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Girls, boost your confidence.
The competition’s fierce. If you don’t glisten,
You’ll never have a chance.

My next pet peeve is leave the pre-Madonna
Attitude at home!
You wanna win, but not by stepping on

another girl. It bares
repeating: keep your social morays clean.
Be curtious! Who cares

Your sister’s fat and inappropriate?
Freestyle rap’s a talent
that beauty judges probably would hate.

No holes barred, and smile!
Extract unwanted body hair by waxing.
You’ll find it’s worth your wild.

The stuff on your head is amongst the first to shed
if you are stressed or wreckless.
Style is strategy. Relax. Be ready

to hire a pageant coach.
He’ll stir “spice” into your personality.
Drink skimp milk, lightly poached.

Losers should never cry, but winners should try to.
The interviewers like
to hear we value girls in our country.

Julie Sheehan’s three poetry collections are Bar Book: Poems & Otherwise (W.W. Norton), Orient Point and Thaw (Fordham). Her honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award and NYFA Fellowship in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. She teaches in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

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