Once upon a time, I dressed up as Samara/Sadako for Halloween (depending on which version you watched of The Ring/Ringu) and scared the living daylights out of my brother and his friends by staggering down the street after them.
This, however, is not a story about that type of ring girl.
Think boxing matches and girls parading around in bikinis waving around “Round 1/2/3” signs.
My med school friends (or really, anyone here in general) know a very different side of me and most of them were completely shocked that I would even do anything like this. But like I said to my chorale (because I conveniently neglected to remember that several of the members work at my school, despite the fact that my biggest concerns had been (a) falling on my face because I lack the ability to walk in heels and (b) getting written up for unprofessionalism), “I’m not sure if I should be sharing this, but times are tough, and my student loans are pretty terrible. So if you happen to plan on being at the fights on the fairgrounds next weekend, please cheer for me! I’m going to be a ring girl and could potentially win $1000!”
Their initial reactions were hilarious, but they were all extremely supportive. <3
I originally saw the flier at the place where I learn BJJ from Dan. (Not gonna lie, the “$1000” caught my eye.) I briefly considered competing as an actual fighter, but it’s only for boxing (which I’ve never learned, although Dan says he can teach me!) and the lightweight category goes all the way to 139 lbs, which hypothetically gives them a 20+ lb. advantage on me. D: If I can get paid the same amount to just look good and not chance a concussion (I kinda need my brain to stay intact), I think I’ll go with that.
The winner was chosen based on the crowd’s favorite, so you could theoretically be the best looking one and still lose if someone else had more friends there. It’s hard to compete with people who have lived in this town all their lives and know everyone here. I’ve been here for a little over a year (minus summers and breaks) and although I’m probably one of the students most active in the community, I still spend most of my time surrounded by the four walls of a basement cell in the catacombs. But let’s face it, $1000 would feed me for almost an entire year. (It could easily feed me for a year if I decided not to splurge on groceries.) It wouldn’t hurt to at least try!
Unfortunately, the night the voting would happen on fell on the same night as med school prom (which I was actually offered a free ticket to by the administration), so the likelihood of getting anyone I knew to come fell drastically. I also felt a little guilty asking people to come since it was $15 ($20 for better seats) a night and as I stated before, times are hard. I ended up just hustling my closest male friends/people that I thought would have been interested in going anyway (strategic planning, m’friends) and gave them license to be as obnoxious and loud as humanly possible (“but only for me, okay!?”).
I went through about a day or two’s worth of initial panic on Wednesday/Thursday because I found out there was a possibility of two of the anatomy faculty (r’member how I wanted that anatomy teaching position?) staffing the event. What better way is there to win the respect of my potential future employers than to parade around in a bikini while shaking my butt at the audience? D:
(eff my life, right? I should write a book.)
It turned out okay though, because neither of them ended up being there, and even if they had been, there was nothing I did that could have been held against me.
I placed third, but (as cliched as it might sound) it felt like first to me. I feel like I won in the best way possible. :]
I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I first entered, but truth be told, from what I’d kept hearing from one of my neighbors, I’d kinda been expecting a shitstorm of drunk, rowdy, disrespectful people in the audience. Everyone I interacted with was extremely respectful and super nice to me, and I got a lot of, “You’re absolutely beautiful. I’m gonna go now because I don’t want to creep you out, but I just wanted you to know that you’re the prettiest one.”
What really made it for me was the fact that I managed to garner so many fans and supporters there without having to pretend to be something I wasn’t/compromising who I was. I got them to like me just by being myself, and all the things they told me during and afterward were honestly really, really touching. I had 3-5 different friends there on each night, so the rest of my fans were solely from the crowd, and holy hell, they were loud. When I placed third, the boos were pretty insane. I felt pretty loved. <3
I had several people on each side of the ringstand who would do standing ovation cheers/claps for me every time I came out and people everywhere would ask me to take pictures with them. I felt kinda like a celebrity. When I blew a kiss to the crowd, I got a collective, “Aww…” from everyone, haha.
A bunch of the fighters were also on my side ( :D ) and my favorite one came over to specifically ask me if I would cheer for him. He said I was his favorite ring girl since he thought it was really cool of me to go around and talk/take pictures with the crowd. His friend asked if I’d go on a date with him if he won, which I agreed to (“Alright man, you really gotta win this now!”), since he seems like a really good person and hey, it was great motivation for him to fight harder, right? He told me he wanted to be the “hometown hero,” which I definitely think he’s already gotten down, because the stands were deafening whenever the announcer introduced him.
He completely beasted his opponent on the first night and the first guy he fought on the last night stood no chance whatsoever. I’m not sure why they let his opponent from the first night fight him again (they’re supposed to be single elimination bouts, but they for some reason allowed his opponent from day 1 to fight him again). In any case, he unfortunately didn’t beat the guy again. I think he did really well though, considering that this was his very first competitive fight! (Especially since the other dude had been training for 6 years and he’d been training for 6 months.)
