorite, a South Caicos local (pictured below).

"Miss Big and Beautiful 2009"

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