The first time I stepped back onto the stage this year, my knees were trembling and my lips were shaking. Behind that smile was a nervous woman who used to lack the confidence to even talk to people.
How Beauty Pageant Life Has Empowered Me as Plus-Size Woman
Coming back into the spotlight was empowering. It gave me back the sparkle that had been dulled from years of beating myself down, thinking I wasn’t as good as other women because I wasn’t a size “skinny.”
As a plus-size mom and role model, it’s important for women of all sizes to feel beautiful in their own skin.
Watching my daughter participate in pageantry for more than 10 years has given me insight into how these young ladies gain confidence, poise and grace. Watching her grow into a beautiful young woman with major aspirations and goals gave me a twinkling of hope that I too could look to the stars and see myself in them as well.
I set a goal. To be ME.
To participate and enjoy. To embrace my size. To focus on my happiness and build my self-esteem. To feel beautiful and confident in the skin I was given. To grow into my own mind and understand that I’m amazing no matter what.
Friendships are formed, bonds are made, and a sisterhood is created, all backstage before the show even starts. Ladies helping each other with their gowns, make-up, jewelry, accessories… The list goes on and on. There have been times where we have all gathered together and held hands and prayed for one another for insight and courage. There have been victories and there have been defeats. But no matter the outcome, everyone sticks together and remains friends.
My experience as a plus-size woman has been so positive in pageantry that it has created a positive body image for both myself and for my daughter. The friendships, laughter, tears, pain, traveling, early mornings, late nights practicing and even some blisters on sore, tired feet are all well worth it to achieve the ultimate goal — not to win the crown, but to win the utmost glorified prize of all … confidence.