So That You May Plan Accordingly

If you’re anything like me, this video will make your heart soar. And also sing.


It’s hard to explain, but there’s something special about some jazz hands choreography performed by men wearing tuxes and women wearing sah-weet Hanes Silky Reflections hose in Off Black. And when you top it off with an appearance by Kathie Lee Gifford as well as her green taffeta sash – well, it just screams “AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE” to me.

Oh, I adore this country and its fancy production numbers.

So, in the spirit of celebrating the parade of states, big hair, sparkly evening gowns and SWEET MERCY, THE TALENT COMPETITION, I’d love it if you’d swing by here next Saturday night, January 14th, for a Miss America Viewing Party. Since the pageant is being televised on ABC this year, it should be pretty easy for most of us (the ones who are interested, at least) to tune in.

And if you’re at all curious about how this little viewing party will work, you can take a look at what happened this past summer at our Miss Mississippi Viewing Party (also known as MY FAVORITE BLOG-RELATED MEMORY OF ALL TIME). Hopefully it’ll be big fun for all involved – whether you’re writing comments or just reading them.

I can’t wait! I may even have to set up a pre-pageant tailgate party in my living room.

Or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to make lots of dips.

Nonetheless, I’ll be here with bells on. Or a crown on. Or some clogging shoes on. WHATEVER IT TAKES.

Who’s in?

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. I have so many things to say about this: 1) I about died when they had to move the camera down for the short girls. 2) I thought it said “1980 Miss America” on the title of the video, and I was like, “Wow, they’re really fashion forward!” 3) The hair makes those women look 60. 4) If they still had opening numbers like this, finding a network wouldn’t be a problem. 5) If I knew you, and it wouldn’t be creepy, watching the show with you in person would make my life.

  2. Oh, Lawsy…the hair! And White Rain is a sponsor. My heart is indeed singing.

  3. I’m in! I may not be here right when it starts, but I will be here asap! I’m so excited! (And I maybe can’t hide it) :)

  4. How in the world do you find those things?
    Somehow I don’t remember the big hair in 1988. I must have memory lapse.
    I loved reading your witty comments last year. I didn’t participate, but kept checking in.

  5. I just straight up can’t handle that video.

  6. Oh my!

    51 talented and PROGRESSIVE young women. Exactly.

    And don’t 46 of those 51 women have the exact same hair style?
    Brought to you by White Rain AND a Toni Home Permanent.

    And do not even doubt the number of eyebrows raised by the progressive Miss America Dancers. Those short skirts, long legs and that hip action clearly paved the way for Beyonce.

    We are the Heart of America!!!

  7. SO there!


    I guess I was in denial that hair was that big in the 80s. And, Lord, the shellac (from White Rain, of course) needed to keep it in place.

    I felt sorry for the really, really short girl in the line.

  9. we will most likely see a taped delay version, so a live blog participation won’t work for us in AK—at least I don’t think so. we have to stay off of the internet so we won’t have spoilers spoil the anticipation of the win. have fun though! I have great memories of watching this with my 2 sisters and my female cousin, all gathered around the console TV and with pads of paper to keep score of our favorites. good times.

  10. I’m sure it will disappoint because what can compete with 1988 hair and fashion. However, I am IN!

  11. Also? What is up with the armpit checks as they are making their entrance? Are we making sure they shaved? Believe it or not, I managed to get past the giant hair long enough to notice this.

  12. I so need to watch Miss America with you!!!

  13. Oh, my … those short girls barely made it into frame, didn’t they? Thank heaven for big hair!

  14. CANNOT WAIT!! :)

  15. My only regret is that we have to wait a whole week to watch. Also, I think we need to salute these girls’ commitment to the achievement of big hair. There’s a reason White Rain was a sponsor.

  16. gurl you know ill do my darndest to watch with ya!!:)

  17. Lawl. I’m so in.

  18. oh wow girlfriend, you’ve made my day! would love to join in, thanks for the fun invite!!!


