I do pageants! I tend to get mixed reactions when I tell people this little tidbit, but its true I’m a pageant girl. First things first, no it is not like Toddlers and Tiaras, no I do not starve myself so I look good in a swim suit, yes the heels do hurt, yes its all worth it.
It all kind of happened by accident. I was invited to do a pageant and there was a ford mustang on the brochure. Now any girl who grew up watching Marykate and Ashley probably remembers that those girls had a ford mustang and from that moment on it had been my dream car. So I signed up, I later learned that they only gave the car out at the national pageant and I was competing at the state pageant. But into the pageant world I went un-expecting and unprepared. I did not win my first pageant, I did not go on to nationals to win my dream car (which is also no longer my dream car, hello Jeep Wrangler!) However I got up on stage that weekend and I put myself in a completely new situation. My whole life I had been an athlete and now I was on stage in a pretty dress. I stood in high heels and I introduced myself over the microphone and told the judges and audience about my future ambitions and hobbies. I sat down one on one with each judge in interview and answered all the crazy questions they tossed at me. I learned to think and speak. I learned to carry myself with grace and confidence even when you’re scared of falling on your face. It was the best experience I ever had, and I found myself hooked on pageants.
But I was still an athlete and sports still took the spot light in my life. That is until I was 16 and I sustained two severe concussions that ended my high school sports career. But it did not end my sports career. I used to think that it had but I now realize that once soccer and lacrosse were off the table I threw myself into pageants. While I was still trying to cope with my concussions and to trying to fill the void left in my life by soccer and lacrosse a friend gave me a piece of advice. He told me to stop looking back, fill my time with something new because maybe someday down the road the doctors would tell me that I could go back to playing soccer or lacrosse but that if I find something new something I love, I may not want to go back. A few months after that conversation I had started my first job as a hostess at a local restaurant, I had been volunteering more and I really thought that those were the things in my life that would replace soccer and lacrosse. But I was wrong.
Now several years removed from the whole situation I realize I did not give pageants enough credit. I never stopped being a competitor, I wasn’t on the field like I had been for most of my life but I was competing on the stage. Pageants teach many of the same values and skills that team sports teach. They teach you to set goals, they teach your how to compete, how to lose, how to perform under pressure and stress, and you do it all in high heels! Pageantry is my sporting event. I get to go and compete against amazingly talented and smart girls who push me to be better. I am so thankful for my time in pageantry, and its not over yet. This year has been my first year competing in the Miss America system. I compete in interview (25%) talent (35%) swim suit (15%) evening wear (20%) and on-stage question (5%). I get to work on my personal platform “Inclusion for People with Disabilities” and I have the opportunity to raise money for the Miss America national platform Children’s Miracle Network. I am currently competing in local competitions with the hopes of winning a local title and going on to states. This has been my first year competing in the Miss division instead of the Teen division, I am so excited for this new journey. An opportunity to use the skills I learned competing as a Teen, develop new ones, and push myself to be better ever time I step foot on stage. Thank you to the pageant world for all you have taught me and all you have given me, I can’t wait to continue our adventure!
A few photos from this years local season so far!