How I Broke the Good Girl Rules and Won Miss USA!

It was May of 1982 at the Miss USA pageant in Biloxi, Mississippi. I could barely breathe. Miss Texas and I stood on stage, hip to hip, as the two final contestants. One of us was about to be named the winner.

I was convinced Miss Texas would win. She had been the front-runner during the whole competition and I had been the underdog. I wasn’t your typical contestant. Miss Texas had long flowing blonde hair and a beautiful red evening gown. I, on the other hand, had short brown hair, a simple dress, and had shared in my Top 12 Interview that my friends and I often spent Saturday nights at the Tastee Freeze in my small hometown of Cabot, Arkansas, and the guys drank a little beer and dipped a little Skoal on the back of a pick-up truck while one of my friends played the banjo. I definitely didn’t fit the mold of a Miss USA!

But Miss Texas didn’t win. I did! Wow! I couldn’t believe it!!

My reaction to being named the new Miss USA showed just how shocked I was at being crowned the winner. I had broken the rules of being a pageant winner!

Miss USA winning moment headshot insert

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Have you ever heard the good girl rules below? I bet you have heard these and more!
1. Don’t rock the boat.  You have to conform to make people happy.
2. Don’t receive.   It’s selfish.
3. Don’t be bold and passionate.
4. Put on your happy-face mask.  Don’t let your true feelings show.
5. Don’t follow your heart, it might hurt others. Their wants and desires matter more than yours.

Have you ever thought or felt the statements below?
1. I feel stuck and that I have no choices.
2. I feel resentful, sad and hopeless because others can have what they want.  But I can’t.
3. I feel angry because no one is listening to me.
4. I feel alone.

And other negative, draining thoughts and feelings?


How I Broke the Good Girl Rules and Won Miss USA!

It was May of 1982 at the Miss USA pageant in Biloxi, Mississippi. I could barely breathe. Miss Texas and I stood on stage, hip to hip, as the two final contestants. One of us was about to be named the winner. I was convinced Miss Texas would win. She had been the front-runner during the whole competition and I had been the underdog. I wasn’t your typical contestant. Miss Texas had long flowing blonde hair and a beautiful red evening gown. I, on the other hand, had short brown hair, a simple dress, and had shared in my Top 12 Interview that my friends and I often spent Saturday nights at the Tastee Freeze in my small hometown of Cabot, Arkansas, and the guys drank a little beer and dipped a little Skoal on the back of a pick-up truck while one of my friends played the banjo. I […]

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