You know when -- hypothetically -- you suddenly find a really long hair somewhere abnormal on your body and you’re both amazed and disgusted? You marvel at how it managed to grow for several decades, unnoticed and unchecked? And you start to blame that hair for every failure in your life so far? Every disappointment? Every rejection? Every phone unanswered and every SASE that slithered under your door? Because someone somewhere with a bit of power must have caught a glimpse of that hideous hideous Super Hair? Hypothetically?
Well, that’s exactly how it felt last night when I noticed the finest of fine print on the Disney/ABC application.
I had just finished writing and editing and re-writing and re-editing my Miss America “statement of interest” for their program when I noticed this little blurb next to a weird little box:
Statement of Interest should include why you are interested in the Program and how your voice would add to the diverse landscape in television.
"Diverse." It sounds sweet and well-meaning, and I suppose it sort of is when it applies to you. But I know what the real definition of that word is. Disney doesn't come right out and say it, of course, and they use legalese to protect themselves...
Disney | ABC Television Group is an equal opportunity employer and it is our policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, handicap or disability, ancestry, national origin, marital status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or political affiliation, or on any other unlawful basis in our employment programs.
... but the meaning of the "d" word, at least in my life right now, is this: "White girl can't write."
So, in my irritated state, I re-wrote my Statement of Interest. And it got ugly. Instead of the svelte, sleek size 2 it once was, it took on the shape of a fat, bloated lament documenting the trials and tribulations of a poor little white girl. It was dumb and fumbly and, if my heritage was not enough of a barricade to this program, my bad attitude most certainly will be. Here's a taste:
... See, although I am a white, middle-class woman with fabulous hair and dreamy eyes—the kind of person who shouldn’t have any problems sleeping her way, er, I mean working her way to the top via the traditional studio system—I’m still going to go for it.