The First Runner-Up: What I Have Learned From Watching A Beauty Pageant

by Conscious Reminder

Have you ever watched a beauty pageant?

Yes, I am talking about the real deal here – gowns, tiaras, dancing routines, ‘I-want-to-save-the-world’ kind of Q&A’s, false eyelashes and all the accompanying shenanigans!

And while everyone is concentrated on her majesty – ‘the winner’, I want to give the spot light to someone else.

I wanna talk about the ‘coulda-woulda-shoulda’ person of these events.

Interestingly enough, you can’t miss her. You see her every time, on every pedestal, but never on the throne. I am talking about the first runner-up! This girl is my KING.

Just look at her, she is a ‘monster’! Stronger than the Beast and prettier than the Beauty.

By now, you have probably started asking yourself ‘what is she talking about?’ So, I will get straight to the point.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you put all your efforts, hope and strength into it? Well, the first runner-up took it up a notch. She did everything; went to the gym every day, ate healthy food, spent a small fortune in beauty salons, worked her butt off in every sense, and yet again, it wasn’t ENOUGH.

She was gorgeous, but still, she wasn’t THE ONE.

Please, don’t get me wrong, this is all perfectly fine. After all, there are millions of girls that are more beautiful than her. But I had a different kind of beauty in mind. Something that will never fade away. Something that will be still shining through the wrinkles 40 years later.

Let’s get back to the Queen for a second. That graceful creature with an amazing body and a face of an angel. A woman so versatile and talented, that is every man’s dream. Beautiful from top to bottom, inside out and left to right. Perfect! And somehow she was missing something.

I had been looking at her for quite some time and I couldn’t figure out what it was. It hit me only after I diverted my attention to her left.

There she was, the first runner-up. Another mythical creature, nothing less notable than the Queen. But, man, she had IT.

I paid closer attention this time. She was smiling, she was waving, she was hugging the winner, she fixed her tiara, wiped away her tears, told her she deserved the throne and how beautiful she was, fixed her dress…she was happy for her. I couldn’t believe my own eyes.

Then I finally understood what IT was. It was the POWER TO SMILE after you lost what you wanted more than anything in this world. And she wanted this, she fought for this!

The monstrous strength she displayed when the presenter called someone else’s name – it baffled me.

Her composure when she hugged the Queen to congratulate her…

Her equanimity when she wanted to cry, but she put the widest smile on her face and bowed in front of the Queen.

That’s the lesson the Queen will never learn.

She will never know what it’s like to be second and rise from the ashes like a phoenix – gracefully and with a smile on your face. She will never learn what it’s like to have all your dreams shattered and still get up on your feet, dust yourself off and say thank you!

My point is, everything in life is a beauty pageant; a test that we have to pass. We put our fake smiles on, fake hair, fake nails, fake eyelashes, fake teeth…we say words that aren’t ours, we stand for causes we don’t understand, we defend beliefs we don’t personally believe in.

The list goes on and on. We definitely know how to fake it, but do we know how to pull our sh*t together when things don’t go according to plan; when we lose everything we worked so hard for and find ourselves at the start line once again?

It’s funny how a seemingly superficial thing like a beauty pageant can teach you about the depths of life.

Wisdom is everywhere – shut your I’s and open your eyes! Say Thank You! 


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