I still can’t believe it actually happened. I am Miss North Carolina USA 2019. WOW.
Here’s a bit about my pageant journey thus far and what this means for White Collar Glam:
The first time I competed for the title of Miss North Carolina in the Miss America Organization was in the summer of 2014. I competed in three local preliminary competitions before winning even one of them. Just having the chance to compete at the state pageant filled me with gratitude. I won a preliminary swimsuit award and made it to the top ten at Miss North Carolina 2014. Even though I was a little disappointed I didn’t win, I was happy to have made it to the finals since it was my first year competing. And I was glad someone as genuine and kind as Beth Stovall won.
Competing in the lifestyle and fitness portion of the Miss NC 2014 Pageant.
I played piano for the talent portion.
I still have this evening gown!
The second time I competed was during the summer of 2015. I worked as hard as I had for any goal. My fingers hurt from playing my talent song on the piano 20 times a day in the weeks leading up to the competition. I did 1,200 reps of abdominal exercises 4-5 times a week. To prep for the interview portion of the competition, I read and watched the news each day. I did nearly everything I could think of to prepare.
In 2015, I placed first runner up to Miss North Carolina. It was one of the most disappointing moments I’d experienced in years. I was glad that I performed well. Candidly, though, making it all the way to the top two only to watch another contestant win the title I wanted for myself was a tough pill to swallow. I must say, though, Kate Peacock was a force on the night of the pageant. She represented my home state for a year with class and grace.
I played Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing.”
I was nervous about wearing a grey gown, but I loved how this dress made me feel.
Won a swimsuit award in this blue Jamye Shaw suit.
Waiting for the announcement of the winner–Kate Peacock, Miss North Carolina 2015.
I’d reached the age limit for the Miss North Carolina Pageant in the Miss America Organization, so I decided to try my hand at the Miss USA system. Miss America and Miss USA are two different pageants. The Miss America Organization requires that contestants perform a talent. The Miss Universe Organization, which runs the Miss USA Competition, does not. Miss USA competes at Miss Universe, but Miss America does not compete in any international competition after winning.
When I competed for the title of Miss North Carolina USA 2017 in the fall of 2016, I placed fourth runner-up and won the overall swimsuit award. I wasn’t happy that I didn’t win the title, but I was glad that I made the top five on my first try. I was also proud that I personally designed and constructed my opening number outfit and my evening gown for the competition!
Opening number outfits were Bollywood-themed.
Won overall swimsuit!
Top five photo–I didn’t have flowers, but I did have a clear plaque that I took home for cracking the top five!
The following year I came back to compete for the title of Miss North Carolina USA 2018. I decided to compete with my natural hair (I’d always worn extensions and straightened/curled my hair before). The changes I made to my paperwork gave it a more authentic feel. I brought my fiercest walk to the stage in each phase of competition. When finals night came, I thought I had what it took to bring the title home.
Instead, I remember the sting I felt as the emcee called the fifth woman into the top five, confirming that I wouldn’t advance past the top ten. Not only did I not advance, I also did not win a swimsuit award that night. It was the first time I didn’t win a swimsuit award at a state pageant. As trivial as that sounds, winning swimsuit was important to me since I come from a family of athletes. My dad was a bodybuilder, mom runs marathons, two of my brothers and I were Division I athletes, etc.
I walked away empty handed. I didn’t think I’d compete again. I didn’t think I’d ever win.
My friends Lindsey and Kelly both made the top 5!
I loved competing in this green velvet gown.
I still have this shorts suit!
…but I had one year left until I reached the age limit for the Miss USA system. I decided I’d rather compete my final year and lose than wonder for the rest of my life what could have been. I signed up to compete for the title of Miss North Carolina USA 2019 and kept it a secret from everyone.
Typically, I splash my headshot on my social media and tell my friends why I’m spending all my free time at the gym. This time, I didn’t want the added stress and pressure of feeling like I’d disappoint my family and friends if I lost again. I wanted to just go and have fun at the competition and know that if I didn’t do well nobody would know anyways.
I could give you a rundown of my pageant preparation, my mindset throughout the competition, and my reaction once I heard my name; but that’s another story for another day. Instead, I’ll let the photos at the bottom of this article speak for themselves.
So, what does this mean for White Collar Glam? My already-hectic schedule has just gotten crazier.
In fact, just this past week I pulled an all-nighter to finish a few work assignments on Wednesday night before flying to Los Angeles early Thursday morning for a photoshoot, took a red eye flight on Friday night back to Charlotte, landed at 6AM before driving to Winston Salem, NC to sit on a panel with my friend Nia Franklin for her Miss America homecoming, then drove to Myrtle Beach to watch one of my brothers play in a Coastal Carolina University football game.
Still tired, y’all.
BUT . . . I love this blog and I have big plans for it. I took a couple of weeks off after the pageant, but I’m back and I’m looking forward to continuing to post weekly articles and provide guidance, inspiration, and resources to you all.
Thank you for continuing to visit my site and peruse my weekly musings. As always, contact me here with any questions you have!
Gown: Sherri Hill. Miss North Carolina USA 2019 photos courtesy of Sage Media Group Photography.