Attitude, Personal Branding, Personal Presence

Everyone Knows You Based On How You Show Up

Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez is mistakenly crowned Miss Universe 2015. Even during an awkward moment, everyone knows you based on how you show up.
Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez is mistakenly crowned Miss Universe 2015. Even during an awkward moment, everyone knows you based on how you show up.

I’m on holiday in Switzerland right now, running around with my friends and having a great time.  I don’t have time for watching TV.  But, I stay on top of what’s happening in the world by following news media sites and by keeping in touch on social media.  I didn’t actually see the Miss Universe pageant.  It’s not crucial that I didn’t see it.  The fallout over what has happened with this years “winners” goes to show that everyone knows you based on how you show up.

I find programmed pageantry like this to be insipid, full of formulaic frivolity, and don’t habitually watch them.  But, the bitter criticism from a vocal viewing public demonstrates that there are millions of others who find this a real form of entertainment.

Here we are at the peak of what I commonly refer to as the Holiday Season.  Regardless of our faith practices, or lack thereof, this should be a time of some basis for common ground.  The way that people are carrying on over such an insignificant thing as who is the real winner of a beauty competition really bothers me when there are so many other truly tragic problems in the world.  Truth be told, if there were no other pressing problems in the world, I’d find that the public’s attention on this pageant would be highly problematic.

Maybe, for some, this is an opportunity to escape from true reality…

Here, these two winning contestants, one with a crown, and one as a runner-up, each had an opportunity to make a highly positive statement.  Miss Phillippines said that how she won was,  “very 2015.”  In some way, her acknowledgment of how she won is suspect even to her.  Miss Colombia, after being wrongly crowned and then taking her position as first runner-up, said in a super short video clip, “thank you for voting for me.”

At a moment when showing up really counts, this pageant-as-circus reminds me that everyone knows you based on how you show up.  The crowning debacle was an immediate opportunity for each contestant to have capitalized on the extra attention by speaking to her own “cause.” Instead, the contestants, though clearly thrown off by the circumstances, failed to make a more positive impression.

As more coverage of this crazy story unfolded, even Miss Germany jumped into the fray by saying that none of the other Misses, that she knew of, had voted for Miss Philippines.

What does this actually mean for the contestants, for the pageant itself, and for the viewers?

We know that “people are people.”  But, if this were a pageant really worthy of the public’s attention, given the same circumstances, the outcome would have been different.  The dialogue would have been different.  People who are physically attractive should take their conduct even more seriously than all the hours of primping for the spotlight.  For me, the contestants’ reactions further solidify my feeling that this is a contest of vapidity, and not at all about the greater good.

In our day-to-day lives, we are all on some sort of stage.  Everyone knows you based on how you show up because of your ability to be in the moment at a time when it really counts.  It is the Holiday Season.  I hope that, however you have already celebrated or will celebrate, you show up as the very best version of whom you are.  It is the greatest gift anyone could receive.

Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles.  Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley”.  Need immediate and fast help? Learn about 1:1 private, intensive, and comprehensive 1-2 day VIP program designed to transform your personal brand and style in record time.

My role, as a personal brand and style strategist, is that of a storyteller. I learn about a person’s personality and strengths, translate that into an appropriate personal style aesthetic, and help each client to visually and non-verbally tell her or his story with ease and authenticity.