a blog about the book, "Smart Girl, Stupid World" by Sarah Siegand

“One Night of Poor Judgment” (Excerpt from Ch. 6) February 16, 2011

Filed under: Ch. 6: Smart Girls Take The Long View (Excerpt) — Sarah Siegand @ 11:36 pm

Katie was a young woman with a seemingly bright future. At 22 years of age, she was the reigning Miss Nevada, about to compete in the Miss USA pageant. Suddenly raunchy pictures of her surfaced on the internet, and Katie’s world came to a crashing halt. Photos of her topless and simulating sexual acts with others, caused her to be stripped of her crown and publicly humiliated by the media, who were all-too-willing to rip her to shreds.


Katie hoped to receive mercy from the Miss USA organization (run by billionaire Donald Trump), and made a public apology to that end. She claimed the photos were taken during an isolated incident from her teenage years. “I am so sorry this happened,” she said. “So many of us don’t realize how our actions, even one night of poor judgment, can affect the rest of our lives.” How true.


When the news broke about Mr. Trump’s decision, I watched curiously for Katie’s reaction. I wondered how it would all play out and what kind of character she would display. She was not given mercy by Donald Trump, and boy oh boy did that make her upset, which didn’t surprise me. Even during her original apology press conference, the lesson she urged young women to learn from her mistake was to “Never let your guard down about being photographed.” What?!? How about “Don’t engage in promiscuous behavior that compromises your value and dignity as a woman.” How about, “Live in the light and own the mistakes of your past, or they will find you anyway.” Nope. Instead she basically counseled the young women of America to not get caught on film. Ridiculous.


A few years passed and another young beauty pageant contestant found herself in hot water over a similar situation, but this time the young lady was allowed to keep her crown for whatever reason. Of course, the media turned to the former Miss Nevada, our dear Katie, for a statement. I hoped that maybe a few years of life on the “other” side of fame had helped Katie learn how to present herself more maturely. I was disappointed. Katie indicated how furious she was at the unfair treatment, and then pointed a finger of blame at Donald Trump saying she hoped he knew what he had “put her through” these past few years. What? She was the one who got naked and crazy, not him. Sadly, she failed to see that she was living with the consequences of her own decisions. Her fate was the result of her own foolishness, and Donald Trump had every right to pull her crown.


Let’s go back to something that Katie said that made a lot of sense. “So many of us don’t realize how our actions, even one night of poor judgment, can affect the rest of our lives.”  If you really understood where life would take you in God’s perfect will, you wouldn’t make decisions that could potentially compromise that destiny.


Instead of seizing a moment of risk for the thrill of danger that today has to offer, allow yourself to take the long view of your life. You identified some of the purposes that your life potentially holds at the end of the first chapter. What will you have to sacrifice in order to see those purposes realized?


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