It was THE FINAL QUESTION. We’ve all seen it on television: the top 3 girls line up on the pageant stage and each select a judges question out of the fishbowl to answer in front of a live audience.
No big deal.
It was just day 3, the final hour, the final moment of the competition. My feet were killing me and I wanted a greasy cheeseburger from Hayes, (you can’t take the Gladstone out of the girl).
They call me up to select my question.
Let me preface this situation. I honestly didn’t think I was going to win, and here’s why: I was standing on stage with 2 other girls in the finals, and not just any two girls. One of them was my long-time friend and pageant roommate for the weekend, the strikingly gorgeous Leah, (dark hair, green eyes, perfect eyebrows, ballet body, to-die-for face, a history for besting every category at Miss Teen USA and…she also happens to be ridiculously smart and fun, from a family I also adore). I once knew a guy who switched from K-State to KU after seeing her at a party there. Not kidding.
I’ll take runner-up, happily. I wasn’t winning this one.
My question ends up being this: “Do you think girls who have had plastic surgery should be able to compete in pageants with girls who haven’t?”
The audience froze.
This was a no-brainer for me. I begin to speak into the mic, very matter-of-factly, “Absolutely…if plastic surgery helps someone’s confidence, I don’t have a problem with it. I definitely think people who’ve had it should be allowed to compete with girls who haven’t, because believe me, if there was a leg-stretcher, I’d be on one– I’m short and these (lifting up the train of my gown to show my sky-high heels) puppies hurt.”
The audience laughed. I hobbled away from the mic. At this point, I had
the crown nothing to lose.
And that’s the day plastic surgery helped me win without actually having had it, (I did use duct tape and spray glue–ubiquitous dressing room basics). My votes had nothing to do with “beauty.” I just got lucky to get a question that I could answer well. I wasn’t the most beautiful girl there. I was equipped with low expectations which allowed me to have a great attitude about that moment, and subsequently communicated it in that otherwise pressure-cooker situation.
We all come across opportunities where someone else may seem better qualified or should be the obvious choice. That’s where the challenge comes. Are you going to bow out? NO.
I would have been thrilled for my friend to win; she was as deserving with her well-thought out answer. I would have just competed the next year.
And this the point: In life, you just have to go into opportunities with low expectations and hope for the best. The best, in my heart, was what ever God had in my plan that night. I asked for His direction. And that night, He wanted me to be Miss Missouri USA, I guess. So, I got that question, answered it and He answered me.
In addition, I think it’s perfectly okay to embrace your imperfections, but still want to change something that bothers you, (in a way that best suits you).
Would I ever get plastic surgery? Yes, I’d stretch my legs if I could, (I think). I’m just super scared of going under the knife for any reason, (the reason I still have bunions).
I have bunions.