Mrs Michigan America 2015

GRANDVILLE, Mich.-- As you have gathered I like to compete in pageants.  A chance to put on a pretty dress, and rant about my beliefs in politics, as well as spread awareness for women with differences in sexual development?  Yes I get a high from being able to do that, haha.

All jokes aside I haven't competed since getting married.  Mrs pageants are still a growing industry, typically beauty pageants are for teens and women 18-29, but married pageants have really started to take off.  One of the largest of those pageants is the, Mrs America pageant held in Arizona each year.

Every state hosts a state pageant to qualify to compete at Mrs America and I decided why not give it a whirl and see what it was like and I registered for the Mrs Michigan America Pageant.  I had no idea what to expect when starting the weekend off, would everyone be nice?  Was this going to be like those television shows on BRAVO! where all the ladies are crazy and mean and just trying to look younger than they are?

I'm happy to report it was not like those shows at all.  We arrived on Friday March 27th, at Grandville High School where we had an orientation/rehearsal.  There we learned what we would be doing all weekend long, as well as the stage layout, when we would be walking in each outfit, (swim, and evening wear) Where interviews were held, basically we learned everything we need to know to look the best we can on that stage.

I quickly learned that reading the bio's about each contestant is a must.... I of course did not do this, but everyone else greeted each other with a hug and a smile and lots of conversations about platforms, and work history and each others children.  I knew nothing because again I did next to no research on the ladies I would be hanging out with for the next 48 hours.

Day one was pretty uneventful, after rehearsal we get dolled up, and head into the ballroom at the host hotel for pictures and a dinner with our husbands.  We each received a program book, and a pair of earrings from one of the sponsors.  After dinner we headed back to our rooms to rest for the next day of competition.

That's how I roll at rehearsals

Waking up early is easy for me considering I work at 3:30 in the morning.  We got partially ready in our hotels and headed back to the auditorium at 8AM for rehearsals.  We practiced all morning long until lunch.  A limo picked us up and took us to PF Changs where lunch was all paid for.

PF Changs

Another thing I learned, eating a heavy lunch day of competition isn't a thing.... We all ordered food and I was one of the few who scarfed down my whole meal along with 2-3 sodas... (I was desperate for caffeine and I am a pop-addict)  The limo took us back to the auditorium where we got ready for the interview portion of the competition.

We got ready quickly and before I knew it was sitting opposite a panel of judges from all different backgrounds.  From professional photographers, to personal trainers, to a long time, investigative reporter the judges covered everything.  I was happy that they asked me about my infertility and I was able to speak openly about why it's so important we STOP telling youth that everything they go through in their sexual development is "normal" my firm belief is that it is not "normal" nothing about it is "normal"  and those who stray from what we are taught is "normal" (like me, being born with no ovaries or uterus) feel even more outcast.

 They all seemed very receptive, I even got to speak about my running, my scholarship to Ferris State and my upcoming Boston Marathon!  After interview time flew by and before I knew it was on stage competing in swim and evening wear.

Ladies were backstage helping each other get ready, curling each others hair, loaning each other makeup and hair spray.  Everyone helped everyone I can honestly say no one seemed to wish ill will on anyone!  Everyone seemed genuinely happy at the end of the pageant.

They narrowed us down to a top 5 which I was happy to be part of!  I was a little surprised to be called out of all these accomplished ladies, especially at my first Mrs pageant.  We each answered on stage question - mine was, "What is one law in the state of Michigan you would change?"  I answered honestly that I would change the ban on gay marriage with a little detail on why I think it should be changed.

The rest of the pageant went by so fast, from there they started awards and I was shocked to learn that I had earned, swim wear award winner, evening gown award winner, photogenic award winner, Internet Peoples Choice winner (thanks facebook!) and the best award, Miss Congeniality! 

After announcing those special awards they went on to announce the winners, 4th runner up... 3rd runner up, 2nd runner up... I was still standing up there!  It was down to two of us, after what felt like forever they announced I had received 1st runner up. 

To say I wasn't disappointed would be a lie, but I truly happy with how I did and I had a lot of fun all weekend, to quote my husband, "Man you don't even seem that pissed? Wanna go get applebees?"

So that sums up the weekend!  It was a fun time, I don't know how many more pageants I'll be doing but I am glad I did it, and got that experience.

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