I don’t even know where to start on this one. Let’s start off by saying, I said I was done with pageantry. I thought maybe it was not for me after failure after failure after failure. Sometime around October-ish last year, I was getting bit by the bug. I decided one last time to come out of “retirement,” and to really give it my all and compete for Mrs. Delaware America 2022. After sharing my decision with a few friends, I was given encouraging words that made me feel like maybe I had made the right decision. I prayed and asked God to place people in my life that would be of assistance to help me be my best and do my best. I said I wanted to be me and not conform to the stereotypical “Pageant Patty” in order to feel as though I had a chance. Meaning, I didn’t want to alter anything about who I was: hair, style, personality, etc. I was nervous about my headshots showing my natural hair, but my gut said, this is the way to go. I set out what I thought was a decent budget for my gown and got a beautiful dress from Cecile Boutique in Newark, Delaware, and started my preparation. (Because of course, the gown is the most important part, right? Lol)
During this journey, I developed eczema rashes on my hands and neck, my right eye would sporadically swell up, I developed a severely dry and itchy scalp causing bad dandruff, and there was never a time where I truly felt like a queen. I felt ugly. My skin, hair, and nails were fighting with me. However, God continued to place people in my life who believed in me and/or help me with this goal. In an accountability group, I meant a former pageant queen, Miss Black USA 2011, Ocielia S., owner of Slay Your Pageant who happened to be a pageant coach (look at God). I began following her and connecting with her and receiving great feedback from her IG LIVES and even met for an interview coaching session. I started focusing on getting my mind right and building a brand for myself.
I connected with women I have met through my pageantry journey and received such positive feedback and critiques on things I may have needed to tweak. The winner of the pageant I competed in in 2010 has always been a great role model in my life, and I reached out to her for feedback and advice. I adored and admired her beauty and her heart and am so thankful that we kept in touch all these years. (One thing about pageantry, no matter the outcome, I have always stepped away with beautiful friends and awesome women in my life).
When I decided to return, it was all about me continuing to step out on faith and seeking God for guidance. It was me taking the limits off of myself and taking the limits off of God. I am continuing to practice courageous faith in my life. So even though this was a competition, in my head, I was not competing with the other women. They were beautiful and just as deserving. I was competing with myself and my past beliefs. I was challenging myself to dream bigger and not throw away a dream because of a few failures. Failures are necessary for growth and improvement. So, this journey meant more to me than just winning a title. It was about putting in the work and trusting God to do His work. And that He did.
I recommend pageantry to many people because it helps you focus on YOU. It teaches confidence, poise, and how to command and captivate an audience. It also teaches the importance of building positive relationships with other women. I spent an awesome weekend with amazing women, and that is what I appreciate most about the experience. Even though the journey started off rocky and made me feel like my outer image was far from beautiful, it truly made me focus on my inner man to assure what I exuded was that of a queen. It reminded me that beauty comes from within, and I am so thankful to the judges and the director for believing in me. So, here I am y’all, YOUR MRS. DELAWARE AMERICA 2022!!! Be blessed!!