  19. Oh, White Rain, how I loved thee… Back in the 80’s, during my obsessive-compulsive middle school hair spraying days, my mom continuously threatened (with every pump of the White Rain Extra Hold goodness that I lavished upon my head) that my hair would indeed fall out and I would for certain get a lung disease from inhaling the mist. Well, being the good first born daughter that I am, I secretly worried for years and held my breath between pumps. I’m 32 now, and I think all my worrying and breath-holding paid off. I am happy to report I’ve got myself a full head of hair and a set of nice, shiny pink lungs. Looking back, I think my poor mom was just trying to save herself hours of scrubbing my beloved White Rain off the counters, faucets, walls and floor. She must have been so happy when my sister grew out her bangs and my brother opted for hair gel.

    Aside from my extreme glee over the display of 1988 White Rain magic via YouTube, I was so happy to see this post for another, more personal reason! Let’s back up a bit… around March-ish 2011, when I was on maternity leave and gathering new blogs to read during the many, many hours I logged on my couch to nurse my son, I was so pleased to stumble upon your blog! Since March-ish, I’ve been a faithful reader and you have done my heart much good during those hard days as a Momma… and now a working Momma. (PS- Your Christmas post about the bird and the wreath and the bird not on the wreath and instead on the window due to a flower wire phobia?? :) Yeah, we must be related!). I love reading your posts and I laugh and I tune in each day to see what new fun you might have for me. And today, girlfriend, WOO HOO! Such fun!

    Much to even MY utter shock and surprise, I won Miss Michigan in 2004 and competed at Miss America in Atlantic City that same year. Prior to 2004, If you would have told me that one day I’d wear high heels while dancing in a swimsuit on National Television, I probably would have thought you were, well, insane. But then again, I got to use a lot of hairspray, so maybe I should have seen the writing on the wall. (Side note: Miss Arkansas taught me how to tease my hair… I had no idea what I was missing out on being raised in the North.)

    God truly used my experiences as Miss Michigan to share my passions, life and faith with so many of His people, and it was an honor and a privilege to serve that year of my life for Him. I am SO PUMPED about your post today and I am SO PUMPED for big hair, cute smiles, awesome dresses and TALENT this January 14th.

    We don’t have a TV (Miss America is the ONE day a year I’m actually sad we don’t have a TV… okay, so maybe we’re NOT related! LOL!) but I’m hoping to tune in from a friend’s house while eating lots of amazing food. I am SO IN!!!

    Oh, and the hubby and I watched every single one of these last night. You will enjoy them thoroughly, and I find the viewing is a nice way to gear up for the big night! :) Like pre-pageant calisthenics, perhaps:

    Um, hello, Miss Hawaii’s talent is JUMP ROPING… how incredibly awesome is that? And how brave is SHE to jump rope while exposing her MIDRIFF on National TV/Internets? I don’t even jump in the dark these days. I am so hoping I get to see her talent on the 14th. And Miss Oregon? Girlfriend, you get 8,000 points for your super sweet video.

    Happy Viewing!

  20. Why does this make me so happy?? I really, really look forward to the talent portion. Plus if they cry after they win and then walk and wave and cry, well that is just a home run. Better yet, if the crown slips off while they are crying and walking and waving and they catch the crown with one hand and THEN put it back on while still walking and waving and crying… well that pretty much makes my pageant experience complete.

  21. Up to this point, I have been unable to join in such life altering events due to having an ancient desk top PC, which is not in a room with a tv. (Side note: There was a time, while living in a different house, when I ran the computer monitor & keyboard through the pass through from my kitchen into my living room to set up my own red neck laptop so that I could critique American Idol contestants with my best friend via IM.) I believe this event may be the exact reason I finally caved and bought my 14yo a laptop for Christmas! Now, if I can just get control of the remote from my hubby, I’m in!!

  22. I’ll be there as soon as I can get the men-folk distracted away from the computer and the TV!

    I may have to break out my White Rain and rat-tail comb and do a do for this fine occasion. And my goodness, what was that thing on the former Miss America’s shoulder? I may have to sport one of those for this special night as well. Oh, 80’s, how I miss you!

