October 1, 2009

Starting the Month off Right

As a lot of y'all know, I was on the board for the Miss New York Organization so, specifically, I could help with preparation for the new Miss New York. But per usual within the pageant world people start to point fingers and accuse state organizations of "fixing" the pageant so their "chosen girl" (these words in quotations are some of my favorites on the message boards) wins. It really is quite an odd concept and I'm fairly sure it happens in some states across the country but I have to say ... not here in New York.

The board issued a "Code of Conduct" to battle these accusations and prove to the local boards that this behavior is not tolerated within this state organization. The only problem is, as a board member I wouldn't be allowed to fraternize with any of the gals I competed with. Or, that competed this year. Breakdown: choose between being on the board or maintaining friendships with, in reality, any potential competitor (ie: a girl in the city/state between the ages of 17 - 24).

When I was confronted with the option to remain on the board or to retain these friendships the choice seemed very clear to me. I will of course maintain the untouchable relationships on this board and offer myself in any capacity that they would all want/need. But, I believe in the value of these friendships I have developed - and those that will continue to grow. Today I had lunch with Miss Vermont, Ashley Wheeler and her new fiance Michael. Later today I received this text without having mentioned this situation: "I have learned a lot about friendship in the last year and just want you to know that I value your friendship like we have been friends for life. I think you're an amazing woman and I love you. PS: this is not a mass text." The beginning part was for serious ... the end was a twiddle of an inside joke.

So here it goes:

Dear message boards,

Rip me all you want. I couldn't really say this when I was Miss New York because my mom would have hunted me down (but now she has her pom-poms out). You can continue to call me ugly, overweight, dumb, whatever you'd like ...

But, if you have any self-respect and respect for others please do not question my integrity and that of my best friends. I'll spell it out for you a little bit better ... Claire Buffie didn't manipulate me into a friendship. I've gotten pretty good at being able to tell who is doing that. And her mom doesn't send me a monthly check (though, JoJo, I wouldn't send it back ... jk jk). And no, I didn't help her get ready for Miss NY interview. She did that on her own. But what she does give me is a daily rejuvenation. She can sit and just talk with me. About anything. We can also just sit and not say anything and still feel comfortable. She loves me for who I am, quirks and all. She is selfless beyond recognition. Claire Buffie will be standing at the front of the church when I get married.

Beyond the veil of pageantry I find real life to be ever so becoming.

With Much Respect,

Leigh-Taylor Smith


Danette said...

Hey LT

Your integrity and credibility is top drawer. Anybody who questions it and knows you, would know you are a genuine, honest young lady who any mom would be proud to call her own.

You said it all in your blog and I stand behind you 100%. We miss you and wish you would come visit the West Coast!!

Your friend till the end!
Danette ;)

PS - call me sometime, would love to hear your voice!

Anonymous said...

Leigh Taylor the comments from others re how you looked at Miss NY can be summed up this way. All those people need to see their eye doctor.

David Letterman's Top 10 reasons why Leigh Taylor was the hottest Miss NY ever.

#10 Boy that girl sure knows how to wow the crowd with that smile.
#9 Knows how to pick out the hottest bikini ever seen at Miss NY
#8 Where did all the contestants go in their swimsuits are they afraid to be seen next to the hottest Miss NY ever.
#7 Hooters girls watch out Miss NY could beat all of you at your Swimsuit Pageant .
#6 Nobody pulls of wearing a Shiny White Satin Bikini better then Leigh Taylor.
#5 If NY wants to increase tourists at Times Square just put Leigh Taylor's Swimsuit routine from Miss NY on the Jumbo Tron and they will never go home.
#4 That short bob hair,silver hoop earrings and silver high heels was the pageant look.
#3 Seeing her in that Shiny White Satin Bikini could cause the bullet train to come a halt in a second.
#2 How cares if she's from Virginia
did you see her onstage in her Satin Bikini wow!

And the #1 reason why Leigh Taylor is the hottest Miss NY ever seen .
She was so hot at Miss NY she could have be crowned Miss King Kong Bikini Queen.

Christina Y. E. Pares said...

Yes, well said Miss Smith. Enjoy the real life my dear! :) - Miss NY '04

Anonymous said...

Leah, You are going to go far girl! Saw you at Miss America and cheered loudly for you! You were and are pure class! Enjoy your life and always remember your true friends will be there for you. Some of my dearest girlfriends I have met through pageantry, so keep living your best life with the best people life gives you. ~~ Sheila S.