After a recent interview for an article in fourpoints' next issue, I was thinking about the challenges that face contestants today. Many titleholders step into the spotlight on stage and remain there long after their year of service is done. As public figures, and as representatives of the Miss America Organization, poise relates to style. But more than ever, it also reflects an organization's consistency of brand. Titleholders not only demonstrate the mission of their organization, but also that of their own belief systems.
In many ways, society has become more understanding and open to ideas and opinions that are different from our own. But when titleholders are called upon to express their opinions, how do they address sensitive topics diplomatically while remaining true to their convictions?
What challenges face the members of your organization, whether they be contestants, titleholders, volunteers, or members of the board of directors? How is your local or state pageant preparing young women to stand up for what they believe in the face of scrutiny?
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer
I don’t know which will be more fun—being on the cover of fourpoints magazine, or the “road to the cover”! Stay tuned ... and I’ll let you know in August. For now, let me tell you about my adventure over the past three months.
In February, I decided at the last minute to enter the fourpoints Cover Model Contest. I had been a Precious Princess contestant in the past, but now, at age thirteen, I finally qualified to enter for the real deal. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be named to the Top 25 or the Top 5, never mind the final winner!
When I received the e-mail that I had made the first cut, I knew this was a chance to test my skill at marketing myself. My mother and I made calls to our local newspaper and to my favorite radio stations. Over the next few weeks, I was featured as somewhat of a local celebrity on the WJYY 105.5FM Morning Wake-up Show. The Concord Monitor online newspaper featured display advertising in margins with a direct link to my voting page. I also used social media to connect with friends and relatives to make a grassroots movement. Before long, we had friends-of-friends recruiting more voting support in over a dozen states, Canada, South America, and even Jordan!
Like just about anything in life, it takes a good support system to achieve your goals. In this case, it was critical. I remember watching the vote tally climb quickly, going to bed with the lead, just to wake up two thousand votes behind the next day. At times the contest was stressful and all-consuming. My friends and family never gave up, and I want to use this space to thank them now: THANK YOU EVERYONE! Also, a big shout out to Jenn Cady, my talented and super-fun-to-work-with photographer. And last, thank you to fourpoints magazine for giving the best coverage of Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen. Your magazine highlights the class, talent, beauty, and dedication of both the volunteers and the contestants within our program.
I am excited to represent the young generation of up-and-coming and Miss America hopefuls on your cover. Thank you to fourpoints magazine and the cover model contest sponsors for this amazing opportunity!
All my best,
p.s. Can I tell you how crazy excited I am for my photo shoot next month?!?!