Queen for a Day

In Texas, beauty contests offer girls a time-honored occasion to hone the skills of elaborate preening, discover the intricacies of tactical warfare, and practice the fine art of intense mother-daughter bonding. But at the 2003 Miss Texas Teen USA pageant, contestant number 53 hoped for something simpler: a blueprint for self-discovery.

ASHLEY SWANSON WAS NOT THE kind of girl you would expect to find in a beauty pageant. At sixteen, she stood six feet two inches tall, and she walked with the awkward gait that very tall girls do, when their bodies

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...