“Kelly Sheckler is blond with a heart-shaped face and a warm smile. Five feet tall on a good day, she’s mother to three children, wife to Tom, employee of the Environmental Protection Agency, keeper of a tidy home in Lawrenceville. But when she crosses a stage at the downtown Sheraton Sunday, she will be something else altogether: KhaZelia VanGough — warrior, leader and Miss Klingon Empire 2008 hopeful.
Miss Klingon Empire is an annual pageant at DragonCon, the sci-fi/fantasy geek gathering that descends upon Atlanta every year to pay homage to Superman, Storm Troopers and Star Fleet, among others. To win Miss Klingon Empire, a contestant need not have the best costume or the prettiest (ugliest?) face. Simply, she must embody a Klingon, a fictitious alien race famous for its ridged forehead and brutal manner that debuted in the original ‘Star Trek’ TV series and has been a part of the ‘Trek’ franchise ever since.
Contestants don’t catfight — female sci-fi lovers tend to stick together — but they don’t play around, either. Thousands of audience members won’t let them. When a past contestant appeared on stage in a Hooters uniform, the audience was at first entertained but quickly dismissed her, judges recalled. Klingon women may be known for ample bosoms, but they’d never show them that way. And once the queen is awarded her crown, trophy, sash and flowers, judges name no first or second runner-up. In the Klingon world, there are only winners and losers.”
(Related: “Klingon Like Me” via Techgnosis)