Monday, December 6, 2010

My Life, Pageant-Style

I heard on the radio one day that getting a tan makes you look 7-8 lbs lighter.  Does that mean that since my spray tan washed off, I look like I gained 8 lbs?

I believe not.  But it’s an understandable thought right?

So last April when I started thinking about the possibility of doing this pageant, I think one of the main fears I had was that I would regret it.  That I would inadvertently stick myself in some sort of category, or that I would embarrass myself, or that people would think it was stupid, inappropriate, a bad idea….yes a part of me cares what “people think.”  But basically, that I would have this huge, forever lingering regret and embarrassment. 

Well, I will say, it is one of the coolest feelings to put yourself out there and do something so vulnerable, so outside your box, a little risky, a little costly, and be 100% glad you did it.   And I will attest…the only way that will happen, is to be “OK” stepping into the unknown.  I mean, the unknown is all there is.  We might as well get used to it.

The weekend of the pageant was one of the coolest weekends I have experienced.  It had a lot of really cool things…fun, meeting new and great people, stretching myself, looking cute pretty much all the time, hard work paying off, and doing something, anything, even just standing there and being OK with it, in front of a thousand people.

So what are some awkward situations that can only come during pageant weekend?  Well let’s go through the list.  It’s not long, thank goodness, but they did manage to color my weekend.

First I have to say that when my dad was laughing with me about my sister’s to-do list (see previous post), he couldn’t believe she needed to write down even the “little” things…bobby pins for instance.  I told him, Dad, sometimes when you have a million things to do, the little things are the easiest to forget!  So, what did I forget the first night of competition? 

To Shave.

Yes, I forgot to shave.  Shave what you may ask?  People I forgot to shhaaayyVuuhh.  And let me tell you, this wasn’t just one of those “oh it’s ok, I just shaved yesterday” situations.  It was one of those “oh I only got to shave before my spray tan Thursday night, and have sort of been distracted for the last 48 hours and now need to go out on stage with a spotlight” situations.  So, there I was, in a room with two mirrored walls and 25 girls, with no room to even scratch your behind without somebody seeing, so I went into the bathroom stall, in this crowded dressing room, to check things out.  And I’ll have to say…a spray tan sure deals out some massive forgiveness in an unshaven situation.  I mean, if you got up CLOSE to my calves and other areas you could tell, but other than that, it wasn’t a disaster.  It was even close to magic.  Here was hoping a spot light, those fast-paced arm movements in the opening dance, and a zoom lens would be just as forgiving.  Moral of the story:  when changing up your routine, focus!  And to-do lists can really save you sometimes.

Next up:  Sunday morning: 6:30am.  So 8:05 am was my scheduled one-on-one interview appointment with the 5 judges, which entailed being all dolled up and in a cute little interview dress, ready to talk about…yourself, basically.  After getting to bed at about 1am the night before from all the omg I was just on stage adrenaline, I awoke at 6:30 to get ready for the important morning.  I plugged my Hot Tools curling iron in, and noticed it wasn’t working.  Not Working!!??  My awesome roommate Layne came over to help (she was Miss Congeniality of course), and while we are both standing there, in our pj’s, messing with the cord and trying to get it to work, a loud CRACK, Sparks, and smoke came flying from the metal rod.  Layne threw it on the floor and after we realized we weren’t starting a fire, we laughed our butts off.  Not for long of course…I had to get ready!  But there goes my curling iron, right before my Interview, and before the most important night!  Moral of the story:  Always room with Miss Congeniality.  She’ll be sure to bring the Almond Butter, and let you use her curling iron anytime you like.  I think my hair looked better using her curling iron anyway.

One more little mishap:  90 minutes from Show Time.  So after a long day of interviews, packing, and more rehearsals, it was 5:30pm, time to get ready for the big show.  We had all done our hair and make up earlier that morning for the interviews, so I had planned on just touching up like I did the night before.  Some extra eye-liner, fresh lips, a few extra curls, and I’m all set, right?  Well everyone around me was in the “this is a bigger deal than fresh lips” mentality, and I sort of got a little inadvertent peer pressure.  If everyone ELSE is totally re-doing their make-up, maybe I should too!?  So I asked one of the girls for an extra make-up removing cloth and took it aaallll off.  Time to Re-Do.  Well, that was until I realized that I left my foundation, my all-important, can’t really do your make-up without it foundation, in another bag far far away!  What the heck!!  Well, thank goodness I was in a room with 25 really nice girls and more make-up than a MAC counter.  So really nice girls AND my pick of foundation shades.  Problem solved.  Moral:  Surround yourself with great people and you’ll be fine.

So finally, what are my biggest takeaways from the weekend?  One of them: That stereotypes are always there for a reason, but stereotypes are never the whole story.  I hope you got a taste of that after reading previous posts about this experience, about our pageant director’s advice, about everything.  Nothing is ever as it seems!  And that goes for pageants, “pageant girls”, everything.  I am happy I was able to (hopefully) help prove this fact.

And another takeaway:  back to one of the reasons I did this:  I learned a lot about myself, and I learned about things I can do that I never thought I could.  Remember that post a while back about “I could never do that!”  Well adding this situation to my “I did that” list literally makes me feel like I could do, or try, about anything.  I get to keep this in my back pocket anytime I get nervous about anything (like my first speech at Toastmasters a week ago) and remind myself…Hey.  You stood on a stage.  In a bikini.  With a spot light.  You even forgot to shave.  And you did… Awesome.   

What the heck is a better feeling than that?    

And that my friends and family, is worth the price of Pageant Registration.