The pageant is about a month away, and we’ve been meeting on Sundays at a dance studio in Novato to rehearse and practice our walks and talent segments. Last Sunday, we had a kind of “girl’s day,” and some of the contestants from both Miss Marin County and Miss Marin Outstanding Teen met at Peet's to practice our interview and on-stage questions. I’m a little nervous because these on stage questions are supposed to show our opinions about current events while showing that we can think and speak on the spot. I’m a person that needs time to plan and organize my thoughts! But I will just keep practicing on getting my ideas together fast, and expressing them clearly.
The Miss Marin County crown – as well as the crown for Miss California and Miss America, has four points that each represent a trait that a winner should embody: scholarship, success, style, and service. On the morning of the pageant, and before the show begins, all contestants have an interview with the 7 judges. Miss Marin County contestants have 10 minutes, and the Miss Outstanding Teen contestants have 8 minutes to answer possibly up to a dozen questions– it all depends on how long our answers are. The questions are based on the resume we provide a week before the pageant, so that the interview can be personal to each girl. The judges may also ask general questions, like, “why do you want to win?” and, “how do you plan on managing your time as a titleholder?” Previous winners have made public appearances around Marin County to advocate for their platforms. During rehearsals we have also been practicing how we will represent the values symbolized by the pageant crown that will be given to the winner.
I will represent “scholarship” and “success” by using the scholarship money from the pageant to help pay for college, and hopefully earn a degree in journalism and communication. I will depict “style” by being confident and authentic to myself. My favorite song at the moment is “Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara. It is about how everyone is beautiful just the way they are, and instead of changing yourself, the world needs to be more accepting. Basically, everyone is perfect just being them! It has such a great message and inspires me to be myself and help others feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin.
Finally, I will represent “service” because giving back and helping people is a passion of mine. I have been to Jacmel, Haiti, twice to help children learn to swim, build homes, and I even started a pen pal program connecting Marin County to Jacmel. I also have volunteered with numerous local fundraisers and whenever I have the chance to participate in a Marin County event, I do. To me, the best feeling in the world is making others smile.
If I win, I will wear the crown with pride, and I hope I get that chance!