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Choosing to become at Time Out for Women, Time Out for Girls in Salt Lake City

Published: Monday, Nov. 21 2011 10:25 a.m. MST

From left, Emily Harrison, Reagan Abplanalp, and Samantha Allred react to Brad Wilcox's presentation during "Time Out for Girls" at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — “American Idol” finalist Carmen Rasmusen saw what real beauty was — and wasn’t — when she went to Hollywood for Fox’s singing reality show and shared that with about 600 young women at the first Time Out for Girls in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

While the girls heard from Rasmusen, Deseret Book CEO Sheri Dew, seminary principal Anthony Sweat, Brigham Young University associate professor Brad Wilcox and the musical group Jericho Road, about 4,400 women were in a nearby hall at the concurrent Time Out for Women event on the last stop of this year’s “Choose to Become” tour.

The women on Saturday heard from author and Deseret Book editor Emily Watts, psychologist Wendy Ulrich, retired institute teacher S. Michael Wilcox and Deseret Book vice president Laurel Christensen. Blogger and plane crash survivor Stephanie Nielson also spoke due to a last-minute change in presenters.

Deseret Book’s Time Out for Women events are inspirational events targeted at women. This year, events were in nearly two dozen cities, including inaugural events in Australia and New Zealand and concurrent Time Out for Girls events in seven cities in the U.S. and Canada.

Time Out for Girls

There were two things Rasmusen wanted to change about herself physically when she was in middle school. The “American Idol” finalist wanted to have clear, clean skin and she wanted braces to fix her buck teeth — then she thought she could be happy. She had cut her hair short and with her tiny body, it made her look like a boy.

In high school, her skin had cleared up and she had had braces, but as a self-described late bloomer and someone who didn’t reach 100 pounds until her senior year of high school, she wanted to look like a girl.

Then, for “American Idol” in 2003, she was transported to Hollywood and learned a thing or two about beauty.

“Anyone can look like a movie star,” she told several hundred girls at the Time Out for Girls event, while their moms were at the concurrent Time Out for Women event.

For every show, they would spend at least an hour to an hour and half in the stylist chair.

“You can enter the room looking one way and come out looking completely different,” she said.

But it takes more than makeup, cute shoes and jewelry to have more than physical beauty.

“Things may make you feel pretty,” Rasmusen said. “It doesn’t make me beautiful.”

It’s the light of Jesus Christ, how a person lives their life and a reflection of their testimony that brings real beauty, she told the girls. And she truly felt beautiful after having her first child.

“Each and everyone is beautiful with or without makeup,” Rasmusen said before singing “Shine.”

Wilcox told them how circus mirrors distort and exaggerate an image, “and we laugh.”

Everyone receives different feedback from different people, from parents, teachers, friends and boys.

“Who do you believe?” Wilcox asked the girls as he explained that they were all an exaggeration.

“When you look toward heaven, you get real feedback,” Wilcox said.

Sweat spoke on feeling, recognizing and following the spirit and Dew shared about keeping an eternal perspective in life.

In addition to presenting, Sweat, Wilcox and Rasmusen answered several written questions from the girls.

Ali Paxton of Bountiful brought her two daughters, 13-year-old Hannah and 12-year-old Brienna.

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