“You can't please everyone, and you can't make everyone like you,” ~Katie Couric
One of the greatest lessons I learned over my years of pageantry was to deal with criticism and subjective judgment. As I competed I would joke, it's great practice for the rejection I'll receive as an actress! Behind the laugh though, not winning and being criticized in any way always hurts. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the thick skin I developed.
Of course most of you probably realize I am writing this in response to "bashers" on the anonymous Miss Ohio message board. I realize I don't have to respond, but I have a blog, so I can! This blog is often so informative that I think people sometimes forget what most blogs are - a place for personal commentary, opinions and whatever the hell the writer wants!
I'm always so confused when people say they're "sick of me." I'm not on a billboard that you have pass everyday on your way to work - this is a website that you choose to visit! The reality is that comments against me crop up every time I've signed my name to multiple message board posts in a short amount of time. News flash - it's all the same people over and over on the message boards; it's just highly noticeable when someone signs their name, since most don't.
I was amused to read, "I read it and laugh. Never saw anyone so full of herself." Again, you're complaining about something you choose to read and the funny thing is that I was just thinking about my blogger arrogance the other day... I will totally admit to a superiority complex, but it comes from a place of extreme frustration. I wish I weren't the best source of information, but the reality is that I am. I know I'm providing a service that most people appreciate; a friend recently pointed out the obvious, that if the official Miss Ohio website were at all what it should be, my blog would be irrelevant. If knowing that makes me full of myself, so be it; you'll be hard pressed to find defenders of the Miss Ohio website or another source that puts multiple information in one place.
I began blogging to gain better exposure when I was a contestant and it very organically grew into something more. I enjoy writing; blogging has become an outlet and a hobby. As time and distance separate me from the Miss Ohio program, I am clearly becoming more outspoken, but I will always be grateful for what I gained as a competitor and support the ideals of Miss America. Thus I am also confused by comments like "Turn a page Abby move on there's life outside of Ohio and the MOSP." Anytime a former contestant signs her name too much, or is opinionated on the message board, that is the feedback she gets. Then a month later there are complaints that the system has no new locals, no new blood and the question, "why don't more formers stay involved?" As I wrote in my message board response, we're damned if we do and damned if we don't! Why must continued interest in the system mean we don't have a life outside of it? That's such an ignorant assumption. I stay involved in part because I realize many of my post-pageant successes are thanks to skills I developed from pageants. Not to mention the fact that I still know and am good friends with some of the current competitors.
I realize that I don't need to justify any of this to those of you still reading at this point. lol! I'm sure my haters merely saw this posts title, laughed and are thinking they got under my skin, or fed my ego. Again, that just proves that they don't understand the nature of a blog. Thank you so much to those of you who stuck up for me, outnumbering the two negative commenters. I am humbled by all of my readers and your support keeps me going when I am frustrated with the system and most definitely in the face of anonymous criticism.
I'll end this with a narcissistic quotation from Billy Corgan, frontman for my favorite band, The Smashing Pumpkins:
"We've always done better with readers than with critics. Usually that means you've at least got people's hearts."