Plastic Surgery, Maps and such

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.

No pressure.

At all.

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.

I didn’t.

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).

True story.

I have bunions.


Fall 2013

Met a girl last night.  Every sentence she uttered was like an affirmation of my theory that I’m just lacking in cool points…all day.

You know those days where you kinda feel on top of the world?

For me, it’s when my car has been washed (within the last month), my gas indicator says I have at least 36 miles to empty, I haven’t resorted to dry shampoo yet for the week and I’ve been able recognize the staff at my gym, (but to my credit, the fitness industry does suffer from quick turnover).

So when this lovely girl hops into my car last night, she talks among the four of us, (very nonchalantly) about her impressive marathon resume.  My stomach starts to sink, but I do remind myself that I hit the YMCA 3 times during my Thanksgiving visit to KC, so it’s not complete confidence suicide…yet.

She’s a total sweetheart.  This is part of her life.

We get into the party.  She’s perfectly dressed.  As we talk about life, she clues me in about how dryer sheets don’t break down, etc.

I’ve been killing dolphins this whole time?

And as I look to my left,  a lady says, “I stopped using those, too.  I only use Downy softener.”

Wait, I sometimes use both?

After finding out she stopped using Facebook “awhile ago,” we started following each other on Instagram, to which I preface, “look, I’m not artsy.  I post a lot of boring pictures and I’m obsessed with taking the same pictures of my dog…at the same park.”

Her Instagram is filled with what Instagram is fully purposed–amazing artsy shots of beautifully lit friends in their most natural environments…you know–weekends at Burning Man.

I’ve never been to Burning Man.  I don’t have the heart to tell her that I’ve never had the desire to go.

Clearly, my attempts at self expression lie within the pages of Facebook.  FACEBOOK?!?

She’s also gluten-free, a total athlete and (of course) a former model.

But she exudes beauty from within and that’s 100 percent why I’m inspired.  She genuinely cares about the earth and others.

I may run today.  I may even eat a kale salad and drink a gallon of water.

I may even wash the dirty jeans I wore last night…and throw out my dryer sheets.