A friend recently brought to my attention the “Miss West End” competition currently running in Glasgow as part of the West End Festival. Competitions aren’t really my thing to be honest: when teams are being picked for pub quizes I’m thrown straight back to Primary School sports day with the same resigned look in the team captain’s eye as they draw the short straw of having someone with absolutely no knowledge of Sport, Pop Music or Television.
But hey, lets take a look at competition, maybe its my chance to shine.
1. Entrants must be aged between 17 and 28 on 22nd of June 2012. Photographic ID may be required.
Oh! That’s me out by the 8th word. Hmmm…aint that age discrimination? I can understand that some competitions may want to set a minimum age for entry but a maximum? And why 28 – Having puzzled over this for a good hour I can only assume its a mistype and they mean 82 and want to protect our older citizens from the competition excitement.
2. There is no minimum height for entrants.
What a bizarre non-rule. I mean, being of the vertically challenged variety, its good and all, but why is it there?
3. All entrants grant permission to the organisers and sponsors to use their pictures in all activity pertaining to Miss West End 2012 and future Miss West End or Miss Glasgow events.
Woah! All activity?! For how long? For what purposes?
4. All entries must be received no later than the 27th of May 2012. All confirmed entrants will be invited to attend an interview.
5. 12 entrants will be selected by at the interviews to go forward to the Final. Finalists will be notified by the 29th of May 2012.
Hell, I’ve missed the entry date. Oh noes. Sigh. I will now never become Miss West End 2012. Reading between the lines I should also have gone to an interview on the 28th. But there is no details about what this interview is. Interview for what exactly? What are you going to be interviewed about? Weird.
6. The winner also confirms that she will not give any written or verbal endorsements commercially during her term as Miss West End without the expressed permission of the organisers
She? When did this become “she”? I mean I recognise that they are using the term “Miss”, which is the term of address usually given to an unmarried woman, but why have they not stated that this is only open to women – are we just supposed to work it out from the title. Why cant a man be “Miss West End”, presumably as they haven’t stated marital or educational status then someone with form of address other than “Miss” can win. Or maybe they cant, maybe you have to be be a “Miss”. What if you are an unmarried woman who uses the “Ms” form of address or even “Mx”? I’m confused.
And while we are on this rule, why should the winner confirm anything. This is a competition, presumably. When I send off my prize crossword, I don’t expect them to come back with a list of terms and conditions about my verbal and written endorsements. Weirder.
7. Miss West End 2012 must attend next years final to hand over the title to the new winner.
Must attend? Must they really? This is starting to sound less like a competition and more like a contractual piece of employment – with terms and conditions.
8. Contestants agree to abide by all rules and regulations of the Miss West End competition.
No arguments with that one. Seems fair that when you enter a competition you agree to bide by its rules. But the rules are just weird. Weird, weird, weird, weird weird. I mean usually competition rules have some indication in them about how you win, but there seems to be absolutely nothing in the rules about that.
9. All finalists must be available for a photo shoot, rehearsal and training prior to the final.
Again – here’s this “must be” thingamebob. Must be available? Presumably it means I must attend…and again this is sounding more like employment. Photoshoot, rehearsal and training? OK, I can understand that they may want photos of the entrants to identify them in the competition, but rehearsal and training – rehearsal of what? training for what? Most competitions don’t give you training before the final do they? Maybe there’s a health and safety issue or something, but presumably if there was any risk that required training they would notify you of that beforehand. Again – weird.
10. The decision of the Miss West End organisers is final at all times and the organisers retain the right to amend dates as outlined above.
Decisions are final, but no indication on what decisions are going to be based on, but woohoo – the dates above can be amended- maybes I can still get my application in and they will amend the dates, and I can still be Miss West End 2012. I’m still not any wiser about how I actually win tho. If the rules don’t tell you how you win, perhaps the format will make it all clearer.
The Final will feature 4 rounds, the first round will be a fitness challenge and will take place in the run up to the night of the 22nd. Each contestant will take part in various fitness challenges set by the Personal Trainers based at David Lloyd.
