fourpoints Magazine

The #1 Resource for Everything Miss America & MAOTeen

Items filtered by date: September 2013

Halloween has come and gone, and costumes are put away to haunt and amuse another day. But did you put your mask away?

I am guilty of sometimes hiding my true opinions—it can be scary to be open to the point of vulnerability. At work, I'm often hesitant to say no to tasks or to express obstacles that come up in the midst of projects. At home, holding feelings inside instead of communicating them only makes situations worse. 

Instead of keeping things to myself, I try to first determine the root of the problem, then figure out a way to coherently express it to those involved. If I'm late on deadline, I need to tell my editor. If I'm feeling overwhelmed with housework, I need to communicate that to my husband. Assuming my editor will know that sources are not getting back to me, or thinking my husband should just know to pick up a dish rag is unfair. 

While I would rather keep on the mask of perfection, I know that I am not perfect, and I need to allow others to help me when I need it. But they'll never know I need help or how to best help me until I tell them. 

Do you hold things inside? What helps you to be more open with your co-workers, friends, and family? 

Written by: Erika Rose is fourpoints magazine's staff writer. She'd like you to know, for the record, that fourpoints sources always get back to her on time, and her husband is very good at helping around the house.

Published in Pageant Blog

This is the second part in a social media blog series written by guest writer Sierra Minott Jones. Click here to read part one

If we are going to be women who impact our communities and make a difference in the lives of those around us, we must learn to navigate the world of social media with wisdom, grace, and kindness. Here are a few tips that can help guide your social media choices. 

1. Count your blessings. How many of you have ever felt a little less attractive after scrolling through your latest photo feed on Instagram? I have! Or perhaps you feel, like, totally lame? You realize that you are sitting on your couch looking at other people’s photos of vacation, graduation, their awesome date, or their brand-new purse, and all of a sudden your so-called wonderful life doesn’t seem all that great. Be careful how much time you spend watching other people live their lives. You could be missing out on living yours!

2. Post, don’t boast. What do your photos say about you? Do they show you in a way that others, especially guys, would respect you? Or have you sabotaged your self-worth by showing too much? You may think that you are just posting a pretty picture, but that guy you are hoping to attract is probably thinking about a lot more. If you flaunt your body online, guys will think that you are willing to give them access to what you are advertising.  

3. It is NOT okay for a guy to pursue you exclusively through social media. If the guy you are dying to be with can’t get up enough courage to speak with you face-to-face, then he is not worth your time. God created you with delicate care and intricate detail. You are immeasurably beautiful and your heart is worth a valiant pursuit! Don’t be fooled by the lie that you have to catch the attention of a guy in order to be valuable. Don’t give yourself away to every guy who calls you “Baby” on Twitter Chat. Wait for a man who will honor you, love you, and respect you. And remember, the way you attract a guy is the way you will keep him. If you allow a guy to pursue you via text and Facebook chat, don’t be surprised when he drops you for the next girl who responds flirtatiously to his witty one-liners.

Ladies, don’t sell yourselves short. Take this opportunity to shape the history of your generation. After all, kindness, compassion, discipline, diligence, respect, and integrity are always trending.

Written by: Sierra Minott Jones, Miss Florida 2008 and fourth runner-up to Miss America 2009, was Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen 2005 and third runner-up in the inaugural Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, in 2006. Photo: Reagan Johnson. Sierra is available for speaking at teen girl events, emceeing, and judging pageants. Click here to e-mail her.

Published in Pageant Blog

Sierra Jones HeadshotAs I sit down to write, I am without Internet in my apartment. (Gasp!) My only connection to the outside world is my smartphone, whose 3G network is struggling to load anything within my lifetime. What’s a girl to do?

That got me thinking …Why are we so desperate for the Internet these days? I think one of the main reasons is because of social media. Social media has become the great novelty turned necessity of our day. People of all ages text, tweet, blog, post, “Like,” and “pin” as if these actions make up a major food group. But have you ever stopped to wonder why social media is so popular? The reason is inherent in the name of the game—social media. We desire relationships!

Think about your last text, tweet, pin, or post. We participate in social media because we like being connected with others. We feel a sense of belonging if we are in a “group,” become a “fan,” or have lots of “followers.” Girls especially like staying connected via social media. Research shows that girls send almost three times as many texts as guys!

We all desire acceptance, affection, and significance, but too often we look for these things in social media outlets. We base our self-worth on how many “Likes” we get on our Facebook status or how many “You’re gorgeous!” comments we get on Instagram. My fear is that we are trading our dignity for momentary affirmation. We are grasping for something tangible and lasting in a world that exists only on a screen. Call me crazy, but I believe we were created for more!

