FabOver40 Beauty Contest

FabOver40 Beauty Contest Results

November 10, 2021

The quarter-final results of the FabOver40 beauty competition came in while I was on a business trip abroad: I came in second.  Not gonna lie—I am disappointed.  And I felt the aftereffects of being seven hours ahead of my family and friends in Canada and the United States—and having tried to stay awake to learn the outcome of the voting round. 

When I awoke in the morning, I saw the text message chain between my sister, mom, and dad.  At 9:59 pm, I was in first place, but within the last thirty seconds, someone made a huge monetary donation and took the lead. So, so close!

What’s It All About?

Knowing I’d reached the end of my run, a lot of thoughts bounced around in my brain. At first, I beat myself up for joining a beauty competition. I questioned why I chose to participate, knowing it would be difficult to win. So, why had I joined?  Was it really to put myself out there?  That was part of it.  But I realized something bigger and, quite honestly, I’m still sitting with it.  I realized the FabOver40 contest had to do more with how I see myself. 

I realized that I feel like I’m running out of time. This past year with COVID, I don’t feel like I’ve really accomplished anything (is there such a thing as a Curse of the High-Achiever? If not, there ought to be).  Sure, I have lost a lot of weight and I have changed physically, but how I see and relate to myself hasn’t changed. And that is an uncomfortable realization.  Maybe it has to do with my self-worth and some kind of transformation happening. Regardless, I have been beating myself up over the loss.  How could I not be proud of what I did and how far I went?  Everyone who supported me was proud of me. 

My Gratitude Cup Overflows

I LOVE MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, and COMMUNITY.  I can’t even begin to put into words what they mean to me.  Every single one of them had my back.  And they had more trust in me than I did.  I know I should not have been surprised, but in some ways I was.  The loving support and encouragement blew my mind.  And when I lost, their encouragement, heartfelt words, and support were almost more than I could bear.

My family and me

My parents found a new mission—they really were and are my biggest cheerleaders.  Regardless of family dysfunction, my parents were like the lion and lioness who protected their cubs.  Even my mother, who tends to be my biggest critic and very pragmatic, supported me in ways that I had not seen or felt before.  She timed her daily votes for maximum impact and rallied her friends to vote, too. My dad was all over me participating in this competition and there wasn’t anything that would get in the way of his daughter winning. My sister and friends were the same way. I felt so supported and loved through this whole process!

It Comes Down to Self-Perception 

It’s wonderful that my family and friends saw me as a winner, but how did I see myself?  That is what I think this all comes down to: actually seeing myself for who I am and who I have become. Can I finally accept the new version of me? 

I keep taking risks and pushing myself harder and harder. But for what? I admit I totally beat myself up. Could I have been more aggressive in collecting votes and increasing donations made on my behalf? Maybe I could have, but what if I wasn’t meant to win? What if being in second place is all I’ll achieve? When is enough enough?

Knowing the answer to that question is one of my struggles. I vacillate between harsh self-talk and feeling like it’s time to surrender and accept that there are just things I won’t be or have. Maybe there is contentment and peace in that.  

I’m sad at the thought of settling.

Can You Relate?

As a supporter of my friends and family, it felt humbling to be the recipient of that kind of support. In fact, in many ways, I’ve offered support more than I’ve allowed myself to receive it. And I don’t want to reject others’ support anymore. 

I’m curious about you: have you ever landed in second place? How did you feel about it? What parts of my confession aligned with your lived experience?

And, how do you get out second place?

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Gauri lives life full out and shares her experiences, challenges, and insights candidly on this blog, A Bad Indian.

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