Reflections on Miss America 2012

I cannot express how much fun I had in Las Vegas!  The girls were exceptional, and I think I made many lifelong friends!  I was especially proud to be a part of the Mu Group.  We had so many leaders and talented women in our group who supported one another!  On Saturday, we were all surprised to find out that only 2 girls from the Mu Group made the top 15.  In past years, a fairly even number of contestants came from each group, but our group was obviously overlooked this year.  One theory is that the celebrity judges were inexperienced and misjudged Mu Group interviews since we were first.  Whatever happened, I will always be proud of my girls in Mu Group and the way we performed throughout the week!  

Successful people have at least one person who gives them unconditional love.  When you are loved unconditionally, you are free to take risks and overcome the fear of failure.  Because I have a network of family and friends who love me for who I am and not what I have accomplished … I am free to treasure my Miss America experience even though I did not make the top 15!

I will always remember the girls who made an impact on my life!  I made genuine friendships with Miss Hawaii, Miss Ohio, Miss Vermont, Miss Missouri, Miss Alabama, Miss Kansas, Miss Wyoming, Miss DC, Miss Florida, and many more!  Miss Nebraska, Miss Nevada, and Miss Washington were the class comedians and always kept us laughing!  Before the show on Saturday, Miss Washington stood up and announced, “I am now starting my campaign for Miss Congeniality.”  Haha!  Too bad Miss Nebraska won Miss Congeniality instead.  Miss Maine handed out sand dollars to all of the contestants for good luck.  She had to walk the beach at a certain time of day to find one sand dollar and went back each day until she had collected 53! Miss New York sewed 53 aprons for each of us to take one home!  The stories go on and on...

On Friday, I stood before the contestants to express some thoughts about the finals on Saturday.  It was on my heart to share how much I appreciated being a part of that group of girls.  We had a wonderful experience in Las Vegas together that would continue beyond Saturday night.  Regardless of who would be crowned Miss America, I thought it was important for her to have the contestants’ support.  Because Miss America represents our class, we should always speak highly of her in order to support the Miss America Organization as a whole.  All of the girls enthusiastically agreed. 

When the top 15 was announced, I was cheering for my closest friend, Miss Texas.  She is a sweet friend and strong competitor!  After the pageant, she was the first girl that I talked to as I congratulated her top 10 placement.  She immediately exclaimed, “I am so happy for Laura.  I think she will make a great Miss America!”  Then Miss Alabama jumped in to talk about her week with Laura as her roommate.  Miss Alabama agreed that Laura would do an exceptional job representing the Miss America Organization!  During the commercial break before the crowning, Miss Oklahoma told Laura that she would make a great Miss America!  Just prior to the crowning moment, Laura was crying even before her name was announced.  Even though nobody was “told” she would win, many of us predicted it.  When it is God’s plan for you to win Miss America, everything falls perfectly into place!  My favorite moment of the crowning happened when the judges stood up to clap for the new Miss America.  Kris Jenner kept motioning for Laura to wipe the tears from under her eyes.  Haha, Kris was looking out for her girl! 

I actually didn’t spend much time with Laura throughout the week since we weren’t in the same group.  However, I have watched all of her interviews!!  Laura is a humble and naturally beautiful young woman.  I am excited for her year as Miss America and give her all of my support!  Here are some of Laura’s interviews that you can watch!

I am so happy for the other girls in the top 5!  Miss Oklahoma sat beside me in hair and make-up every day.  She is an incredibly genuine and driven young woman!  She will be one of the best Miss Oklahoma titleholders ever!  I was very impressed with Miss New York.  She has a strong sense of independence and entrepreneurship. Accepted into college at age 16, she has since started her own nonprofit organization against bullying.  Keep your eye on Kaitlin Monte because she will go far!  Miss Arizona is a natural!  She won every category when she competed in her state pageant for the first time last year.  The only criticism the judges gave her after placing first runner-up was that she was too young.  She came back the next year, won, and brought a lot of talent and beauty to the Miss America stage!  Miss California was full of personality, hardworking, and very outgoing.  As expected, she was very aware of trends and pop culture. She was always cracking jokes!  Congratulations to the top 5!  You are an exceptional group of young women! 

Although it wasn’t my honor to win Miss America, that’s ok.  I do know that my time at Miss America was very purposeful!  Competing in Miss America was a dream come true.  It was such a great challenge to prepare and perform for the crown. “We rejoice in our challenges, because we know that challenges produce perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)  For that reason, bring on a challenge!  I will definitely remember the Miss America Pageant as a highlight of my year as Miss Arkansas!  


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