This past Wednesday, Harvey Mudd College’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosted their annual Miss SWE Pageant in Galileo Auditorium.
The pageant involves a group of cross-dressing male contestants, and since this year’s pageant fell on Halloween, several of the contestants wore costumes.
The contestants’ “names” were Christina, Natalia, Matilda, Maria Klawe, (a play on HMC’s president), Erica and Zachalia. The pageant was comprised of three events, starting with a question-and-answer session, a talent portion and an opportunity for audience members to ask contestants questions.
One of the questions, “If you could be on the cover of any magazine, which one would it be and why?” illicited a variety of responses, ranging from Cosmopolitan to Playboy to U.S. News and World Report. Another question, “Would you rather be beautiful or intelligent?” was not a hard one for Matilda, who simply responded, “I’m living proof that you don’t have to choose.”
For the talent portion, Zachalia shared with the audience “the most important skill that anyone should know: how to trim your beard,” and he proceeded to trim his beard on stage.
A self-proclaimed fan of the Twilight series, Erica played the song “River Flows in You” by Yiruma, which was featured in the movie, on the electric guitar.
Matilda performed the song “I See the Light” from the Disney’s Tangled to great applause.
Natalia improvised by choosing a male audience member at random and reciting a love poem to him. Unfortunately for Natalia, her feelings were not reciprocated.
The final part of the show, the questions from the audience, drew great enthusiasm. For the first question, “If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you choose?” Zachalia, dressed as a bumblebee, wished for “everyone to wear bumblebee costumes, world peace and more world peace.”
When the contestants were asked by an audience member to give advice to those not as good-looking, Zachalia was quick to respond, “Since we all can’t be as beautiful as Matilda, we should all just stay home.”
The pageant ended with Maria as the runner-up and Matilda as the winner, concluding an entertaining Miss SWE Pageant.