Lays groundwork for young autistic women to dare to dream of baring almost all in front of millions of complete strangers.
photo credit: Robynlou8
LTHOUGH THE first autistic contestant to compete in a Miss America pageant did not take the crown last week, Miss Montana Alexis Wineman is still proud to have blazed the trail for other autistic young women who dream of walking down a runway in a bikini and high heels.
"I'm here to tell young girls, 'If I can wear five pounds of makeup and hairspray, put on a bikini and four-inch heels, and walk down a runway in front of millions of people so that I can be judged on my personality, so can you!'" said Ms. Wineman, still removing eye makeup from last week's pageant.
Miss Montana, whose hair insists on springing back into its competition coiffure even after repeated shampoos, ("That's pageant hair for you!"), said she was proud to be a role model "for autistic girls like me, who dream of more than just going to school, starting a career, and wearing normal clothes.
"Some autistic girls dream bigger dreams, ones about bikinis and high heels, but don't think they'll ever be good enough to take that first step on a runway in front of a judging panel that includes men old enough to be their father. Not to mention a studio audience and a few zillion T.V. viewers!" she said.
"But I want to tell all the autistic girls out there that if they weigh between 90 and 105 pounds, and their smile is as white as new Montana snow with teeth as straight as a new picket fence, and they can walk in four-inch heels and a bikini and that perfect smile I just mentioned, because you will be disqualified if it isn't perfectjust giving you a free pointer there!then there are special dreams just waiting for you!!" said Ms. Wineman, smiling brightly as another false eyelash fell gently to the floor.
The Montana beauty queen says she is already coaching young autistic girls on the skills they'll need to compete in national contests.
"I show them old footage of real pageants. Just the other day I told my girls, 'You see the way Miss Alabama is smiling even though she doesn't have an answer to Bob Barker's question?' You can do that, too!!"
© 1.16.13 Kate Heidel