Mar. 26, 2020

THROUGH ALL MY LIFE.. I'VE EXPERIENCED MORE THORNS--THAN ROSES.

From My Book: THE BEAUTY QUEEN. This excerpt is for those of you who haven't read my book. Some of you might believe my critics and think I'm just another Self-Centered, Crown-Chasing, Spotlight-Seeking, Prima-Donna....Bitch.

"From childhood.... I learned what it’s like to be bullied, resented, unloved, and controlled. Even growing up---hasn’t changed the negative attitudes I’ve experienced throughout my life. Yet, not one person can every accuse me of seeking revenge; of purposely hurting others in retaliation.

The “Beauty Queen Life” began my sophomore year at Lindenwood College for Women, in St. Charles, Missouri. It was early May, a few weeks before the end of school. That particular night, a hall monitor came to my room to say I had a phone call waiting.  It was my mother and…she was full of news.

Having read that I'd recently won the Young Artists Contest, the Jaycee President from my home town, called my mother to ask for my phone number. Fearing I would decline the Jaycees’ invitation to be in their first beauty pageant, my mother signed the entry forms, officially entering me in the pageant. When I tried to protest she interrupted, “Stop thinking about you all the time. You’ll be in this pageant if I have to drag you on stage!”

The idea of competing in a beauty pageant made me ill; I could predict my critics’ resentment and possible retaliation. Since my earliest school days I experienced bullying from several classmates, some teachers, and a few so-called friends. It seems that my accomplishments---winning a vocal competition, being voted prettiest/ most poised by high school classmates, and having my own weekly television show--- caused females of all ages to attack me with hostility and jealousy. My mother and her gossipy-phone friends enjoyed sharing the various names my enemies called me, like: stuck-up-bitch, queenie, and snob.

I still remember the afternoon I audition for the high school choir. After singing portions of different songs, I watched as the female choir director closed the piano and in a cold, dismissive manner said: “I am not letting you sing in my choir this year. You have a solo mentality and act like you're someone special. That has to change before I allow you in my choir.”

Within weeks of that stinging criticism, the Pollyanna Club (a high school social club for girls) voted on new members. I learned later that-- before the final vote-- a member named Patsy Pettus spoke-out against me to the membership, saying “Sally Miller is a stuck-up bitch who thinks she’s pretty.” Following those words, she blackballed me.

The vote was historic; no Pollyanna Club member had EVER blackballed a prospective member. That evening I received phone calls from club members and their parents, apologizing for the blackball vote. I appreciated the phone calls and show of support but all the apologies in the world couldn't change the final outcome.

The following year I received invitations to join both the choir and the Pollyanna Club. Yes, I politely accepted the invitations but......hurt feelings never forget."

Sally Miller