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The New Realities of Body Language

By Valerie Hayes

Is your confidence weakened by reality TV’s spate of beauty makeovers? With a few adjustments in your self-talk, you’ll begin leaving more lasting and positive impressions.

Eva Longoria

STRONG STANDOUT : Eva Longoria serves as a realistic role model by successfully breaking stereotypes of perfection and putting her personal stamp on the very definition of “beautiful”.


Ahh, the comforts of being snug at home on a Friday night with a toasty fire, bowl of popcorn, and the remote control. I just love relaxing on the couch after a busy day and catching a few of my favorite shows. You can often find me watching CNN, the Discovery Channel… or wait, is that a makeover show? While flipping channels on TV between a discussion of the political ramifications of change to a new democracy in the Middle East and a documentary about Egyptian mummification practices, I spot one of the favorite trends in reality TV: a makeover show. I can’t resist empathizing with the “before” who is unhappy with her cellulite, untamed hair, and less-than-perfect smile. The anticipation builds as we see plastic surgery, multiple visits to the dermatologist, and grueling sessions with the personal trainer. I love the “reveal”… the excitement of family and friends, the wonderful new self-esteem… it sucks me in every time. I admit that after watching, I feel slightly wistful about the seductive idea of perfect beauty. It’s so easy to let TV shows and fashion magazines make us feel uncomfortable about how we look, contributing to a body language revealing a lack of self-confidence. Isn’t it ironic that these makeover shows, whose purpose is to increase self-esteem in the subject, frequently contribute to a drop in the self-esteem of the viewer?

One of the problems with these magazines and makeover shows is that we are often seeing a very narrow view of what is beautiful. We need to open up our eyes and look around a little. There are many beautiful, intelligent women who don’t fit the stereotypical vision of a perfect face and a perfect body. Some of our favorite celebrities don’t fit that stereotype. Queen Latifah, a multi-talented beautiful woman, didn’t wait until she was a size 2 to pursue her dreams. Now she has a successful career as a musician, actress, and is a spokesmodel for a major cosmetics company. And while HBO’s Sex and the City may be a favorite show, I’ve never thought of Sarah Jessica Parker as a classic beauty. In the cold light of day, her face seems too narrow, her nose too prominent, and her eyes too small. Yet I completely admire the stylish aura she has created. There’s a woman who has really made the most of her assets! Over the years she has developed an expertise with hair, makeup, and wardrobe, and is now one of the most photographed fashionistas in the world and a personal style favorite. And how about Eva Longoria? Working in an industry that clearly prefers tall, long-legged Amazons, Eva proves that, inch for inch, she’s just as sexy and beautiful as the next desperate housewife. All of these women have made a decision to accept the way they look and make the most of it. They exude self-confidence.

  For the complete behind-the-scenes story and all the details on this and other exciting competitive events from across America, as well as a wealth of advice to improve your chances of victory, be sure to order Pageantry today.  

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