Miss Marin: Why I Chose to Enter

For most of my life, I looked at beauty pageants with skepticism— all the women were skinny and gorgeous, with perfect hair, perfect teeth, and smiling all the time (literally, all the time). It seemed like they were just being promoted for their looks and outer beauty rather than what was inside. But after doing some research into the Miss Marin County Organization I found the pageant actually works to highlight young women and their strengths— women of all shapes and sizes.  When I watched the Ms. America pageant in September, I saw that the winners were not just beautiful, but they had a compelling, well-articulated platform, as well as a talent. No “dumb blonde” ever won Miss Marin County, or Miss America. I realized these women were skilled and smart— as well as pretty.

As I did more research, I found that every contestant is awarded scholarship money for college. I am a senior in high school, and college is very expensive right now so the scholarship would be helpful to me and my family. I started to think about the pageant, and what my platform could be. I chose female empowerment and body positivity because it is so important for women to feel confident about themselves and beautiful in their own skin. I started to think that if I won I could really help people and I would be able to raise awareness to an issue that is important to me.

I am confident, and I love Marin County, my lifelong home. From the public schools I’ve attended, to East Peak on Mt. Tam, to the redwoods in Muir Woods, to the Sunday Farmer’s Market at the Civic Center, I love where I live and am grateful for everything Marin has to offer. I also work as a swim instructor at the Mill Valley Community Center, and want to be a role model to kids. I thought winning the pageant would allow me to give something back, and represent my home. It was also a chance to raise awareness about an issue that’s important to me.

While I have always been spirited and athletic, I have struggled with weight loss and body insecurity. It’s a hard topic to talk about, and most girls avoid it altogether. But I feel it’s important for all young women to know they are appreciated, and should feel good about themselves, no matter their size. I felt by competing in the Miss Marin County Pageant, I would have a stage on which to talk about this issue. I would also be forced to confront and overcome my biggest fears: being judged for not looking like a “typical” beauty pageant queen, and modeling a swimsuit in front of an audience. I want to prove to myself that I can do both. And if I win, I’ll be able to help spread a powerful message: If I can find the strength and confidence to be in a beauty pageant, anyone can. There are no limits when someone is determined and willing to work hard to make the world a better place.