Have you ever tried artificial eyelashes? I did for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I LOVED them! When my artificial lashes were on, not only could I actually SEE them fluttering above my eyes, but I could FEEL the confidence that came from feeling pretty.
Someone once referred to my natural lashes as "stumps." And while the person who said it probably didn't mean any malice, it's something that I've always remembered and consequently felt self-conscious about. When I got the artificial lashes put on, I received compliments like, "You're stunning!" and "I can't stop looking at you!" The confidence that surged through me from those comments was almost enough to outweigh the "stumps." Almost.
The artificial lashes were only temporary. When they came off and my natural lashes re-emerged, I found myself disappointed with what remained. The compliments I'd received and the pride I felt in receiving them fell away much like the lashes. But why?
When you look in the mirror, are there things about yourself you want to change? Are they features you were born with—the length of eyelashes, hair color, your chin? Why are we so quick to discredit features that define us? The length of my eyelashes came with the package. So did my red hair and my "Fifelski chin." These things make me me, which is who I was born to be. So I'll keep my stumps, thank you very much.
As a side note, the artificial eye lashes did help my eyes to "pop" for a recent photo shoot—so for the purpose of pictures, I'll condone them.
Written by: Erika Fifelski is a staff writer for fourpoints magazine. Photo: Before (left) and after (right)
fourpoints magazine was recently invited to attend the Miss Michigan Scholarship Program's sponsor dinner during its competition week. At dinner, I was surrounded by those who support the Michigan organization—sponsors that make sure the contestants, titleholders, and volunteers alike have everything they need during the week of competition and throughout the entire year.
I also had the opportunity last week to interview the executive directors from the Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program for the State feature in the August issue of the magazine. (Make sure you get your copy!) While we talked about many things, the common thread throughout the conversation was the help and support the state organization receives from North Platte, where the state competition is held each year.
If you're reading this blog on a website for pageant enthusiasts, you already know and love the Miss America Organization. You know that it is one of the largest providers of scholarships for women. You know that the contestants and titleholders are dedicated to their platforms and to community service. But do you know the work that goes into securing sponsors for each local, state, and even national pageant? Do you know who your organization’s sponsors are?
This week, your challenge is to find out. And if you want extra credit, you'll get it by reaching out to your sponsors and saying “thank you.“
Thank you to the Miss Michigan Organization for hosting fourpoints at another wonderful sponsor dinner, thank you to those involved with the Miss Nebraska Organization who allowed me to interview them, and thank you to all of our readers who continue to support our mission to be a resource for everything Miss America and MAOTeen.
Written by: Erika Fifelski is the staff writer for fourpoints magazine
Some things in life take a lot of thought and searching, other things come pretty easily. When I entered the Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, finding a platform I was passionate about was quite simple. I spent first through seventh grade trying to “catch up.” Tests deemed me below grade level for reading, and it took me a long time to meet the standards. I persevered because of the dedication and work from friends, family, and my teachers. Because of my own struggle, I knew that I wanted to get children involved with reading at a young age and make it enjoyable. Through my platform, “Literacy for Life,” I have had the opportunity to work with Heifer International, Boston Children’s Hospital, several schools and have even traveled to the country of Bolivia in South America. I am proud to be affecting my community and making a global impact at the same time.
Heifer International is an organization that works locally and globally simultaneously. Their “Read to Feed” Program encourages local children to read, and it gives them a chance to make a difference somewhere else in the world. The “Read to Feed” program is like a read-a-thon where students get donations for every book they read. The class pools their donations and then purchases an animal to be placed in a needy village by Heifer International. So far my classes have raised enough funds to “purchase” dozens of rabbits, ducks, seedlings, pigs, honeybees, chicks, and even a lama, all delivered and donated to needy families in other countries. I am excited to be a program leader for this great organization, and I look forward to hosting more classes this year.
I have also been able to use my platform to assist the Miss America’s National Platform, the Children’s Miracle Network. With help from my Student Ambassador Club at Rundlett Middle School, I was able to collect more than 150 books in just two weeks this past spring. These new and gently used books were much appreciated by the family center at Boston Children’s Hospital. Doing a book drive is fun, but isn’t necessary for you to help others share in books. Check your own book shelf at home. Do you have any books that you can donate to your local library, school, or United Way?
One highlight of my work with literacy so far is my mission trip to Santa Cruz Bolivia in April of 2012. Before traveling, I hosted a fundraiser by selling colorful wrist bands which read, “CARE 4 BOLIVIA.” I brought the proceeds with me and purchased books in Spanish from Bolivian bookstores. (I contributed to local economy too!) I donated a portion of the books to each of the seven orphanages I visited in Santa Cruz that week. Seeing the poverty there was an eye opening experience for me. However I was touched by how thankful the children were for the books I brought.
I have also spent many fun afternoons in pre-schools and kindergarten classrooms as a volunteer and guest reader. Because I am passionate about what I do, it is never a chore to volunteer my time. If you’re involved in the Miss America or Miss America’s Outstanding Teen programs, I hope that you are able to find a platform that brings you as much happiness and satisfaction as mine does for me. The community service I am doing is definitely one of the most rewarding parts of being a local titleholder.
Thank you again to fourpoints magazine for selecting me as their 2013 Cover Model! Stay tuned for my next blog, as I share my experience at my official photo shoot in Detroit this month!
Click here to read another blog by Cover Model Brooke Mills!