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Fun Facts
I am a Beauty Queen

Well, kind of... Not really.  A few years ago, I was experiencing a very difficult time in my personal life.  My self esteem was completely shot, and I was slowly but surely sinking into a "black hole of depression" as I like to call it.  I needed a pick-me-up in a big way, but didn't know what it was, or how to go about getting it. 

Growing up, my mom's best friend was always suggesting I do pageants.  I never took it seriously, and never did get involved.  However she was persistent.  She was a pageant director for the Miss Idaho USA pageant for many years, and always talked about the great "scholarships" given to the winners and runners up {Scholarship is the wrong term, but the winners did get a big check among other things.}  One day, while I was a little down, she told my mom that the 2007 Miss Nevada USA pageant was less than one month away, but I still had a week to sign up.  My mom and I decided to look into it.

Knowing nothing about pageants, I signed up.  The catch was, that the total cost of the pageant (4 different outfits, photographs, entry fees, etc.) would cost upwards of $3,000.00!!!  However, the contestants were not allowed to spend their own money on any of it!  We were required to find sponsorships for all costs associated with the pageant and provide copies of cashiers check to prove we did so.  I live in a fairly wealthy part of town, and because I've lived here my whole life, I have a lot of close associations with people who were excited to sponsor me.  It took me only a few days to come up with the money and my Grandpa took my "headshots" in his backyard.  I was ready to go!

My brother was also super excited about this pageant business (more so than I was) and paid for me to hire a personal trainer for the month.  Because of my "blues" I had lost some weight (which I couldn't afford to loose in the first place), and needed to gain it back (10-15 lbs.) of lean muscle.  I went to the gym everyday for 29 days, at 4am, and in total gained about 12 lbs.

I also spent about 4 nights a week with my mom's friend learning how to walk.  The pageant required us to wear 5" high heels at all times, and learning to walk-gracefully- in them was no easy task.  She also recruited a "panel of judges" (different people from our church) together about once a week for mock interview sessions.  The whole experience not only prepared me, but gave me something do to besides worry about my sadness.

When pageant weekend came, I was so nervous.  I had never done anything like it before, and honestly, I had no clue what I was doing.  I prepared the night before by watching Miss Congeniality and Drop Dead Gorgeous with my family.

Some of the other contestants had been involved in pageants since birth, and one of the girls even had an entire house deemed "her pageant closet!"  These girls were also very impressive in other ways.  One girl was deaf, but had gotten her masters degree and owned a chain of tanning salons across Northern Nevada.  One girl was an active military member with a PhD.  One girl had a professional modeling contract with 4 different agencies.  It was intimidating to say the least.  I was a 22 year old pre-med student who worked in Advertising- facinating.  Some of them were very nice, helpful, and, like me, were just excited to be there and have a good time.  Others were not, using the excuse, "my mom would kill me if I helped you with your makeup."

The pageant began early in the morning with each of us being intervied in front of a panel of eight judges for exactly ten minutes.  I was #1 and first to go.  I felt like I was in front of a firing squad, with a new question being asked before I finished answering the first one.  I was able to keep cool however, because I am really really really good at talking.  Luckily for me, most of my questions involved my education, and my goals in the medical field, as well as questions from a survey I filled out upon registering.  ("It says here, you're a little goofy, show us goofy..."  And I did one of my little dances, which got them all laughing.)

At showtime, we opened with a dance number to Madonna's Vogue and introduced ourselves.  After that it was time to strut on stage in a bikini, again I was first.  I was nervous for a few reasons.  Because I was in the Miss pageant, and not the Teen-Miss, I had to wear a two piece.  It is not the most comfortable thing to strut in a bikini in front of 500 people.  We were also given a little shawl and told to "work it" and "use your prop."  Whatever that means...

After that it was time for the evening gown portion.  My mom is the one who picked out my dress.  When I saw it I said it looked like a peacock, but I trusted her and bought it anyway.  It was the hit of the pageant.  Apparently people really like peacocks.

After that, the top 5 were called... I wasn't expecting anything, I was just happy to be there, and happy to have the loudest cheering section, and to you believe it, they called my name!  What?  The other contestants were excused, and us Top-fivers were individually asked one more interview question on stage. 

This part of the contest doesn't really count, or matter, because no one actually answered their question.  One girl was asked about her goals, and went on to talk about how much she loved her grandmother.  I was asked what three things I would like to accomplish if I won, again, cool under pressure, "I would like to successfully compete in the Miss USA pageant in January.  {We were told that if were asked this question, this was to be one of our answers}  I would like to be a positive role model for the young people of this state , and I would also like to promote literacy across Nevada."

Literacy?  Where did that come from?  I don't know, but at least I answered the question, with a coherent answer that made sense, so that was good enough for me.

As it turns out, I didn't win, this girl did.  But I did get third, and I was stoked!  I think when they called my name, I was having so much fun, I didn't care if I won or not.  I cheered and hooted an hollered louder than anyone-  I almost felt bad because the girl who got fourth was crying next to me... A few months later on Christmas Eve, I got a phone call telling me that since the current title holder was stripped of her crown, I was promoted one space up in the line up, "Congratulations." 

Anyway, it was a fun experience, and something that I can look back on and say, "Yep, I did that."

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1 comment:

  1. It was so much fun to be in your cheering section!! You did GREAT! Fun times!!


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