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The greater
meaning of
Tara Cahill

 

 

Most photos by Ben McLaren,
others courtesy of Tara Cahill
Tara Cahill
People will remember this time and this place. A century is ending, a millennium is closing. America is the most powerful nation on earth, adored and detested, transforming the world and being transformed by it.

The beauty queens of this age are almost a new species, wholly unlike the giggling flappers who helped launch the American pageant culture in the 1920s.

Tara Cahill The adored women of yesteryear were called "peaches" and "tomatoes," soft and pliant. Today, the women we idolize are "hardbodies," athletic and confident. Where women once had their crazes, now they have causes. And while beauty contests began on Northeastern boardwalks, as a way of clinging to summer, they are now a cultural fixture in the Sunbelt, held year round on beaches that will never see snow.
Tara CahillTara Cahill
Tara CahillTara Cahill
The new breed of beauty we are describing is . . . Tara Cahill. For her time and her nation, she is the quintessential queen. As a child she was overweight and self-conscious, until she discovered the confidence-building potential of pageant competition. She was a Miss America hopeful, winning two titles in the New York system, learning the ropes and glimpsing how far she could go.Tara Cahill
Then she came south, to balmy Florida, and reinvented herself yet again. She perfected her body and became a standout on the swimsuit circuit.

Ms. Cahill is a model, a modeling scout, a certified yoga instructor. She enjoys beachcombing, singing and acting. She volunteers her time to fight domestic abuse. She's a serious, educated woman who has no problem being called a "bikini babe." Asked to describe herself, she says, "athletic, warm, in love with life."

Perhaps people won't remember this time and this place. There will be other mighty nations, other eventful eras. But surely they will remember Tara Cahill. We'll settle for that.

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