An Unlikely Pageant Girl

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“Once you are real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” ~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

When I walked into my first rehearsal for Miss Small Town USA with a greasy sack filled with two corn dogs and large fries in one hand and a gallon sized non-diet soda in the other, I knew I was in the wrong place. Some of those girls hadn’t eaten in weeks and just the smell of my sack of grease made most of them want to vomit. I had a few days to figure out how to get a fake tan and boobs to fill up my swimsuit. I wanted to die.

One girl politely handed me two squishy things that looked like chicken cutlets and offered to put them in my bra for me. Which I politely said, “Uh, maybe next time.”

She told me the best way to hoist those babies up was good old-fashioned Duck Tape. Let me just tell you now not to do this. Trust me. In a bathroom filled with girls who had no problem showing their junk, my chicken cutlets were taped up and in place. And later when I ripped off the Duck Tape, I said a word that would make a drunken sailor blush. I asked Jesus to forgive me and promised to never Duck Tape my underdeveloped breasts again.

I might have looked really pretty and polished with everything in place, but I didn’t feel like I fit at all. I learned so many things about myself through those experiences, but the lesson that followed me through dress fittings and two hours of hair and makeup was that I didn’t want to be fake. I was fine with the big hair and learning how to walk in four-inch heels, but I refused to be something that I wasn’t -a girl who looked and acted like everyone else. I could be poised standing on a stage, but moments later I would be anything but polished and shift into dork mode.

I remember longing to become real yet fearing what it would look like, if it would hurt and never stop. That words would hang in the air and become mirrors telling the simple truth…you’re barely scratching the surface of what real looks like. We long for it and we fight it. But, tucked away soul deep is the realization that becoming real is going to hurt in the best possible way.      

 

Women long to be real and fear it at the same time. We show tiny glimpses of our personalities, the shiny parts we think others will approve of because we are afraid that being real equals being unlovable. The process of becoming real and finding yourself in Christ is the most beautifully messy thing ever. Fitting in was something that I was concerned about in the past, but now just following Christ and seeking him with all my heart is my priority.

I’ll always be that quirky girl who learned how to walk properly in high heels.

Much love on a #FunFriday blog post!

Jennifer