I had the privilege last weekend of being a judge at a teen pageant. Now I know you hear pageant & you think oh NO! beauty pageant = fake girls. Not this pageant.. Scoring is based on poise, confidence, guts & authenticity.
Three of my girlfriends were on the same panel with me and we called ourselves “Team Sunshine!” We were committed to lifting up these young girls and helping them have a great experience.
We were all so honored to interview some truly amazing young girls. Some were scared, struggling with self-confidence, depression and anxiety disorders. Others had overcome anorexia, being bullied and family tragedies. But the amazing part was they all opened their hearts to us.
At lunch, we all paused, looked at each other and said what tremendous courage & beauty ALL these girls had! We felt so honored to be a part of something magical, that we could sense was beginning to happen. These girls won just by having the guts to show up!
These brave young women made us laugh, some made us sing, some educated us and some choked us up.. then we met Charleigh. She was one girls that we met that left an imprint on our heart. She boldly shined her light and embraced who she truly is. Was she scared? Yes. Did she admit it? Yup.
She greeted us during her interview and told us she loves 80s metal rock and she is obsessed with Iron Maiden (flashing us the rock on sign)! She had a style all her own and she owned it and emphasized it with a nervous giggle.
The day of the actual pageant she stayed true to herself. She was honest, she was vulnerable and she was truly genuine to who she was. She owned it. She shined across the stage. We all struggle with our brand, our style, our personality – some days I don’t know WHAT I AM DOING and I am 44 years old!
Out of over 100 girls she placed in the top 20. She didn’t look like a typical pageant girl but she rocked! She is beautiful. She is a role model. She is brave. She embraces her uniqueness and she deserved to tell her story.
So grab your invisible tiara, sing along to your favorite songs and attack every day! Realize that what you add to the world each day CAN NOT be duplicated by anyone else! No ONE is YOU!
Do you know a young girl that you could be a positive influence on and remind daily, weekly or monthly how unique and beautiful she truly is? DO IT! Let’s start changing the dialogue.. and give these young women the confidence to tell their stories.❤