Miss Sisters

Competing in a pageant is a very surreal thing.

If you are me, which I am.
And you come from quiet, humble, natural, and not-at-all-glitzy Vermont, which I do.
It is weird to tell people that you are competing in a pageant. It is weird to wrap your head around walking on a stage in swim suit in front of people you do not know, under really bright lights, with loud music.

However, competing in the Miss Vermont Scholarship Organization's pageant is an another story entirely.

Here is the thing, it's not about how sparkly your dress is - though, believe me, we all love those sparkles. It is not about how many times you've competed before. It's not about pounds of makeup. Or how much you could possibly guilt the other contestants into not eating.

We love sparkles. We really don't care how many times you have competed, we're just glad to have you with us. Make-up is make-up, and you can do yours however you please. And food? Oh, we love food.

At the end of the day, we're girls from Vermont who have come together to showcase our talents, sharpen our skills, talk about our commitment to service, and really, learn from each other.

The Miss Vermont girls, in a matter of a year (in which we prep, learn, rehearse, and laugh a lot,) become sisters.

Yes, I hear how ridiculous that sounds. I thought it was ridiculous too. But it's not, those girls are my Miss sisters. I love them all to bits. Because no where else in the world will you find such a perfect group of like-minded, well-spoken, driven, intelligent, funny, and caring people as you will when you pull together a group of Miss sisters.

(While I haven't got any hard evidence, I hear this is true around the country, and especially nationally, at Miss America. But really, you'll just have to trust me on this one. Or, join a Miss America program, you'll see.)

So, really when they say you are only competing against yourself, it is the absolute truth. The other girls? They aren't competition. They are your support system. They will laugh with you when you can't get the choreography. They will eat Ben & Jerry's with you at 11 p.m. They will understand the exhaustion, the dedication, the desire, and they will be there every step, because it's their journey too.

That is why I compete.

I can't explain the amazing things that the Miss Vermont Organization has done for me. I cannot possibly put all of that into words. But the competition, the real, on stage, in your face, bit? That's worth it, because you are doing it with girls that have become your sisters.

More on the actual pageant, the results, and what is come later this week...

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