This past Sunday I had the pleasure of spending my cold, winter evening surrounded by glittering tiaras, sparkling evening gowns, beautiful talented women and, needless to say, enough self tanner and bronzer to last until summer. As a member of the audience at the annual Miss Madison- Capital City 2013 Scholarship Pageant, I was offered a glimpse into the beauty of the pageant world. Many people tend to have a negative perception of beauty pageants; however, I experienced a musical concert, a dance performance, a fashion show, a health and fitness competition, and a lecture on change for a better world all within the brief two hours of the show. It’s fair to say I got my moneys worth!
Miss Madison- Capital City is in association with the Miss America Organization, which is the world’s largest provider for scholarships for young women. Last year alone, the Miss America Organization made available $45 million in scholarship assistance. Not only does the winner get a dazzling tiara but also a fat check to help further her education. The young women competing sure do have beauty and brains!
The competition was comprised of five parts: interview, on-stage question, talent, evening wear and lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit. With ten contestants competing, there was a wide variety of talent, style and appearance. Each contestant presented her personal platform, an issue in which each woman wanted to advocate change. Platform topics included healthy lifestyles, distracted driving, domestic violence and chronic illness awareness. It was inspiring to see young women speak about topics and issues they felt so passionately about. It was clear that through any level of pageant competition, the pageants were helping young women advocate change on a large scale.
One of the highlights of the pageant was the opportunity to meet Miss Wisconsin, Paula Mae Kuiper. She won Miss Madison-Capital City 2013, proceeded to win Miss Wisconsin 2013 and even made the top 12 at the Miss America pageant this past September. It was amazing to meet her and, of course, I had to ask for a picture (definite star-struck moment!). I would love to take a moment to recognize how fabulous her mini white lace and feather dress was. She obviously has great style; something every MODA reader can relate to!
Lastly, I must mention the reason why I attended the event in the first place. I was there to support my gorgeous friend, Courtney Pelot at her first pageant experience—and she definitely killed it! However, it also was an eye opening experience. Courtney commented, “I learned how much confidence it takes and how rewarding of an experience pageants are. You have to be completely sure of yourself in every aspect of competition.” I think anyone would agree that it takes a great deal of confidence, especially to strut your stuff in a swimsuit not during bikini season.
Even though Raeanna Johnson, a senior at UW- Lacrosse, took home the crown at the end of the night, every single contestant deserves their own tiara for their confidence, brains, beauty, and efforts to make the world a better place. I think Courtney sums it up perfectly iin saying that, “Being surrounded by amazing, accomplished women makes me want to work even harder in all aspects of my life, especially in the promotion of my personal platform.”
As glamorous and fabulous as beauty pageants may be, they serve a greater purpose than just showcasing talented, beautiful women. They support the education of young women, raise awareness for pressing issues in our world and advocate change for a better tomorrow. So dust off those five inch bedazzled heels and break out that evening gown that happens to be in the back of the closet! It may be a year away but the question always remains “Who will be the new Miss Madison-Capital City?”
For more information regarding local pageants, follow these links:
Miss Madison-Capital City:
Local Wisconsin Pageants: