The Cost of Fallacy

August 4, 2000
Miss North Carolina, Rebekah Revels, saw her dream of becoming Miss America disappear when an ex-boyfriend said he had nude photos of her. The allegation of the photos caused a national scandal and judgment by the press and the public.

She was quickly dethroned as Miss North Carolina (though she was later reinstated after suing the pageant officials) and kicked out of the running for the Miss America Pageant -- a competition she had been dreaming of since she was 2. She says she did not pose for the photos and they were taken without her approval; and aside from speculation, they were not sexual in nature or explicit.

Rebekah wants to know how to bring closure to the situation. How can she deal with having worked so hard for something and have it taken away?

Dr. Phil's Advice

  • From age 2 until now, you got a tremendous amount of good out of the experience. You have to focus on everything you took away from this: talent, poise, skills and abilities to be in front of a group. You can't get the pageant back, but you've got all the things you've achieved.

  • There are times in our lives when we become victimized, and the question becomes "What are you going to do about it?" You can try to have a what Dr. Phil calls a Minimal-Effective Response: What's the least thing you can do to that's effective in getting you to have emotional closure?

  • We always think that what we want is a certain thing. "I want to be Miss America." But the truth is, that thing isn't what we want. We want the feeling that comes with it. How can you get that feeling without getting that thing?

  • If what you really want is that sense of accomplishment, that sense of achievement, that sense of distinguishing yourself in front of America, you have done that and will continue to as you hold your head up and walk right through the fire.
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