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What Halle Berry Taught Me About Parenting

When I hear the name Halle Berry, I immediately think of three things: her gorgeous face, her adorable pixie cut, and her messy break-ups. She is often in the press for her impeccable red-carpet looks, her cosmetic company endorsements, and her roller coaster of a love life. However, when it comes to giving parenting advice, her name doesn't appear on any lists that I know of. Nevertheless, one of the most important lessons I ever taught my daughters is a lesson I learned from Miss Halle Berry herself. Funny thing is, I doubt that she even knows what a perfect example she is.

I'll teach you the lesson, too.

1) Let's say my daughter Erica comes to me heartbroken because she didn't score well on a test or perhaps she didn't win the school election. I immediately ask her to tell me the name of the girl who was crowned Miss USA 1986. She tells me she has absolutely no idea and wonders why I am not as devastated as she is because her life is clearly over. The point is that no one knows who won the 1986 Miss USA Pageant. The winner floated on air for about ten seconds and then floated off into oblivion when she passed on her crown to the next winner in 1987.

2) I then ask my daughter if she was aware of the fact that Halle Berry LOST the 1986 Miss USA Pageant. She pauses for a moment and after she realizes that no, Halle Berry wasn't born famous, she becomes bewildered by the fact that the goddess aka Halle Berry actually LOST a beauty pageant.

Yes, my friends. In the 1986 Miss USA Pageant, Halle Berry represented the state of Ohio as Miss Ohio USA. She made it to the top ten, and then down to the final two. She was named first runner-up. (They always make the first runner-up position sound so important. You know, the whole, "If for any reason, the winner cannot complete her reign, the first runner-up will take over the responsibility." I can tell you first-hand that being the first runner-up is the worst. I was the first runner-up in a pageant, and every single time the phone rang I prayed that it was someone from pageant headquarters calling to tell me that some terrible fate had befallen the winner of the 1982 Miss NJ National Teenager Pageant and that I could assume the throne and the $5 crown. Never happened.)

Anyway, back to Halle Berry's being named the first runner-up and what it means. It means she LOST, but today everyone knows her name. In the end, she was the real winner.

3) That brings me to the third and final part of one of the most important lessons that I taught my daughters thanks to Halle Berry: I don't share this story with them because I want them to seek fame and celebrity status or so that one day everyone will know their name. I don't want them to endure several messy break-ups, either. The lesson I want them to learn, and the lesson we can all learn, is that even if you lose the battle, no matter what it may be, don't surrender. You can still win the war.

Below is a photo of my girls celebrating Erica's winning the war (she got accepted to Barnard).

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