  23. This sounds like fun. I’ll have to see if I can make it.

  24. I’m ON it! I’ll bring the dip! LOVE Miss America!

  25. SO excited! I’ll be here with batons-o-fire ready to go!

  26. My Momma and I would stay on the phone through the entire show doing our own top-notch (in our minds) commentary. But since she now watches it with Jesus, I will do my best to figure out how to watch it with you all.
    P.S. I sure miss the old Kathie Lee……..

  27. I am so in, Sophie!

    And,y’all, in that video Sophie posted, Miss South Carolina is none other than Nancy Humphries, now known as Nancy O’Dell of Entertainment Tonight! She is on camera starting about the 2:38 mark, in blue, just after the really short gal in green. And, honestly, I am a little disturbed that I know such trivia.

  28. Ok, the white rain thing killed me.

    ………I remember white rain, and I am too young to have gotten in on the Big Hair Years, being only 10 when the 90s rolled around. But I remember it, and I remember the jealousy my young heart had for my older sister’s white rain. Until the day we recovered a partially used bottle from the recesses of a bathroom cupboard when I was an older teen. I got over it pretty quick. What I am not over though? Those dresses. While watching that video I was so in love with the dancers… and then the contestants entered, and I thought their sweetheart cut dresses were so… elegant. And then the camera backed up and showed the skirts. Oh the yards and yards of fluffy puffy skirts! Why did I totally miss the 80s?……… (just kidding. but during the 80s, if I’d have seen this video then, I would have sworn up and down that I was going to be one of those ladies some day.)

    I can’t join you for your fun, but believe me, it does sound like fun!

  29. Shut the door BooMama, I’m in!

  30. Brenda in Georgia says:

    All in! The first deaf Miss America, Heather Whitestone (1995), spoke at our small town’s Christian school recently and let some of the little girls try on her crown. She was Miss Alabama, but now lives in Georgia. Her talent competition was my absolute favorite of all time! She did a pointe routine to “Via Dolorosa,” Sandy Patti’s version of “The Way of the Cross.” Just beautiful! I was so thrilled when she won that year!

  31. Boomama-you NEVER fail to make me smile. Thanks for always being a joy seeker, a night of pageantry might be just what I need to pull me out of the depression bound to come at the end of college football season!

  32. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I am SO excited! I had so much fun at the Miss Mississippi viewing that I am surely IN!

  33. Oh wow. Wow. So, watching this (made my husband watch it for a second too), we realized we know someone in real life (only known her the last 6ish years) who was once Ms. Alabama. So we did a little search on the internets and lo and behold, would you believe that youtube produced the 1989 Miss America Pageant intro as well, and we saw her in all black and white polka dotted glory – I’ve never seen so many women look like they just stepped out of the set of 101 Dalmations. SO. Thanks for the fun google search trip that led us to that gold mine.

  34. Today’s girls just do not understand how big a deal the Miss America Pageant was in the late 50s,60sand somewhat into the 8os. I guess being a Mississippi girl with multiple winners helped make it a must watch! Anyway, I miss the old days when people watched and cared. I’m in!!!

  35. Brethren & sistren, I am coming out of the woodwork to say this:
    I had Miss America 1988 recorded on a VCR tape (along with years 1984-89). Miss Arkansas was from my hometown. If any of you had been watching that little gem of a video with me, I could have pointed out the top 10 from the parade of progressive young women–and told you their talent. Oh, yes ma’am. Winner this year was Kalani Rae Rafko. She’s a hula dancer. She beat out a ventriloquist, a Les Mis number, a Dreamgirls song and a ballet number or 2.
    Really, I just frightened myself a little bit with that! Ack!

    • I was scrolling and scrolling down to see if anyone else would know this. My birthday was always the week of the pageant, and my mom and I made chocolate milkshakes and watched. So I had no trouble picking Kalani out of the lineup. I remember it so well. Glad I’m not the only one!!!!! Although at forty I’m glad to remember anything!!!!!!

