Monday, April 11, 2016

Maybelline and the Miss USA Beauty Pageant come full circle

Margaret Gorman
With the inception of the inaugural American Beauty Pageant in 1921, when a 16 year old girl named Margaret Gorman was crowned Miss America, the words "Beauty and 'Pageant" have been intrinsically connected.  At that time and for years to follow, Pageantry was based around the opinions of a handful of businessmen deciding who was the fairest maiden of all.  Eventually, a woman took the helm as Director and the Pageant came to involve talent and scholarship aspects, redesigning the essence of what Beauty is to the American woman.
Mabel Williams
Just a few years before the first Miss America Pageant, a 19 year old entrepreneur named Tom Lyle Williams, sister Mabel, created a mixture of Vaseline and coal dust and applied it to her eyebrows and lashes to make them fuller and darker. Tom Lyle was inspired by her reflection in the mirror and soon the Maybelline Cosmetic company was born.

In the 1950's Maybelline Sponsored The Miss America Pageant on Television. The Pageant Industry, over the decades, has opened up into many systems and, while The Miss America System is still alive and well, other systems have become at the forefront, including the "Miss United States Pageant," for which this Pageant is the official preliminary contest.

In 1972 a lovely young woman named Lynda Carter was crowned Miss USA and later became a Television Star
 in the lead role of the "Wonder Woman Series."

  She also became the face of Maybelline and the merging of Cosmetics and Pageants came full circle

Vanessa Williams Miss America 1984
As the Cosmetic World changed, so did the Pageant World. Cosmetic Companies began to feature high end products and famous fashion models and actresses in their ad campaigns;  Pageant Titleholders found roles in not only the Beauty and Entertainment Industry, such as Vanessa Williams and

Halle Berry 1986
 Halle Berry, but as respected News Anchors and Reporters, such as
 Deborah Norville and

 Diane represented Kentucky in America's 1963 Junior Miss scholarship pageant and won.
Diane Sawyer,

Miss America 1971

 alongside Sports Reporter and Kentucky First Lady, Phyllis George, to name a few. 

 The Marrying of Intelligent, Educated Women to the Beauty Industry is evident today with many successful Women at the helm, such as Alexandra Smith, President of Global Skin Care for Proctor and Gamble. Mary Dillon, the CEO of the wildly successful Cosmetic Superstore, Ulta Beauty and Karen Grant, the global Industry Analyst who watches Beauty and Cosmetic trends worldwide and advises companies on what will keep thrir consumers satisfied.

Being an astute, socially conscious and career oriented woman who loves the aesthetics of beauty is no longer mutually exclusive in today's world and nowhere is that more evident than in the Pageant Industry.  Contestants now mush posses and display inner beauty as well as outer beauty.  There is an expectation that she will give back to her Community, participate in Philanthropic endeavors, be well versed on current events and pursue and achieve her personal goals, while being a role model to her peers.  Gone are the days of young Ladies lining up on the Atlantic Boardwalk while local businessmen huddle and select who they find most beautiful.

The Miss United States Organization lives by the motto, "Beauty with a Purpose," and celebrates Beauty in all its forms.  Anyone, with the right Makeup, hair, wardrobe and lighting can be outwardly Beautiful. The inner Beauty from which kindness, warmth, compassion, empathy and a willingness to give of oneself is at the essence of the person themselves.  There is nothing more Beautiful than someone possessing these traits and the Miss United States Organization Celebrators their manifestation.

 Our Special Award Inspiration, Sharrie Williams, is an original descent of the Maybelline Family.  That young man spoken of earlier, Tom Lyle Williams, founder of the Maybelline Company, is her great uncle.  Sharrie has written a book, "The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It," which chronicles the launch and growth of the company while capturing the family dynamic and bring it to life.  Sharrie has partnered with our Pageant by Sponsoring the Essence of Beauty Award, given to one Special Contestant here tonight as the Young Lady who most exemplifies the spirit of both inner and outer Beauty.  Our Award Winner will receive a personally autographed copy of Sharrie's bestselling book, as well as a $100 gift card to Ulta Beauty, which features Maybelline products.  The winner of the Sharrie Williams Essence of Beauty is.....

Miss Orange County, Ashleigh Pates, Sharrie Williams, Terri Bunch

Miss Teen 2016 Makayla Parks with Miss Teen 2015 Genesis Codina

1950's Miss America Contest telecast Nationwide sponsored by  Maybelline

1955, swimwear competition.

1958, Miss America contestants prepare for the evening gown competition.

San Francisco's Lee Meriwether was crowned, Miss America in 1955, when Bert Parks made his debut. "There She Is, Miss America" (the pageant theme song) was first introduced by singer Johnny Desmond on a Philco Playhouse production, which starred Lee Meriwether

I THOUGHT I WAS THE MARY AND SHE WAS THE RHODA... I was disqualified from the Miss Culver City Beauty Contest for trying out for a TV show called Room 222 in 1964.

In June of 1964 I turned 17 and it proved to be the best of times and worst of times for me.

This gives you an idea of what I'm talking about. Gizmag.

I entered Patricia Stevens Modeling School, where I learned to stand up tall with a big smile, looking sexy, at car shows and conventions. When that got old fast, I decided being an actress was more my style and found a private drama coach from MGM, where my grandfather, Andy Mac Donald had worked for 50 years... as boss over seven departments.  When a new series was in development at the studio,

 A talent scout saw me in a play called SEVENTEEN, and asked if I'd like to audition for a new TV Show,
called Room 222.

Thinking I needed a quick tan, I stupidly baked in the sun from 9 to 5 and suffered a serious burn on my face, under my arms and in the tender part of my inner-thighs.

Barely able to wear anything on my skin, I was forced to go to the audition in extreme pain, with a beet red face.  Not very attractive I can assure you.... and worst of all, I couldn't remember my lines and failed the audition.... 

Here I am with my dad, Bill Williams, wearing the dress, Dec. 1965, 
 I died my hair black and I looked like I was 35.

My dad knew the director at M.G.M. and asked him how I did.  Not wanting to be unkind...I'm sure... he told my dad that I looked to mature to play a high school kid, even though I was a high school kid..... He said, because I was under age, I'd have to have special tutors and the producer didn't want to pay for it. They were looking for girls who were over 18 and looked younger.
I must admit I did look pretty mature, with my eyes overdone with  Maybelline, and wearing a sexy black sheath with a low cut neckline, that Nana and my mom picked out for me. I may have looked 35 on the outside, but inside I was immature, insecure and unprofessional... and sadly, I didn't get the part. But the good news was the show was shelved for 5 years, so I guess the producers had a hard time funding it or finding the right talent. However, it finally aired in 1969 and became a very popular show.

I THOUGHT I WAS THE MARY AND SANDY WAS THE RHODA.....turns out I was wrong, she was the cutest.
The announcement in the paper about the Miss Culver City Contest, I'm in the middle, # 5, the only blonde.. My friend Sandy Block #6, won when I was disqualified.

Sharrie # 3, Sandy # 4 from left.

Sandy # 3 on top, Sharrie # 4, who is the cutest.....

Well the judges thought Sandy was the cutest and she won.
My big fat ego was deflated after being disqualified during the finals at the Miss Culver City Beauty contest.....for being a professional actress..... Because I was auditioning at MGM...It was humiliating, but, I learned that the more beautiful you are and the more privilege you come from, the harder it is to get a break.

It hurt me to be cut out of Room 222 and the Beauty Contest, but it taught me why my great uncle Tom Lyle Williams, founder of the Maybelline Company, wanted us kids to remain hidden from the world for our own protection and just be normal kids, with normal lives.

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