Five-Foot Nothin'

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Natassia Marchbanks

Natassia Marchbanks is a 19-year-old student at San Antonio College. Her interests are band, dance, and cardio-thorasic surgery. She’s short, buff, and socks-off charming. She’s also an unsuccessful pageant addict.

So, how have you done in the pageants?

Well, to be quite honest ...

Please, please ... “To be quite deceitful ...”

Oh yes, let me lie to you. No, well my high point was my sophomore year when I broke the top 10 in the Miss San Antonio Teen USA pageant and that was awesome, that’s enough for me. And I’ve just competed subsequently. It’s kind of a love for it. You know, maybe the possibility that one day I might win.

So, even though you’ve never taken the big crown, what is it about it?

Even though I was really shy I always secretly wanted to be in the spotlight. So, once I got there, I got over my shyness ... It’s really an excuse for girls to dress up other than prom. That’s generally our time to shine, but I get to dress up twice a year if I so choose. Well, once a year now that I’m in college.

Whether a pageant has a swimwear round, does that make a significant difference in the level of competition?

The Miss America circuit has the whole traditional thing going on. They were the first and they’re very particular with their moral standards. They’re a little bit stricter, and they want to convey more of a conservative image. The USA circuit is also associated with Miss Universe and Donald Trump, and Trump is always surrounded by beautiful women. They’re international supermodels. I guess what I could say is that Miss America is looking for the girl next door.

Do you think the whole Barbie idea still holds these days?

I guess there’s that image there, especially with the `Miss` USA circuit. They’ve got gorgeous girls, `and the winner will be someone` who is volunteering and has her own organization and is doing this and doing that and seems to be on top of it in every single aspect of her life, including fitness. And you know she got the good genes. I read something somewhere on one of my little pageantry bulletins that the average statistic is 5’7” to 5’11” and up. Those are the pageant winners and they’re very thin and most of them are blond-haired, blue-eyed. It gets to be a little bit redundant. But I’ve seen pageant winners that are my height, which is 5-even.

You’re five-even? Well, that takes a lot to get out on there.

Oh, yeah! I mean when you’re competing against a 6-foot-tall woman, who do you think is going to get the most attention? I mean she’s tall!

That’s like Spud Webb on the court.

I’ve seen girls my height, my size, I do it. I’m not the thinnest girl, I’m very athletic so I’ve got a lot of muscle. You can’t see my clavicle bones or anything and that’s fine with me.

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