24: Stop being so Perfect! You’re driving us crazy!

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Today I want to share with you the difference between perfect and real.

Many pageant contestants believe in order to win, they must project some illusive image of perfection – the perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect teeth, perfect walk, talk, smile, etc…

May I just say boldly: That stuff is for the birds!


 
The reason that pageants get this bad rap is because of their seemingly perfectly poised contestants. They all glide onto stage with glimmering teeth and size 2 bodies. It’s hard to not look at them from the audience and thing “She is absolutely perfect.”
 
But, when it comes time for her to deliver her on-stage answer to a tough political question or hug a child at an appearance, ‘perfection’ is far less attractive. In these areas, on-lookers would rather experience someone who is real, approachable, likeable and trustworthy.
 
My favorite illustration of this is from my second year competing at states in Miss Pennsylvania. My sister-queen, Lucy, who was crowned as my peer in my same local pageant was a spark-plug! I mean, really a loose canon – she was totally hilarious and everyone wanted to be around her. I, however, was trying to be Little Miss Perfection. I was crossing all my T’s and dotting all my I’s driving everyone crazy with me “Does this look ok or should I put it a quarter-inch higher. Should I wear these gorgeous rhinestone earrings or these gorgeous rhinestone earrings? Should I go first or should I go last? I’m certain I was driving everyone crazy.
 
Then comes the interview portion of competition.
 
My sister-queen Lucy was ahead of me and came out of the interview laughing and smiling (of course that made me terribly nervous that one could have so much fun in such a serious environment).
 
I got into my interview – squeaked through most of the time, I’m sure – and left the room only feeling relieved that I made it through without too many political questions – most of which I knew I wouldn’t be prepared for.
 
Later Lucy told me the reason she was laughing so much was because she got the most ridiculous interview question!
 
At the time – like 10 years ago, our nation under President Bush’s leadership was struggling to protect our southern border and all sorts of ideas were coming up like building a giant wall, hiring more soldiers to patrol it – there were really no good answers for like 4 years.
 
Lucy said during her interview, the judges asked her “What is your solution to the border control issues our nation is facing right now?”
 
As a perfect pageant contestant, my answer at the time may have been something like “This is a very difficult issue for our nation. Since the beginning of time, any country’s main objection is to protect it’s land with some form of control. I trust our government will find a solution.”
 
And the judges’ would’ve shrugged and moved on.
 
Not Lucy! Listen to what she said: “What?! Really! If I knew the answer to that, I’d call up President Bush and say, Bush – I figured it out! He’d probably give me a million dollars.”
 
The whole judges panel busted out in laughter at her very real, approachable, honest, likeable, and hilarious answer! She said what everyone else was thinking – even without making anyone feel silly for asking this loaded question.
 
That year, Lucy won the interview award and a good chunk of change!
 

The truth is: The more real you are, the more approachable, likeable,
and trustworthy you become.Don’t mistake respectable for perfect.

 
I want to share with you 5 ways to discover if you are trying to be more perfect than real.
 


 
You may be too perfect…
+ If you wish you didn’t have to do all this work to get ready for an appearance. Real girls learn how to do what they must and then chalk the rest up to human.
 
+ If you have to think before you respond to a question, and then often wonder if you answered the way they wanted you to. Real girls respond how they feel and don’t need to justify their beliefs
 
+ If you use your physical or natural human characteristics (which you can’t control) as excuses for why you aren’t winning: my nose is too long, my chin is to short, my face is too round, my boobs are too small. Real girls embrace their natural qualities and seek to better themselves with their healthy, their professional skills and their personal development more than their physical attributes.
 
+ If you are feeling like you don’t belong among these girls or in this dress or with this crown. Real girls experience the imposter syndrome, too (which we’ll talk about next week), but they don’t let it be their focus, instead the embrace the opportunity to grow, connect, learn, and give back despite how others’ view them.
 
+ If you are trying to impress the judges more than you impress yourself. Real girls stick to their values and don’t compromise their personal truth for the favorable judgment of others.
 
Listen to me very carefully: if you have done your homework, and you have taken your time to prepare, and you know you are truly suited to win this pageant than you need to give up the Perfect Gig and start to be Real. Because gigs don’t work – only real does.
 
The more real you are; the more approachable, likeable, trustworthy and respectable you become.
 
That, ladies is how you win a pageant!
 

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