When One Door Closes, Another Opens

Hello everyone! If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I recently competed in the Miss Marin County Beauty Pageant. I spent weeks planning my outfits and gown, practicing my song, and finding the courage to stand up in front of an audience and literally ask to be judged. It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, and I won first runner up! And right before the judges announced that, I won three other prizes, for Community Service, Mock Interview and best of all, I was voted Miss Congeniality by the other contestants. This experience was, in a word, liberating.

The day of the pageant was crazy. It started early in the morning with a private interview at a business office in Novato where the 6 judges asked me questions about myself and my platform. It lasted 10 minutes, and then it was time to head to Angelico Hall at Dominican University for the rest of the show! Angelico Hall was the place we performed our opening number, talent, swimsuit walk, evening gown walk, and current event question in front of an audience. There was makeup, glitter and hairspray everywhere. It was a little overwhelming at times because this world is still so new to me. I think the most relatable moment of the day was before my swimsuit section when I actually had to use hairspray on my body so that my swimsuit wouldn't ride up when I did my runway walk. (But, when I walked out on stage, I totally had my Victoria Secret model moment). The girls I competed with are also the most down to earth, kindest people I have ever met. I wish them every happiness, and we are all planning to meet up again soon.

I’m not going to lie. When I didn't hear the judges call my name for winner, of course I was disappointed. I wanted it more than I had ever wanted anything. However, after the show, and after I got out of the dresses and washed the hairspray out..I remember the true reason I ran- to spread my platform of female empowerment and body positivity. That part of me, and my life is still so important to me. I don't need a crown. Even though the pageant is over, I will continue to speak to young women and promote what I'm passionate about. And, Rachel Lee, the girl that won, will be a wonderful Miss Marin County and i have no doubt she will do a fabulous job at Miss California.

Overall, I’m so grateful for this experience. I have learned so much about the person I am, and the person I want to be. My goals in life are to help others, and spread joy.

Underneath the “glam” of beauty pageants are intelligent, kind, talented, and beautiful women who support and lift each other up. In 10 years I won’t remember pageant day, or the gowns, or even the crown. I’ll remember the girls, my pageant director Michele and all the other women who volunteered, that amazing feeling of strength, bravery and confidence I walked away with.