This is the beginning of the Miss Asia in America series on how it feels to be a beauty contestant.
Our first topic of conversation: pageant shoes.
Generally speaking, shoes are a such a core part of a pageant contestant's outfit, yet so under acknowledged. I think is time to bring light to what a shoe can do for a girl and feel that highlighting the clear shoe phenomenon is most appropriate because the clear shoe is so truly a pageant specific accoutrement.
While it is quite obvious that clear shoes are a beauty pageant staple because of their neutral appearance, most people are aware that the clear shoe also has other connotations. When put in that context, its presence in pageantry is very curious indeed. In fact, its place as a pageant staple may be the clear shoe's only true mainstream presence.
While on the topic of shoes, we also need to acknowledge the height requirement. For Miss Asia, our ladies must wear 4" heels. This height enforces posture and demands that they develop a certain level of confidence. Learning to glide across a stage in 4 inch heels is no easy task. One could say that by enforcing a 4" heel rule, we are deliberately pushing our girls to "rise to the occasion."
I asked my New York contestants what their thoughts were on the clear pageant shoe and the 4" height requirement and this is what they responded:
Jennifer Lee, contestant #9
"I prefer shorter heels because, aside from being more comfortable, I am satisfied with my slightly "taller-than-average-height for an Asian girl." In general, (I feel) society admires "tall" girls, which likely a reason why there is a 4" height requirement for pageant shoes. Overall, four inch heels or not, tall or not, I personally believe that any height is beautiful."
Joanna Fu, contestant #5
"I've never paid attention to the shoes of beauty pageant contestants and so I didn't realize that clear shoes were frequently used in pageants. In fact, I generally associate clear shoes with Jennifer Lopez (of all people!) because I remember a few years back she wore a pair of XTC clear heels both in public and in some photo shoots/videos, so they were featured in quite a few magazines. And of course, I've also seen them in various fetish shops when shopping for Halloween costumes. In fact, that's what I imagine I'd re-wear my clear heels-- a Halloween costume in the not-too-distant future!"
Angel Pai, contestant #1
"Four-inch heels, in today's world, actually isn't that high. Haha- I'm very comfortable in four inches (heels). If there is a small platform, I'd say go for five!"
Come see all of the Miss Asia New York 2009 contestants at the Miss Asia Talent Showcase this Saturday, August 15th, 2009 at 7 Train Theater in Flushing, NY. For more information visit us here: http://www.sundayusa.us/index.php.
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