Venezuela's representative to this year's Miss Universe ~ Just one of the Competitors our New Miss Universe Malaysia 2010 will have be up against!
Okay so whilst the Finalists for the Miss Universe Malaysia 2010 pageant have been busy blogging and what-not, I was busy.. well, being with them, talking, advising, helping, scolding, feeding, training, (trying to be) inspiring them.
It wasn't easy. It was the first time I've done this, I am sure I could've done more, or made better decisions at any one point.
Here's what I found:
The girls were Hip, Urban, Most of them were Relevant, and not all of them were Real. Well, not initially anyway.
Yes, its a competition. Most of them became fast friends, ALL of them were well behaved in my presence, (apparently I scare them?), but.. for most, their true competitive colours only began to shine through after day 3; when the Challenges started.
I guess its when we throw mini-competitions their way, did it finally dawn upon them how THEY WERE COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER!
I mean, it was Day One that I informed them:
Look around you. For 17 of you, one girl you see will beat you, and win. Are you going to let that happen?
I guess it took a while for that to sink in?
But everyone became "Best Friends" and "everyone was lovely" by the end of day 2. Okay that's all fine and dandy, I was actually pleasantly surprised.
And then, apparently, it began.
We had the Sony I-Spy Challenge, the team with the fastest time did not win - it was the team with the most perfect pictures. (*whisper-whisper-grumble-grumble*)
Then we had the Parkson Style Challenge, where each girl was left to her own devices to grab clothes from the rack to style themselves for it. Some girls were left without much of a choice, others were allegedly pushed and trampled on. (*grr. Arg.*)
The next day we had a True Fitness Challenge, one girl got two out of three awards. (*raised eyebrow*)
[Mind you - Team MUMO and I were there, 24/7, to ensure that everything was executed in a fair and precise manner. We were judge and jury when it came to issues down the line, and we ensured that ALL finalists had as equal a chance as their peers to compete and win. The activities were planned for the sole intention of building team spirit, and allowing the reality of competition to dawn upon them at the same time.]
I find out later, (recently), that there were some unhappy finalists, that it wasn't as rosy as I initially had surprisingly thought. Some finalists have confided in me -- *Andrea says in Yoda voice* judge them or their 'foes' I do not, but interested in the psyche of how things have "flipped", I am.
Does that make the Finalists bad people? Does it make them hypocrites?
It makes them Human. It makes them finally, Real! It showed us all how they handled stress, how they handled losing, and winning. (Tune in to Webisodes to witness their Journey to Real-ness!)
I mean, Seriously. Do we really expect 18 strong, ambitious, intelligent young women to get along, under the pressure of Stress and Competition?
There's a cracking point for all of us. There's a reaction to every action. There's a legit reason for their feeling the way they do.
.................I guess that's why we have Pageant Week - and not Pageant Day?
***Note to Finalists who are reading this: Lets be real from this day forward? Lets kinda take a line out of Avatar, and use it to context:: I see you. Deep, them words are. (Again in Yoda Voice please?)
If you don't like someone, you needn't layan them -- its absolutely fine. However you must remember that its common courtesy to be at least civil at all times. I am not saying we should all tolerate bit*hyness, I am saying that its absolutely normal to get upset when you lose out on something! Its absolutely normal to feel threatened in a state of competition, or to become more competitive! The key is: How to handle it so that it makes you the bigger person, and How to not allow things to upset you so much so that you are side-tracked from the obvious goal that you have in mind:: To win!
Read the Art of War, and the Art of Power. Whilst ruthless, some of the advice in those books do make some sense.
And to the girls who have truly made fast friends, good for you. Sincerity is key here, its when you can look at each other in the eye, smile and say, "I hope I beat you!" - and know that you can still be friends tomorrow -- THATs when you should really know that you found a friend. ;)