We must remember that social media is not the same thing as socializing. While constant communication via text or tweet can make you feel like BFFs with someone, nothing replaces face-to-face conversation. Emoticons are great, but they are no substitute for the energetic laugh of a friend jumping for joy! Can you imagine what it would be like if your next pageant interview was done solely through texting? The judges would totally miss out on your beautiful eyes, bright smile, warm demeanor, and quirky expressions! Don’t miss out on fully investing in a relationship by hiding behind a screen.

Come back next week for a few more social media tips!

Written by: Sierra Minott Jones, Miss Florida 2008 and fourth runner-up to Miss America 2009, was Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen 2005 and third runner-up in the inaugural Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, in 2006. Photo: Reagan Johnson. Sierra is available for speaking at teen girl events, emceeing, and judging pageants. Click here to e-mail her.

Sierra graduated Summa Cum Laude from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2010, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in musical theater. Sierra earned her degree debt-free, thanks to the $42,000 in scholarships she was awarded through the Miss America Organization. During her final year of college she served as an intern with the Student Ministry at First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, where she led a weekly Bible Study for high school girls using curriculum she wrote and plans to publish. Sierra and her husband, Scott, currently reside in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where they are both pursuing master’s degrees in Christian ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Sierra works as the A-List Coordinator at Chick-fil-A at Wake Forest and as the Devotional Blogger for Divine Debutantes, a nonprofit girls ministry whose mission is to raise up Godly, virtuous young women. She is also the resident “Princess of Purity” columnist for the Divine Debutantes Magazine, which was released nationally in spring 2011. Sierra’s passion is cultivating Godly femininity in young women. She loves coffee dates with her hubby, brightly colored jewelry, and a good pair of flats! 

Published in Pageant Blog

I've been dealing with an unsavory complexion since I was a fledgling teenager. As I entered my twenties still strapped with breakouts, I realized I had to start calling my pimples "adult acne," which is almost as disheartening as waking up with a zit right between the eyes (or on your nose, or chin, or cheek, or forehead …). This stuff is not going away any time soon. 

I've tried everything—Proactive, Equate, Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, Burt's Bees, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and prescription-strength creams and pills. I've scoured the Internet (and my facial skin) for home remedies. All procedures work for a while, until like a supercomputer or that kid that can complete a Rubik’s cube really fast, my skin outsmarts lab technicians and highly trained dermatologists. 

I asked our Facebook followers what methods of facial care work best for them. 

Kristen Tatil says: "Drink lots of water, don't eat junk food or fast food, remove makeup before bed (not wearing makeup at all is a big help, but I know girls hate the thought of going to school without it), workout, and St. Ives Apricot Scrub for blemish-prone skin was a blessing!" 

Sam Hawkins says: "Honestly, nothing beats going to the dermatologist and just getting some prescription medication. In the end, it's a LOT more effective than over the counter stuff and will save you money."

Emy Houston @MWSOT2013 tweets: @fourpoints wet asprin, or ibuprofen applied right to the spot, resduces swelling. (:

(I also asked Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri about her daily skin care regimen. Stay tuned for her answers in the December issue of fourpoints!) 

After years of scrubbing, peeling, toning, and moisturizing, I may not have perfectly clear skin, but I have learned something. A girl is not defined by her acne. Although I'm sure to notice my most recent breakout when I look at my face in the mirror, the state of my skin is not the first thing others see, if they notice it at all. I've struggled with self-confidence as a direct result of my acne, but I know holding my head high and smiling will make a bigger impression on people than ducking my head in shame because of a few (or a LOT of) zits. Take it from a twenty-six-year-old who is willing to go to bed with toothpaste on her face, because Pinterest said so.

Written by: Erika Rose is fourpoints magazine's staff writer. 

Published in Pageant Blog

SGK RaceOctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. fourpoints magazine's publisher, Serendipity Media, is hosting a gala this month to raise money for our local Susan G. Komen affiliate, and last weekend, a group of our staff members and families got together to run and walk the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure (our wigs in the race photo are a shout out to the event we're hosting). It's safe to say that this month, our platform is breast cancer awareness!  

But what about the rest of the year? Each contestant is required to dedicate her time and passion to a platform issue, and it's easy to make appearances, support fundraising efforts, and get fired up for something during a month that is specifically dedicated to it. But the fact is that no matter what your platform is, cyber bullying, cultural competency, health and wellness, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, etc., there are people affected by the issues your platform represents every single day of the year, and there is need you can help meet all the time. 

What's your platform? What appearances do you have scheduled in the near future? How do you make sure you're living and breathing advocacy for your platform every day of the year? 

Written by: Erika Rose is fourpoints magazine's staff writer. 

Published in Pageant Blog