On Beauty Queens & Guide Dogs

You’ve probably read about Nicole Kelly, recently crowned Miss Iowa, who happens to have a limb difference.  Pretty amazing! Even more interesting, or more random, is that she isn’t the first Miss Iowa to have a limb difference!  Granted in every other way possible she conforms to our cultural beauty norms, but I still have to give credit for the judges and organization for their choice.

Maybe this is just because I spent a year or two watching way too many episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras (aka, near child abuse in the name of a crown and trophy), but I have to admit I’m a little judgmental about pageants.  Miss America is a bit better (they did, after all, crown a deaf winner once), and I kind of love Miss Iowa’s platform – both supporting disability awareness, and supporting VSA (an arts organization for people with disabilities).

Her talent was Defying Gravity from Wicked, which I think encompasses perfectly what she is doing in raising awareness of people with differences and disabilities.

I wish her the best of luck and hope she wins the whole darn thing!

Miss Iowa 2013, Nicole Kelly

And on a completely different note, have you seen the video of O’Neil, the Guide Dogs for the Blind dog in training, narrowly missing an out-of-control car?

I joke that my dog would be the worlds worst guide or hearing dog… the whole alertness thing is not is forte.  But I think (hope!) he has enough self-preservation that he would help me out here (although it’s not part of his job description, he would like you to remember)!

Since O’Neil is in his final stages of training, one very lucky recipient will get partnered with an already-famous dog!

A Guide Dogs for the Blind yellow lab named O’Neil wears a harness at the center’s campus in San Rafael, Calif. on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)


  1. My mom has a limb difference almost the same as Nicole’s, but the opposite arm. She’s been wearing a prosthetic arm since she was a little girl, and I think it kind of shocked her to see someone winning a beauty pageant without one. [Insert commentary on beauty and disability here.] 😉


    1. It’s fascinating! I have a slight lower-limb difference & lots of people with my syndrome have more serious ones like hers, so I was particularly interested in this story.


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