The Final Transformation It sounds corny, but by the end of my day with Holly, most of my preconceived notions of backstabbing, ditzy, world-peace-spouting, "Miss Congeniality" pageant queens couldn't be further from the truth. These women wake up at 4 a.m., volunteer in their communities and study politics and current events because they have one quality in immense proportions: Drive. "People always think the girls must be catty after spending long hours together in a competitive environment, but it's not like that at all," says Allen. "Everyone is really just there to better themselves." But while that's all well and good, I stand by my doubts.
While I don't personally have the patience (or the $10,000-$30,000 extra dollars to spend on entry fees, wardrobe and coaching) for this particular kind of self-betterment, I can see what draws women to this particular industry. It is glamorous. And while I do have a better appreciation for what these women go through to win the crown, it still seems like the time and energy would be better put to use actually working toward a cause or advocating for a social platform -- because you don't need a diamond crown (or a pound of makeup) to create change.
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