MasterChef contestant Courtney Lapresi demonstrates many admirable (and rare) qualities for a reality-TV star.
Chic role models can be found everywhere. I've noticed a new trend among ladies: to cite their contemporary female role models as their "woman crush." How cute! I actually love this idea because it is really empowering for women. Rather than finding flaws or criticizing one another, let's take the time to point out what's right about someone-- those qualities that we like, admire, and perhaps ourselves wish to emulate.
A "Negative Nancy" has no mystery. She is someone who finds fault with others, usually based on the very things of which she herself may feel insecure (such as appearance, ability, weight, relationships, etc.). Discussing flaws and drawing attention to our own negative aspects is very un-chic. Rather, amplifying one's best assets and representing one's self (and others) with pride and respect is a much more classy approach to life. Wouldn't you agree? My very own woman-crush, for whom this post is written, is a living example of this attitude.
Courtney Lapresi, a contestant on the 2014 series of the reality cooking contest MasterChef, is a woman who demonstrates so many chic and admirable qualities that I could no longer resist the urge to blog about her. After watching several rounds of the 2014 MasterChef series with my husband, I became fascinated with Courtney and her je ne sais quoi. After careful scrutiny, I've identified some of what makes her so appealing, not just for viewers like me, but also to the MasterChef judges, apparently.
- She is naturally pretty.
- She stays calm.
- She is professional.
- She has a great sense of style.
- She is feminine.
- She is a good cook.
- She is confident.
- She is naturally pretty. Courtney is very natural-looking-- no bleached hair or plastic surgery. Clear, smooth skin; shiny, silky hair, and a nice, white smile are her strongest assets, and these are attainable for any woman with a bit of care and attention to one's health. You don't need to be born with certain features or bone structure to look beautiful. As author Tish Jett writes in her book, Forever Chic, "...beauty is wide open to interpretation." Courtney knows what her assets are, and she plays those up very well with relatively minimal makeup, except for a pop of color with a bright lipstick. Adding to Courtney's overall impression of beauty includes everything else on this list. It's part of her total package.
- She stays calm. Unlike many of the other contestants, Courtney is almost always calm and collected when in the kitchen. On last night's episode, another contestant challenged her by giving her half the amount of time that the other contestants had to prepare a dish. Courtney didn't yell, complain, or cry-- she waited patiently until her time was up, and then she completed the challenge outstandingly well (because of point #6). Besides, what purpose would a meltdown have served? None. She stayed focused, and that allowed her to excel in this challenge, in spite of the added stress...which is why we have point #3.
- She is professional. Courtney continues to excel in the competitions, which is why the judges seem to like her so much. Naturally, some of the other "Negative Nancy" type of contestants have painted a big target on Courtney's back because of this (see point #2). However, rather than criticizing the other contestants or picking fights with them, Courtney stays focused on herself and playing up her strengths, rather than trying to point out everyone else's flaws. This is what I consider to be true class.
- She has a great sense of style. Courtney is known for her trademark sky-high stilettos, which she wears effortlessly in the kitchen, even as she's rushing to complete a challenge. Usually she's wearing a cute dress or skirt, and she is always impeccably groomed. Even in the middle of a busy, hot kitchen, Courtney dresses well and looks her best, which adds to point #1 and the following, point #5.
- She is feminine. Because she is a professional, Courtney is never caught yelling or screaming at another contestant. Instead, she talks softly, which is a very feminine trait. Also, her personal sense of style (#4) adds to this feminine aura because of her preference for dresses, heels, and her long, silky hair. Yes, Courtney is very girly! Most certainly, one can be chic and sophisticated without being a girly-girl, but, this is a quality that I've admired about Courtney. She knows who she is, and she wears it very well. It works for her, which likely enhances point #7, in addition to supporting points #1 and #4.
- She is a good cook. Duh! MasterChef is a cooking contest, after all. Courtney actually has some serious skills and ability as a cook. This is definitely a great personal trait for anyone to have-- even if one is not aspiring to win reality cooking contests or become a professional chef. Everyone should learn to cook.
- She is confident. Knowing she has serious talent and ability as a cook (point #6) probably makes Courtney feel much more confident on the show, and that allows her to stay calm and let her abilities shine (points #2 and #3). Putting extra care into her appearance (points #1, #4, and #5) probably enhances that unstoppable, capable attitude, because as I previously blogged, "When things start getting hectic, wouldn't it be nice to reassure yourself with the notion that, if nothing else, at least your knickers match?"
I'm eager to see if Courtney's positive traits carry her through the remainder of the show victorious, or if, like many role models, she may experience a tomber en disgrace, as the French say. I hope not! Until then, I will be cheering for her-- which is something we should all occasionally do for one another. Until then, I leave you with a Two for Tuesday questionnaire:
- Who is your "woman crush"?
- What have you learned or been surprised by from a reality TV show?