The words of Tara Conner:
"...my life is over. But I didn't know that my life was just beginning. And it was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through, but it's also one of the best things I've ever gone through. I learned so much about life, myself, and my future. And everything since then has blossomed into this beautiful fairy tale."
Just over a week ago, I had the opportunity to meet one of the most controversial Miss USA's in recent pageant history. Here's how it began:
Me: "Nice to meet you Tara, I'm Will and I'd like to interview you for my blog thePageantGuy.com."
Tara: "Are you nice?"
I immediately laughed and explained that I'd love for her to tell her life changing story...her rise to the top of pageant world, her public battles with addiction, and how she is positively impacting lives today.
If you don't know the Tara Conner story, I can tell you that it is NOT the "small town girl makes it big time, goes to New York City, and gets busted partying" story. It's the story of a woman who, at early age, secretly struggled with addiction, abuse, and the loss of a family member. Long before she was crowned Miss USA 2006, Tara was already spiraling down the path of self-destruction...powerless over her addiction, living an unmanageable life. It wasn't until Tara won the coveted Miss USA title that her struggles became publicly known. Eight months into her reign, after testing positive for cocaine, Tara was in danger of being stripped of her title until Donald Trump (who lost his brother Fred to alcoholism) gave her a second chance. More importantly, it was a second chance at life. Tara checked into the Caron Treatment Center -- whom she is currently a spokesperson -- and has now been sober for 5 years.
I don't think that I ever answered Tara's question, "Are you nice?" but I understand why she asked. Sometimes people THINK they know the whole story about who you are and what you've experienced, and in the case of Tara, will villainize you based on what you've read or seen on television. To answer your question Tara, "I'm nice sometimes and thank you for sharing YOUR story."
-Will the Pageant Guy
This article was written by Will the Pageant Guy
I'm the Guy at thePageantGuy.com