To get what you want in life, you have to be content with stepping outside of your bubble. In fact, you have to be so content, focused, and driven that you NEVER get back in it.
Ever since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of competing in the Miss America Organization. There was something about it that always seemed so fascinating to me. Similar to what we all see from the exterior: beautiful women, gorgeous crowns, stunning gowns, and exceptionally brilliant minds that also wish for “World Peace.” On December 3rd, 2016 I became one of those girls.
I had FINALLY participated in a Miss America Organization (MAO) preliminary pageant. Months prior to the pageant, I spent my time carefully transforming myself into “one of those girls.”
I had to put together a platform. (An issue or cause that you wish to bring to light/be an advocate for.) I chose Autism Awareness, because now it hits very close to home within my family.
I even began to shop for all of the outfits I would need. The one that terrified me the most: swimwear. Of course, I love my body and it’s important that every single young lady on this Earth does too! However, I’ve had a scar on my stomach from surgery ever since I was a few days old, and after being bullied about it for so long, I still feel hesitant that anytime I wear a swimsuit someone will ask me “Hey, what’s that?”
My coaches made me more aware of social issues that, as an 18 year-old teenage girl, I had never payed much attention to such as: The economy, fiscal cliffs, stem-cell research, and cloning. I had to do my research because it is so vital in the MAO system that you’re aware of social issues, and how to address them. I even had to prepare myself to speak in front of 5 judges for a 10 minute interview. Mind boggling, right?
A journey through my day
My day began around 7:30 am when I woke up to get ready! Everything is in one day: interview, rehearsal, and then it’s show time. Not only did I have to be at my interview 30 minutes early, but I also had to drive an hour away. My interview with the judges was phenomenal! Through my journey as a military brat, my platform, and interest in mass media there were so many things to talk bout.
I met Miss Florida, Courtney Sexton while we were eating lunch and I nearly almost choked on my food! (Kidding…maybe) Everyone we were surrounded by from the contestants, to the backstage crew, and MC’s were kind, and helpful people and I was truly thankful for them.
When it became time to get ready, everyone was so willing to share all they had. Mirrors, bobby pins, and of course the infamous “butt glue.” (It’s needed, I promise!)
“Alright girls, time to go – let’s go let’s go!” The lady back stage told us. Everyone took one last second to add an extra bobby pin, an extra layer of lipstick, and add an extra stroke of mascara. We prayed before going on stage, and we always yelled “good luck!” before the contestant in front of us went out into the crowd.
That night at my first prelim, I could’ve been asked anything under the sun and it wouldn’t have phased me. I was so excited to get out there, and strut my stuff! (Even though I don’t have too much to strut.) From swimwear, to talent, and evening gown I prayed to the sweet baby Jesus above each time I set foot into the spotlight.
The night went by so fast, and before I knew it we were all lined up on stage waiting to hear the final results.
I received the Interview Award .(The highest amount of points you can get out of any event in the pageant. It’s important!) I was so proud of myself. My coaches pushed me and worked hard with me to always make sure I was answering any questions to my upmost potential. Interview is more than being asked “What’s your favorite color? How can we get world peace?” I was asked about the North Dakota Pipeline issue, Black Lives Matter, The 2nd Amendment, and many other social issues.
Finally – it was time for “the envelope.” I looked into the stage lights above me as they began naming the runner ups. My night went perfectly. It was everything I imagined it to be, and I simply had to thank the King up above for allowing me to feel this way.
I was the 1st runner up At my FIRST prelim in the MAO! I was beyond excited, to hear my name be called. I couldn’t believe I had made it this far. It was beyond “winning.” All of the girls and I won. We were doing things most people wouldn’t dare to do. I was a winner for stepping outside of my bubble, and for chasing my dreams.
Miss Florida Courtney Sexton
Friends, family, and new sisters!
When you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.
That night, I did exactly that. For those who don’t know, you can compete in MAO until you’re 24. I’m only 18, so my journey has just begun! I’m so excited to see what’s in store for me.
Stay updated with my journey for the crown on this new tab: The Miss America Organization.
Continue to chase your dreams!