It is beauty pageant season and I have a relative participating in one. At 18, she is confident, smart, competitive, and beautiful, and it doesn't seem to bother her that people will be judging her. In fact, she volunteered to be in that position.
I hated competition of any kind, but parental and teacher mandates forced me into those situations. Once, at the insistence of friends (?), I ran for class president. The class wasn't interested in a leader with rubber legs and facial ticks who didn't know a beer when she saw it, so the jokster, party-boy won. That did nothing to boost my self-esteem.