Beauty to the Rescue

Shhhh...Here comes "Miss Uh-MER-i-kuhhh!"

Rescuing horses is not for powder puffs, as I quickly learned when I founded Swingin’ D Horse Rescue. Decades in the spotlight, first as a Miss Oklahoma and then as a television news anchor, my livelihood depended on a polished appearance that demanded designer suits, pantyhose, high heels, makeup and hairspray. I jokingly refer to the long (and growing) process of preparing for a public appearance as “assembling the Tami Head."

Today I’m lucky if I have time to run a brush through my hair! My high heels are collecting cobwebs in the hall closet, and my previously-well-manicured fingernails are a constant chipped, grimy mess. I once chatted with people like Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Garth Brooks, Gene Simmons and Gary Busey, as well as governors, senators and members of Congress, and now I have to remind myself to not wipe my nose with my sleeve or spit in public!

About the name, “Beauty to the Rescue": I’ve battled the stigma of Bubble-Headed Bimbo since I was a professional cheerleader for the USFL Oklahoma Outlaws football team. Winning Miss Oklahoma (and two degrees, thanks to the scholarships I won) only gave haters more ammo. For whatever reason, some people are just more comfortable if they can assume a woman who spends a little time grooming must be a miserable, evil-hearted, drooling moron. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been discriminated against by people who judged me based solely on my looks. Sounds ridiculous, but evil people, ironically, don’t discriminate based on society’s approved “classes." Evil people are equal-opportunity haters, and hate hurts everyone – regardless of how they look. It’s no more acceptable to destroy a woman because of how she looks than it is to destroy a person because of whom they love, the color of their skin, or whom they worship.

I’ll never forget the time I walked up on a group of co-workers who had decided to target and eliminate the newly-hired “beauty queen." For months they excluded me, refused to work with me and made every day miserable. After a chorus of, “Shhhh…," I heard the ringleader say, “Here comes Miss Uh-MER-ikuh" in a sing-song-y, middle school voice. It was a defining moment and I’m sad to say, it’s far from the only time I endured bullying from grown women, and I’m far from the only woman targeted in such a way. Studies show, women are the most frequent target of workplace bullies; and the more successful, capable and accomplished, the bigger the target on their backs. I battled the “beauty queen" stigma my entire career, foisted upon me by petty people who only feel better about themselves when they’re denigrating others. You know the type.

So that’s where Beauty to the Rescue came from. Today I’m able to embrace the moniker and laugh about how far I am from my pampered past. It’s our little “in your face" to those who saw my accomplishments as an insult, and it’s an inside look at how these amazing creatures are transforming this formerly pampered princess into a real woman who’s not afraid to get a little dirty…and even spit when I feel like it. 

Soon we’ll introduce a line of skincare for hardworking horsewomen under the Beauty to the Rescue trademark. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward saving horses’ lives, and educating the public about the plight of American horses shipped to foreign slaughter.