Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fake Celebridom

Perception is not reality...sometimes we want it to be and sometimes we're grateful it's not. Goodness knows that's how my life is at the moment. Sure, bits and pieces of how our behavior is interpreted, how fun we look in Facebook pictures, and what others personally project onto us are indeed valid, but the entirety of "you" rarely matches the "you" everyone else knows. Or thinks they know. This is beginning to sound like an episode of that old MTV show "True Life." You think you know but you have no idea. Let's run with that. "True Life: I'm Miss New York."

Seven state titleholders + Miss America fighting the wind during the Brooklyn
Bridge photo glamorous!
NY, VA,  SC, and HI
A few weeks ago was the official "Miss America Homecoming" for Mallory in NYC, celebrating her big win and new job as Miss America 2013. Mallory, myself, and nine other state titleholders gallivanted from appearance to appearance, much of the weekend forgoing sleep and food. Children and adults alike lined up for photo ops and gawked at the rhinestones on our heads and sashes. Little did they know that all, or most, of us are twenty-somethings that don't really know what we want to do with our lives (welcome to young adulthood), can barely afford much more than cup o' noodles, and spend the majority of our time alone. Miss Virginia and Miss South Carolina spend hours upon hours driving across their states, chugging five hour energy drinks and probably talking to themselves like crazy people because they're so used to being alone in their cars (just a guess, Rosemary and Ali...). Then there's Miss New York, who spends plenty of alone time in her studio apartment, answering emails and enjoying a not-so-shameful bowl of Velveeta shells and cheese. Yes, I am incredibly grateful for the fun appearances I get to make, the successful people I get to meet, and the way I get to make kids feel super special, but the perception of my life and who I am is far more glamorous than the reality.

Mal and I are never ever awkward.
I like to call being Miss New York "fake celebridom." When you wear the sash and crown, you are escorted around as though you are Kate Middleton's American replacement. When the rhinestones come off, you're pushed and shoved on the subway just like everybody else. I chuckled to myself the night the Miss America Homecoming was over and I headed back to my apartment in Washington Heights, still wearing the gorgeous black gown, but barefoot and holding open the door into my building with my butt as I tried to drag in the ridiculous amount of bags and suitcases I had acquired during the few days away. Suitcases were tumbling over, my hair was falling out, and I had to soccer kick a few bags to the elevator. One hour earlier, I was being whisked around a fancy party, not allowed to lift a finger. Oh, the irony.

After my classy arrival back at my humble apartment with the mountain of bags at 2am, I slept for two hours before waking up in time to sing the National Anthem at the New York City Half Marathon. Needless to say, I didn't deem a shower necessary that morning. I sang for thousands upon thousands of runners, once again escorted from tent to tent. Then a few hours later, BOOM, I'm playing cards with my family in an Irish Pub, not an ounce of glamor in sight. I'm telling you, the fake celebridom is very odd.

You don't have to be Miss New York to live a life different than the way others perceive it. Heck, with social media, we're all something like mini-celebs...except we're also our own PR managers. The thing with perception is that we can't get lost in others' opinions; we must stay cognizant about reality. At the same time, we need to use the way others see us to draw inspiration for our reality. For instance, the more people who tell me that I'm a great Miss New York, the more I want to work hard to make that statement more than just hot air. Or the opposite- if someone perceives me as stuck up because of pageant stereotypes, the more relatable I'm determined to be. We can't get lost in how we are perceived because reality is, well, reality, but we should use the eyes of others to shape our worlds into something we'll be proud of when someone starts getting to know the real us.

I don't have a solution for world peace and I don't own any blouses that cost more than $25 (shout out to Target and Forever 21), but I'm doing my darndest to be more giving, patient, intellectual, and sensitive because that's what people perceive a role model Miss New York to be...simply an upstanding woman. The wam bam glam perception can't really be changed- that's just the name of the game- but if you're reading this, please know that Miss New York is wearing faded jeans and a grey sweater while writing this on a smelly bus with no leg room.

Made this meme a few weeks ago...perfect, right? I crack myself up...

Since the last time I blogged...(in no particular order)

I went to Cabo with my best friends, plus grandma/stepdad/cousin:
Met Bloomberg at the annual fundraiser for the National Marfan Foundation:



Went to a few appearances upstate:

Went to a fashion show:

Judged a cheesecake contest to raise money for Broadway Cares:
Attended all of the Miss America Homecoming events:
PS 22 Choir!
Good Morning America
Ben Vereen!

Hosted a few pageants, one during which a contestant drew my face for talent:
Had a major balloon sword fight:
Had my official Miss New York crown pictures taken:

Sent out lots of signed photos:

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud to know you. You ARE as awesome... and as awkward as you seem. And that makes you incredibly fabulous :) -- Tara