For 34 years, I have been a pageant girl, or some version of that. After I stopped competing at 26, I started coaching, emceeing and had a brief run at being a state co-director. But I found my passion to be coaching, mentoring, and aiding someone else’s pageant journey. So even though I put away my pageant shoes and dresses, I wasn’t completely “retired” from pageant competition. But in 2018, I made a decision that changed everything. I decided to come out of retirement and compete once more at Elite Miss Earth USA.
In September 2018, my journey began after phone conferences and much debate, consideration, and reflection. I hit the ground running with marketing, videos, blog, daily social media posts, and so much studying about environmentalism. Ten months later, in June 2019, Sydni Terradot (2019 TCM Girl of the Year) and I traveled to Las Vegas to compete. This was the greatest prep year of my life! Even for Miss Louisiana, I didn’t work out that hard or study so much. (But again, I only had three months to prepare for Miss LA.) For Earth, I was motivated to get healthy more than be “tiny.” (I’m already pretty petite.) I got super healthy and fit by losing 20 lbs and 5% body fat. I became super well-informed about all things “earth.” I was reminded how much I loved being on stage. I ventured out to a couple of practice pageants for stage time and interview practice. (The crown collection grew, too!) So fast forward to pageant time, I was super proud of finishing top 8, high point media interview and the director’s leadership awards. But I was ready to head back into retirement. However, there were other plans in store for me.
I continued my earth advocacy, trying to show myself and others that my newfound passion meant more to me than what a crown could provide. PLUS, I felt it was more important to be the example of how we, as reigning or retired beauty queens, do things because we love it – NOT only because of the crown we wear or wore. But then I was asked if I would compete once more. At first I was hesitant, but eventually said “okay.” However, I had five TCM girls competing, so I knew it was going to be a challenge…. And it was!
Day One – Friday: Orientation & Registration
Nothing huge, but super complex time-managing because we had group practice and hair/makeup. I wasn’t sure if I would make it all the way through competition. I felt like I would end up pulling out of competition before end of day two! Luckily, with the help of my amazing TCM moms, I was able to at least finish the competition. It wasn’t my best showing and I wasn’t 100% “there” because I was more concerned about my girls. They were on mark. They were killing it on stage. They were the ones others were looking at. I didn’t care about me. But I at least still made my girls proud AND everyone made top three and Grace WON her national title! (I finished 1RU.)
So, on my 8 hour drive home I began thinking about “what’s next.” Well (SPOILER ALERT!) since I’m getting married, life will drastically change for the better! So many new & exciting things will happen and then it hit me: When a phase begins, what do people most often do? Answer: Research, ask questions, share knowledge. So there ya go!
Welcome to Life After the Crown! For the next year I’ll share adventures in dealing with moving away from competition and into “common life” rather than a queen’s life. Now obviously I’ve already settled into being a pageant coach, but now it’s about using pageant skills outside of pageantry (beside job interviews, resumes, and making presentations), how to still be active in your community for reasons other than promoting a title and WHY you should still volunteer, how to continue to promote a positive side of pageantry, and figure out what to do with your well-established personal platform.
So new adventures await with new problems to face and solve, along with new achievements, celebrations, and memories. All of this and more will be shared here because even though the stage lights dim on where you’re standing, it doesn’t mean you can’t shine brightly in all the many other things you do in a life after the crown.