Since last night was the Miss USA pageant, I felt it only natural to talk about my first pageant.
Okay, it was really my second pageant. I was in the Miss Junior Michigan pageant in 1996…which was forever ago. So even though Mrs. Pennsylvania America 2018 was technically my second pageant, I really consider it my first.
After the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Auditions, I came home and had myself a carb buffet. I earned that! Pizza and wine, which led to scrolling on Facebook. I came across a post from a Beachbody coach with pictures from her Mrs. America experience. So of course, I headed over to Google to find out what that pageant was, and then landed on the Mrs. Pennsylvania America page. The pageant was being held in May and applications were still being accepted for another few days. I filled out the application and then hesitated. Could I really be accepted? Was I crazy for thinking I could be? I hit the submit button and went to bed.
A couple days later I received an e-mail from Raquel, the director, that I had been selected to represent Philadelphia County! I was shocked! I read that e-mail about 100 times to make sure it wasn’t a joke. I was excited and nervous, and SO. NOT. READY. I wasn’t in the best shape, I didn’t know anything about pageants, and the pageant was 5 weeks away.
A few days later I got a call from the co-director, April, who welcomed me into the sisterhood. She explained the process to me and all the steps that I needed to complete before the big day. I was announced on Facebook as a contestant and greeted with welcome messages from the other contestants, my Sister Queens. Immediately, I saw the sisterhood in pageantry.
Flash forward 5 weeks to pageant day. I placed as the 3rd Runner Up! I was so proud of my accomplishments in such a short amount of time. The day was just amazing.
Some people think that pageantry is just pretty girls prancing on stage. Let me tell you what it's really about. It’s about being the best version of yourself, celebrating your accomplishments, putting yourself out there for the world to see the GOOD that you’re doing in your communities. It’s about SISTERHOOD.
Have you ever listened to the contestant introductions? Honor roll, college degrees, CEO's, entrepreneurs, mothers, military members, veterans, doctors, lawyers. The list goes on. Every woman is incredible and has a high level of dedication to their communities and organizations.
I not only became friends with my Sister Queens, but I also became friends with other sash sisters that I connected with on social media. I witnessed firsthand women building each other up and empowering others.
Had my hesitation kept me from hitting submit, I never would have seen just how beautiful pageantry is.