As most of you know, I’ve been in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the last two and a half weeks competing at the Miss USA pageant that was broadcast live on Reelz on July 12. If you didn’t catch it on TV, you can still watch it in full on YouTube here. Spoiler alert: I placed in the Top 10 and couldn’t be happier about it. Of course I would’ve loved to become the next Miss USA, but I gave it my all and there isn’t one thing I would do differently, and in my opinion that’s the best feeling to have after it’s all said and done.
I had of course seen photos of all 50 of the other contestants online and through social media, but believe me when I say that photos don’t do them justice. I think it’s probably similar to when you meet a celebrity in person and they’re 10 times prettier and in the case of Miss USA, everyone was way taller than I expected. At 5’8”, I was actually on the shorter side which was a reality check for me since I’m always a giant walking around in my heels in Hawaii. Contrary to what people think, the girls were some of the sweetest I’ve ever met and I kept thinking to myself that if we all lived in the same city we would all be best friends. However, at least I’ll have someone to meet up with no matter which state I’m in!
When I heard “Hawaii” called into the Top 15, and then the Top 10, it was honestly one of those moments where I kept asking myself if I was dreaming or not. I know that sounds clichéd, but it has been a dream of mine to compete on that Miss USA stage for so long that it didn’t feel 100% real. Four months of dieting and spending 6 days a week in the gym, walking practice, interview coaching, wardrobe prep, spray tans, nails, hair appointments, waxing, makeup lessons, gown consultations, and media interviews had finally paid off. Even though I missed out on things like family dinners, a social life, carbs, sleep, a healthy bank account, and more, I have never felt more beautiful and confident than on that stage and it was an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life.
I’ve told all my friends and family that that was my last pageant (my body can’t take it anymore and I love ice cream too much!) but I still feel like it’s my responsibility to share all of my tips with other girls and women who want to find out how pageantry can enrich their lives. If you’re a pageant girl or know a pageant girl with any questions for me, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With that said, if you’re ready for a complete onslaught of Miss USA photos, then the rest of this post is for you. The inner OCD in me hates that they’re not all the same size, but most are taken off the internet so this is the best I could do!