OK, some details at last. Round 1 is a fitness challenge, no details about the “fitness challenge” but presumably being more “fit” as defined by the personal trainers based at David Lloyds will give you brownie points. Strange that the round with most details – even tho they are still sorely scanty – is the one that doesn’t actually take place on the night.
The remaining 3 rounds will take place on the 22nd and will be sportswear, swimwear and eveningwear.
Bizarre. I mean what are the judging criteria – is this a dressmaking competition? These three rounds all relate to clothes. So basically to be “Miss West End” I need to get the sewing machine out?
Oh! I need to wear them! Silly, silly, silly me.
Of course, how could I not consider wearing clothes of different varieties an obvious form of skill. I guess its a bit like riding a bike, you dont really consider it a skill and with 40 years of wearing clothes under my belt (and sometimes over my belt, depending on the fashion of the time) you don’t really rate it. But on reflection I have to confess that I am actually pretty crap at wearing clothes despite my years of experience. Far too often I end up with outside in cardis, untucked in labels and have lost count of the embarrassingly high number of times that a work colleague has pointed out that I haven’t done up my skirt zip. Yup its defo a skill.
Ok – so “Sportswear”. For what sport? I mean I would wear different stuff for going hiking than I would for table tennis, which would bear no resemblance whatsoever to what I would wear to go motor racing. If you’re ability to be “Miss West End” is premised on your ability to wear clothes then more complex clothes would seem to be an additional challenge. Bit of a quandry here- should I go for the more complex sportswear of say cross-country skiing, or for the easier option of darts? Presumably there is some trade-off between the level of complexity of the sportswear and their competence in wearing it – no? Hell, you’ve got to be in it to win it – Cross Country Skiwear it is.
And then there is “Swimwear”. Given that swimming is a sport, and they have already had a sportswear round, this would seem to have a strong sports bias, with three of the four rounds with a sports theme (bizarrely tho, there is nothing in the rules to indicate this – you would imagine that they would at least mention it). Swimwear can be tricky tho, full of pitfalls. Halternecks: total nightmare. Bikini clasps: take tonnes of fiddling. Those funny tie tops: big risk of coming undone at inopportune moments. Even worse bottoms with side-ties – now that is serious levels of clothes wearing competence. But I think I have a secret weapon here. Scuba Gear. I mean how much more complex can you get than Scuba Gear, being able to wear this little baby has got to shoot me to the top of the clothes wearing league table.
And finally “Eveningwear”. My eveningwear generally consists of jeans and a top, occasionally jammies when I’m feeling lazy, not that much of a challenge there. Occasionally tho, I do wear a posh frock if I’m going out somewhere, and these can be a bit more tricky. Starting from the under to the over, firstly there is the underwear. Most posh frocks require a bra and look a bit stupid without one, but at the same time, they are usually designed in such a manner with missing bits of cloth hither and thither that you cant actually wear a bra underneath them without looking daft. Balancing looking not looking daft without a bra with not looking daft wearing a bra is a serious challenge. Moving on up to the frock itself: back zips, a back zip must give you extra points. Back zips are hell, good indication of suppleness here. If you can do up a back zip all on your own you need the flexibility of a Soviet gymnast. Also most posh frocks tend to be cold. Short sleeves, low necklines/backlines and high hemlines abound, so a cardi is essential, and I’ve already detailed my previous issues with cardi rightway roundness, so the addition of a right way round cardi must give you a boost.
OK – I think I’ve got it sussed. I *can* be Miss West End 2012, I just need to talk the organisers into ammending the dates for entries, suss out how to put on Skis and Scuba gear and remember to put my cardi on the right way round and I can win…err, win…oh. What am I winning? Presumably something so fantabulous that I am prepared to turn up on a number of occasions for various activities, sign away the rights to my image and voluntarily give up any endorsement that I may want to make.
Oooooohhhh! I’m so excited!!!!!