I’m Allison Weatherly, one of Galveston’s “World Famous Bathing Beauties”. I joined in 2013 and was instantly hooked on vintage style. Unfortunately, I had to sit out this year but then realized I would get to be a spectator instead. I was excited to write this and share my behind-the- scenes experiences. Also, any opportunity to dress up, I’m down!
I showed up at the beautiful historic Hotel Galvez dressed up as a 1950’s reporter. Too bad the vintage camera around my neck didn’t work anymore! As soon as I walked into the lobby I saw those nostalgic pink-robed ladies everywhere and the energy was so classic. I immediately ran into a first time contestant named Katrina Ross. She’s originally from New Jersey but now an island girl. She was wearing her Grandmother’s swimsuit in honor of her and she looked timelessly beautiful in it, trust me!
Next, I received my “Press Pass” to the dressing room for the forty contestants. Now this is a fun room, y’all! Everyone is helping each other with last minute touch-ups and making new friends. My friends, Jan & Kristin, had to sit out this year as well, and said the camaraderie with the girls in the dressing room was what they missed the most. Megan Turnbow, owner of Fluid Swimwear, was there making sure the custom suits she made for the some of the ladies fit perfectly. “Every swimsuit has a story”, said Megan. She and the client create the design together. I will definitely bring my crazy ideas to her next year.
As I head outside to the “Main Event”, the crowd is in full effect. There is so much to do and see, like classic cars, local beer, food, and all sorts of vendors. I’m on a mini-shopping spree and I hear the National Anthem begin and the ladies come out and take the stage. It’s great to see all their individuality and hard work pay off. The contestants were phenomenal! So many different backgrounds coming together to pay homage to the ladies who pioneered the Bathing Beauties and to the city of Galveston.
I can tell you from personal experience the heart-pounding guts it takes to walk out on that stage! But when your walk is done you are a changed person without a doubt. I compare it to climbing Mt. Everest, ha! I can’t forget to mention the main reason for my wanting to be a part of Bathing Beauties is the famous historic panoramic picture. Maybe you’ll see yourself in one, one day?