  36. This just makes me so happy. And of course it’s sponsored by White Rain. OF COURSE.

    Incidentally, I used so much of that in the late 80’s that there was a near-shellacked portion of carpet under my vanity when I left for college.

  37. I am SO it! I actually put the Miss America pageant on my calendar and have never ever missed it. Since we all grew up and move away, I haven’t gotten to watch with my sisters. My husband just rolls his eyes, so I watch it by myself now. This will be awesome!

  38. You had me at jazz hands.

    I was in 6th grade and at the 1987 Miss America Pageant. Miss GA was a friend of our’s and what an experience that was. I have been a fan ever since. Glad you are one too!

  39. 1988 was the year I had my first baby. That baby is all grown up and as luck would have it I’m spending next weekend with her in her grown up girl apartment in the nation’s capital. We will definitely be tuning in!

  40. Thank you for another video gem. 1. I haven’t seen so many jewel tones on one stage since I don’t know when. 2. The hair. The hair. The hair. 3. I LOVE how every once in a while there’d be a short girl. Bless their hearts. Those gals didn’t stand a chance. 4. I love how in the lineup several of the girls seemed to be marching in place prior to their turn. 5. The Miss America dancers. I miss the days when shows had their very own designated dancers.
    LOVED IT, as if you couldn’t tell.

  41. Well, you just TOTALLY MADE MY WEEKEND. So thank you for that.

    I will try my dear darling darndest to make the party. Also, this year’s Miss Kentucky is a Sister of the cardinal and straw variety. There’s my contribution to the trivia category.

    • This Northerner needs a translation of “Sister of the cardinal and straw variety”. ??

  42. Oh I am SO in.

  43. Meg Wood says:

    Omgosh…. Reading your blog has taken me back at least 25 years or so, when you used to write me those hilarious letters after Girls’ State! You are undoubtedly one of the funniest people I have ever known–and what an incredible writer! I laughed and laughed at that 1988 Miss America Introduction number! I’m gonna have to keep checking this out. Made. My. Day!!!!!

  44. Big hair makes you closer to God. Everyone knows that. ;)

  45. I used to LOVE the Miss America pageant. Now, I just love it (in lowercase letters), and don’t quite keep up with the history & trivia of it as I used to, but I’m still a huge fan. And like one commenter, today’s girls just do not get the significance of Miss America! I will never forget the year Heather Whitestone won. Oh, how we all pulled for our Alabama girl! And oh, how I loved the 80s! You better believe I wore some big hair (with the sides heavily sprayed to make it stand out from my face), and some taffeta dresses! Oh, I just love the memories! Should be a lot of fun!

  46. In. I’ll be here with my flaming batons.

  47. Delurking here, because, I mean, how can I not??? That was so so fabulous. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing joy to my otherwise sorry Saturday night:)

  48. That little viewing party was the highlight of my summer, I swear! I’ll be here, and I’ll be wearing the tiara I wore for my wedding! ;-)

  49. We will be helping our son move back into his college apartment for his last semseter, yes I said LAST SEMESTER! of college. I will hope to be home in time to join you for this epic event!

  50. Katherine says:

    the hair the hair the hair the hair THE HAIR!!!! There is probably still a hole in the ozone layer over that city from that night!! What a vintage find! I can’t say that I’ll be able to join you – I confess that I have not properly trained my 14 year old daughter in the ways of the Miss America pageants…It probably stems from the fact that had I possessed the nerve back then to be in a pageant, I would have been one of those pitful short girls! I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading the recap later!

  51. Oh yes Ma’am, I’m in! I’m gathering up my old tiaras and sashes, and will be watching with my four little princesses! Cannot WAIT!

  52. Ok, besides the OBVIOUS reasons behind liking that clip was the fact that back then the Miss America pageant was brought to you by PILLSBURY! And Clairol. That just cracked me up.

    And I do love some DW. Especially the true ‘Southern’ ladies!

  53. Lindsey Crawford says:

    Ok…first of all, WHITE RAIN! Ha!! And I broke a sweat watching this because with those strapless gowns, I just knew someone was going to have a wardrobe malfunction. Good times.