As the Miss America 2016 live telecast approaches I have been reminiscing about my time on the Miss America stage (as Miss Kansas 2005).
While I wasn’t a die-hard pageant girl (I competed in a total of eight pageants over a seven year period), pageants no-doubt left a lasting impact on who I have become. After all, it was back stage, at a pageant, that I learned how to tease my hair, apply fake eyelashes and overcome my nerves.
Most important, when I wasn’t on the stage, I was out in the community making a difference in the lives of others, one person at a time….
Since we no longer have a top ten list by David Letterman, I decided to come up with my own top ten list…
The Top Ten Things A Pageant Took Away From Me:
10. Insecurity in a swim suit and overall lack of self confidence.
9. Fear of stage lights, a microphone and things not going as planned.
8. The insecurity that I am only one person therefore it is impossible for me to make a difference.
7. The ability to bomb a job interview.
6. A life as an amateur – I transitioned to a life as a professional, whether it was on stage or in the business world.
5. The ability to be a wallflower. After my year as a title holder I can confidently walk into any room, in which I know no one, and find something interesting to talk about with anyone.
4. My apologies for a poor performance. Even if I slaughter a performance, it is my responsibility to smile and accept a stranger’s kind words with gratitude.
3. The “whatever” mentality. I had to learn how to think on my feet and not only think about controversial topics but also have an opinion about the controversy.
2. Complacency. I learned the heart of a philanthropist and volunteer. To become a contestant in the Miss America Organization you must serve a cause that betters society and makes a difference in the lives of others.
1. The ability to give up.
The ladies that are currently competing at Miss America 2016 will leave Atlantic City as changed women… yes, one will become Miss America but every one of them have experienced growth that will forever change their hearts. 52 incredibly accomplished women will return to their home states and continue their journey as state titleholders. They will leave each place they visit a little better than how they found it. And to think it all started because of a pageant…
Each of us has the ability to leave a legacy, pageant or no pageant… but the question is… will you?
Summary: I’m honored to hold the title “Miss Kansas 2005”. I can compete with the toughest of men, but I can also command a room with the classiest of ladies. Meanwhile, I have developed the confidence to accomplish, or overcome, anything… this is one of the many attributes the Miss America Organization develops within its participants! (Outside of pageants, I’m also proud of the fact that I can wash off all my make-up and ride my mountain bike up the front of a mountain, change my own tire, and be just as happy covered in mud as I am covered in sequins and rhinestones.)
Miss America 2016 Live Telecast > Sunday, Sept. 13 on ABC 9/8c
More about Adrienne: www.adriennebulinski.com