Ironically, one of my favorite songs is by Kacey Musgraves called "Pageant Material", and it's about how she "AIN'T pageant material". The lyrics cleverly portray how many pageant contestants turn into something they aren't in order to win a title.
I grew up doing a few pageants. I too felt like I was being trained to be something that I wasn't. But I also noticed I was being pushed to overcome certain fears and improve in ways that I liked. As a married woman I reconciled the two experiences and realized you don't have to change a thing to be in a pageant. Yeah, you might not win, and if that's the goal then there could potentially be a problem.
But what if you were to enter a pageant simply because you are passionate about a social cause that could be furthered through a pageant platform? Or because you want to work on your interview skills? Or because you want to make fitness more of a priority? Those are the reasons I decided to join the Mrs. Utah pageant.
I get a thrill from doing things that scare or "push"me. I like the adrenaline rush. It feels good. Being on a stage. Being vulnerable. Speaking. Putting myself out there. It's all growth. And that's just the pageant part itself. For the next year I get to use my title as Mrs. Utah County to further along mental health awareness. I get to volunteer at organizations I'm passionate about and speak out from a position of someone who isn't just choosing to talk the talk, but walk the walk.
I'm excited to share more of this journey as it unfolds.