I was the only one who went out barefoot (I asked if I could on the second night because I hate wearing heels) and I think the audience got a kick out of the fact that I’d walk out into the crowd in my Converses (aka my lifting shoes; they’re black/sparkly because I bought em’ from the kids’ section). My adopted mentor takes the cake for the most hilarious (and true) comment: “My friend texted to tell me she was at the [competition] and I told her to take a pic of the Asian ring girl so I could mess with you, haha. She also said, and I quote, ‘She probably would have won if she was barefoot. Someone needs to teach her how to walk in heels.'” (The floor was squishy. :[ )
I’d run out between fights (aka whenever it wasn’t anywhere close to when I had to go up) to visit my friends. On one of these such occasions, I was talking to Isaac and Sean and a guy came up to ask Isaac if “I was his girl.” This isn’t really out of the ordinary because we’d actually just spent the morning at Hospital Day being mistaken for a couple by half the places we talked to (lots of “I presume you’re a couple?”/”You two want to match together?” and the like). It’s probably because he uses a different voice when he talks to me, haha. Isaac nodded because he was worried that the guy would try something on me, but later started worrying if this would hurt my chances because maybe they’d be happier to root for me if I were single. (“I’m sorry, Farrah!!”) haha. :P
- “I just wanted to let you know that you’re the classiest one of all of them. By far.”
- “Out of all of them, you’re the only one with poise.”
- “You’re my favorite. You definitely have my vote.”
- “Do you mind if I get a picture with you? You’re so sweet!”
- “Can I take a picture of you? My son saw you yesterday and fell in love, but didn’t manage to find you for a picture.”
- “Finally! A ring girl with a brain!”
- “You’re such a sweetheart.”
- “Even all my female friends think you should win. You got this!”
- “I love your freckles!”
- “The crowd absolutely loves you. Did you hear us cheering for you? We’re trying our best!!”
- “You definitely have my vote. Even my girlfriend agrees with me. You have the most class.”
- “The audience must be blind. How could they not have picked you?”
- “You should’ve won. You were clearly the best one.”
- “You’re a beast! You definitely have my vote!!!”
- “So besides ring girl, you throw down 10 pull-ups too. Awesome girl.”
The last two comments were because I randomly decided to enter the pull-up contest for fun on the first night during the intermission. Our initial conversation went something like this:
F: Can I do this too?
: Of course! Women can do the flexed arm hang.
F: Do we have to do the arm hang, or could I do actual pull-ups?
: Do you think you can do pull-ups?
F: I think so!
In my rather dehydrated and somewhat-hungry state (I was snacking on protein bars and turkey jerky throughout, but still), I managed to do 10. Eight is apparently the max needed for the Marines, so they want to recruit me now, haha. Said pull-ups also earned me my cutest fan of all: the 2(?)-year-old son of one of the marines there. He saw me while I was doing pull-ups in my bikini and told his mom that he thought I was beautiful and wanted to get a picture with me.
On the second night, he came by for another picture, then back again to ask if he could have one of me hugging him, and was overjoyed when I picked him up and carried him back to his parents (I was worried that they didn’t know where he’d gone).
: I’m really sorry. I think he’s fallen in love with you.
F: It’s completely fine! He’s adorable! :D
: Are you in love with Farrah? Is that why you keep going over to talk to her?
:: (covers his face and hides)
: I think he’s shy now because I called him out on it. He was saying earlier that he wanted to take a picture with the pretty ring girl, so I asked which one and he said, “The one with the flower in her hair!”
He was apparently extremely upset when I didn’t win first place and I found him standing at my seat after we found out the results. He was really agitated and talking super quickly, so I couldn’t tell what he was trying to say (his mom had to translate for him and said that he was really upset that I didn’t win first and wanted to tell me that he thought I should’ve gotten the grand prize). That really made my night. <3
I’m also really happy because of all of the ring girls, I was in the best shape, and that was what I was really going for. :D! The announcer did a full-on bio on me about how I was a powerlifter and that I’d declined to doing the flexed arm hang in favor of 10 full-extension Marine-style pull-ups. Kinda made me feel like a badass. I wanna go for way more next time. After some of the other ring girls heard what the announcer said, they went to go try, but none of them managed to do any. If I’m known as the classiest/prettiest, most badass ring girl, I’m fine with not taking first. My job is done here. :O
All in all, I had a ton of fun and I’m so grateful to my friends and everyone out there for their support. I also obtained $200, a free photoshoot (I was really flattered when the photographer said that my posing was perfect :O ), a free massage, $50 to one of the local jewelry stores, a free bikini, a shirt from my favorite fighter and another shirt + a really spiffy duffel bag from the Marines, so I consider this a victory on all levels. :D I credit Twirly Girls and Na Keiki ‘O Hawai’i for teaching me how to dance. <3
For the record, I did not manage to make it through both nights without falling; there were a lot of close calls that I managed to save myself from, but I did end up falling once (I really wasn’t lying when I said I was incapable of walking in heels), but not while I was on stage. I bloodied up my knee pretty wonderfully though, so that was all kinds of fun. My fans were rather concerned when they saw me partially limping back on stage with a bandage on my knee, haha. :O
T: I’m proud of you for bringing class and elegance to WV.
More official pictures to come later? I had a ton of pictures taken of me but none of my own, so I hope I can find em’ somewhere later. :[