Virginia's state pageant is just around the corner. I can't wait to meet the women vying to become Ms. Virginia United States. In early 2011, at the age of 31, I thought that I had "aged out" of the opportunity to participate in pageants, but then I learned of the Ms. United States pageant.
The United States pageant hosts four divisions: Junior Teen (age 13-15), Teen (age 16-19), Miss (age 20-29), and Ms (age 20-50 but allows for candidates to be previously married and have children). Having never entered a pageant, I trained for a few weeks and became Ms. Virginia United States. I stared at my new sash and crown and thought perhaps I did not belong to this "circle of winners." However, my state director Chris Wilmer and my new "sister queens" boosted my confidence, and the training to compete at nationals began.
One of the things that I find most special about the United States pageant, is that you share the experience with others. There is a welcoming environment throughout the state and national level competitions. When you have the opportunity to receive the crown, the other three state titleholders become your family. The four of you represent Virginia at many events and travel to the national contest together supporting "Team Virginia." I am blessed to say that I became the 2011 Ms. United States, crowned in July 2011 in Las Vegas. What made the experience even more special was seeing the amazing success of my sister queens, Miss Junior Teen Virginia Shania Weaver, earning second runner up to the national winner Florida's Olivia Caputo, and Miss Teen Virginia Ashley Greenfield and Miss Virginia Ashley Smith both standing alongside me as national titleholders on July 14, 2011.
Having just moved to Virginia in 2009, becoming a state titleholder allowed me to meet so many new people and focus on a charity that is very important to me. Supporting "Let's Move," the White House's campaign to combat childhood obesity, I have led workouts at countless events and organizations, spoken to classrooms, and educate others about my cause. I have appeared on television and radio programs, met important local and national politicians, and received endorsements from fitness, apparel and beauty companies. To me, the opportunity to become Ms. Virginia United States was never an option, it was an obvious next step to achieve my personal and professional objectives. I look forward to sharing this experience with the 2012 candidates.
Candidates should visit:
- www.missvaus.com (Junior Teen, Teen and Miss divisions)
- www.msvaus.com (Ms. division)
All single, never married, no children:
- Junior Teen: age 13-15
- Teen: age 16-19
- Miss: age 20-29
- Ms: age 20-50
- ...the national United States 2012 pageant will be in Washington, DC, allowing for reduced travel expenses for our Virginia winners and their friends / families?
- ...the Virginia United States state level pageant is so well respected that 4-year state director Chris Wilmer was recently hired as the pageant national director? Chris is based in Charlottesville and will continue to have involvement coordinating the 2012 state pageant alongside interim state director Renee McNair.
- ...in 2011, Virginia set a historical record for the most number of national titleholders coming from one state in any national pageant? Miss Junior Teen Virginia Shania Weaver placed as second runner up, the crown being awarded to Miss Junior Teen Florida Olivia Caputo. Miss Teen United States Ashley Greenfield, Miss United States Ashley Smith and Ms. United States Laura Eilers were all from the state of Virginia.
- ...that Laura Eilers, at the age of 31, had never competed in a pageant and became the 2011 Ms. Virginia United States and then was crowned the 2011 Ms. United States?
- Virginia titleholders receive free pageant training from the best in the country, including Kyle Hagerty and Lucinda O'Reilly at About Face Salon in Crozet, Va., plus other prizes such as photography, attire and beauty products?