Miss America

One year ago, I was on the Miss America stage. Nervous, excited… wondering if who I am was going to be good enough. A year later (actually it didn’t take that long… I knew well before taking the stage that night… I’m surrounded by supportive, loving friends and family!), I realized that it wasn’t the audience, or the judges, or a bigger crown and title that could make me good enough. I enjoyed the competition – but the esteem had to/has to come from myself. Take me or leave me, I’m happy with who I am and proud of what I do and accomplish.

Here we are one year later. New girl for DC – same competition. I see some truly spectacular candidates on that stage.

Regardless of the outcome, I’m proudly cheering for Shayna this weekend. She has such a strong spirit and sense of purpose. She has never needed the title to boost her self worth, but she has used it to enhance the District during her time as Miss DC.

I think that’s the true purpose of the Miss America program. Not to put a girl on display as the ‘most beautiful’ girl in the country (for that year), not merely to select an ambassador for each state (although its a wonderful, if sometimes thankless, job), and not only to promote the four ‘pillars of the crown’ – style, scholarship, success, and service in society. Miss America is about allowing a young lady to truly understand her own beauty (inner and outer) and use it to beautify the world around her. After all, “the sun shines not on us, but in us.” (John Muir)

UPDATE** Miss Michigan, Kristen Haglund, won Miss America Saturday night.