Girl, Bye

You know the feeling you get when you think everyone is talking about you?

Sometimes, they just are.

Welcome to being a Miss State.

People will talk about you behind your back, on the internet, and right to your face. People will criticize what you wear, how your hair looks, and how you do your makeup. They will talk about your talent. They will talk about your interview. They will talk about your smile. They will talk about your body. And 9 times out of 10, they've never even met you.

But worse than that, that means sometimes, they have.

Often the same people that will actively spend hours of their own lives finding ways to critique you while you're giving a year of your life to serve your state, actually know you quite well.

That is rotten.

And that is the job, right?

They tell you when you start out in this pageant-world, don't listen to the haters. You've got to do your own thing. Run your own race. Block out the people that want to talk about you. Know your own worth. If they are talking about you it is because they're jealous. Don't worry about the strangers on the internet.

That is all true, 100%.

You absolutely have to come into a job like this with an open mind, and a steel trap around your self-esteem. Your first night on the job there will be people in the audience critiquing your every move. Especially if you weren't "their" girl. Move on, block them out. And understand from night one that people begin to think that you are an object, not a person.

Because when you get this job, people start to believe they get have a right to you. You're a "public figure" now. Which, to some people, means that you are subject to any and all public scrutiny, regardless of the fact that you may be a normal human being who doesn't love that. When you get this job, you get a stamp across your forehead that says, say anything to me and pretend like your momma never taught you manners or basic humility. 

This will happen, this notion that you are present only to take on useless criticism, often.

But that's not the job. That's rotten, and does not need to be a prerequisite for being a Miss State.

Sure, plenty of people that you meet during your year will say things that make you go, seriously?! But the people that know you, the people that are supposed to support you, the people that are telling you they are on your team do not need to be those people. Anybody that has the gall to pick at how you dress, how you look at all, how you speak, or who you are as a person, needs to go.

It's that simple.

Listen, have you met Rodney? No? Well, they need to be cut out of your bubble.

It took me six months of this job for me to turn around and wave buh-bye to people that clearly didn't have the right intentions in their hearts when they acted like they were supporting me. It took me six months to see that some people will always be critical, or jealous, or just mean. It took me six months to see that the people are still genuinely supporting me on this crazy endeavor are the only ones I want there.

And look, I know about trolls. Sure, the internet can suck. And no, I don't recommend looking to see what people have said about you online. Because for every kind comment there are 6 nasty ones. But the internet is not my problem.

After all, I had already been prepared to not listen to the haters, to run my own race, to know my own worth. I came into this truly believing that strangers on the internet had nothing on me.

They still don't.

But now, neither do the people in my life, that say things out loud, that are downright shameful.

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