“In The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report, of the 3,200 women polled around the world, only 2 percent of the women described themselves as beautiful. Two percent! Most described themselves as average and were highly uncomfortable using the words “attractive,” “beautiful,” “pretty” or “cute” when referring to themselves. In 2009, the average American woman is 5’4”, weighs 152 lbs. and wears a size 14. The ideal image portrayed by models and Hollywood is 5’7” and weighs 100 lbs. “-Michelle Moore, CMH Magazine
BY MICHELLE MOORE :PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICHOLAS HINSCH-CMH MAG
Wow! When Michelle shared that with us at the beginning of the interview, it blew my mind. I was part of a panel that CMH magazine had gathered together to discuss the Changing Paradigms of Beauty for an article. The panel was comprised of a plastic surgeon, news anchor, talent agent, life coach, mothers, former beauty queens, writers, actresses, PR executive, aesthetic medical professional, and a fashion photographer.
The diversity of the evening really got me thinking about the definitions of beauty and beautiful; and how our own definitions mold the perception we have of ourselves and the world around us. Be honest, what was your immediate reaction to the headline of this article Are you Beautiful? What does your answer tell you?
What is your definition of beautiful? It is a question you will be regularly asked if you intend on entering pageants not only from judges, but from family, friends and strangers. They’ll want to know why you’re taking part in such an activity. And to respond with a vague comment like “it’s really about inner beauty” is like saying “world peace” when answering an onstage interview question. It’s too general and people just roll their eyes.
What are the specific elements that make up your definition of inner beauty? Make a list of 10 words or phrases that describe inner beauty. Please, choose words that you feel for you, not what you think the judges want to hear. Be real.
Stop comparing yourself with the others.
The initial event when all the contestants see each other for the first time can be very stressful. Some contestants will eliminate themselves immediately from the pageant because they’ve mentally convinced themselves that they’re not ____enough to win. Just fill in the blank with tall, short, fat, thin, pretty, unique, etc. So much negative energy is spent on the “comparison game” when instead it could be used on thoughts that are more empowering.
Usually, when people start playing this game, they compare their perceived weakness to someone’s perceived strengths. The second you start hearing the voice in your head saying “I’m not ___ enough”, stop. Shift your focus onto the qualities about you that you value and share those with the judges and the audience.
Make a list of 25 words or phrases that describe you.
Ask your family and friends to help you list as many gifts and positive qualities about you as you can. Why stop at just 25. Know what makes you beautiful and appreciate it.
No one is perfectly constructed and everyone possesses physical beauty. Isolate the features that you want to bring attention to and those you want to diminish.
- 1. Choose wardrobe and makeup colors that are perfect for your skin tone. Have someone help you with this if you don’t know what your best colors are. Don’t choose a white gown just because you’ve heard that ‘white wins’. It may not be right color choice for you. You are going to be on stage under bright lights and for some people, the color white washes them out.
2. Select a hair length and color that flatters your face shape and skin tone. Don’t pull your hair back because you think that’s the winning look for evening gown. That is a winning look for some, but not everyone. I want to warn you, you will spend more time than you ever thought possible on your hair.
3. Learn what clothing styles make your figure look proportional and balanced. This is another area where finding someone with a keen eye for line can help educate you. Clothing is expensive and if you learn from the beginning what colors, lines and cuts flatter you the most, you will save time, money, build your confidence and look professional all at the same time.
The definition of beautiful in the dictionary is having qualities that delight the senses. Sight is only one sense. The sound of someone voice, the way they shake your hand, and the way they move all delight the senses. Personally, I think the strongest of the senses is the sixth sense. That indescribable energy that comes from within and shines out through a person’s eyes is a beauty I find magnetic.
Beyond The Pageant:
When we look in the mirror, our mortality is reflected back to us. Each decade brings a different set of physical realities. When I was a teenager, I wanted my adult body to arrive with more height and a bigger chest :). Just being honest.
When I became a woman in my 20’s, I remember feeling, is this all I get (again height and chest related)? In my 30’s came the maternity body. All of a sudden, the body of my 20’s didn’t look so bad and I wished I had it back.
At age 43, I had an “ah ha”moment. I had spent so much of my time either looking forward with anticipation or backwards mourning over what I had lost, that I didn’t fully appreciate the positive attributes of each decade. Moving forward, living in the present moment is a much better choice than losing sleep over the past or future, both of which I have no control.
What’s the best part of your life right now? What is your favorite beautiful part about you?
Rhonda Shappert is a pageant expert, personal development life coach, and owner of Winning Through Pageantry™, a business she created that not only helps her clients achieve winning results in pageants, but helps them Succeed From The Inside Out™ in their lives. In the pageant world she has held multiple local, state and national titles. Rhonda graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Musical Theater from The Ohio State University and has performed on stage in 15 countries on the Asian, European and American continents. This mother of three who has been married 20 years to her husband Stephen, home educates their children, is the former mayor of her community, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Virtual Academy. She and her husband perform original contemporary Christian music. Their music CD entitled Cana is available through www.cdbaby.com/cd/shappert or on her website. For more information on Rhonda, visit www.WinningThroughPageantry.com.
Have every article I write delivered directly to your email. Sign up for my free weekly newsletter. Just click the GET YOUR FREE REPORT button at the top of this page. Then fill out your name and email address in the boxes.