Hi everyone! If you’re reading this, then I want to thank you- even if we’ve never spoke to each other, for following up with me in my journey. You see, the Miss America Organization is something I’ve always wanted to be apart of ever since I was in Middle School. I never thought I was fit for the part and with amazing friends, their unbelievable mom’s, family members, and coaches, I was able to reach one milestones of many finish lines tonight.
Your new Miss Pasco County Fair is: Aaliyah Manning!
*Raven Symone voice* Yup, that’s me!
Well, I can’t believe I’m doing this. You know those embarrassing Facebook photos nobody shares? Yeah… here are some of mine.
If you were to tell me in middle school I was going to compete in the Miss America Organization, I would not believe you. With glasses, acne, and a mouth full of braces I would be quick to turn you away. Being told I was “too skinny, or too dark” or that “my eyes were too big, or my teeth weren’t straight enough” were things that I had become accustomed to. I was an extremely bubbly girl growing up, and I still am. However, inside I was always confused and truly unaware of how beauty could also radiate from the inside.
On Saturday, January 21st I competed in the Miss Pasco County; County Fair pageant.
Opening number and onstage question
Yup. That’s the face of a winner up there! In the beginning of the pageant, each contestant must answer an impromptu question out of a bowl. My question was: “In your opinion, what do you think about celebrities being open about their political views? ” Try answering that in 20 seconds!
Probably my favorite part of talent: the finishing smile! All of my friends and family know just how much “River Flows in You” by Yiruma means to me. I first played this song when my mother returned home from deployment in Iraq. My love for the Piano began at the age of 5 in Seoul, Korea where I started taking lessons.
This is the moment where I had a full out heart attack. Every sappy and happy emotion consumed me at the same time! I had dreamed of this moment: Having the four point crowned pinned on my head, along with a gorgeous white sash to bring it together. Beyond the sparkly dress, false eyelashes, and fake nails I had finally become apart of something that’s bigger than me.
The Miss America Organization allows young women like myself to be a voice in their community. The ladies in this system are educated, well rounded, and ambitious. Many of them wanting to be lawyers, nurses, teachers, or even a journalist like me. If you want to be a leader in your community, and connect with people who are truly a breath of fresh air, there’s no other place I’d recommend.
To my beautiful friends, even the ones that couldn’t make it – I love you. Thank you for being just like the pageant moms straight out of Toddlers and Tiaras! I can’t imagine anyone else being so willing to lose their voice for me as I prance around the stage. Thank you for traveling right behind me, and for always being there as I glance out into the crowd.
The 4 points of the Crown: Style, Succsess, Service, Scholarship
Although there isn’t a 5th point to the crown, if there was one, it would definitely stand for Sisterhood.
In just a month’s time, I have met some amazing women. Miss Pasco County 2016 told me something that I will hold near and dear to my heart forever. The day of the pageant as we began practicing during rehearsals, she reminded us of something: “Don’t look left, or look right. Look Within.” (Hi Olivia! Love ya sister.)
In life, we compare ourselves constantly. We always think of the worst, or that someone else is a better fit for something if we’re in a competition. Instead of always looking around you, focus on yourself and celebrate YOU!
NEVER think you’re not “___” enough.
I am so excited, blessed, honored, and everything in between to be your Miss Pasco County Fair 2017! Next stop: Miss Florida!
It’s all about the journey.
Miss Pasco County Fair 2017