I know this sounds cliché, but the reason I entered last year’s Miss Maryland USA pageant was really to build confidence in myself. I really felt I was the ugly duckling and wanted to prove to myself that I was a beautiful swan (princess), as well dare me to do something different.
So, when I was accepted as a state finalist after a two-hour phone interview, I didn’t know I was about to embark on a journey that would dramatically impact my life as well as be contagious.
On my first pageant entry, I won the non-competitive final award in swimwear, which is one-third of the competition process, [and] I was hooked to try again. Now with an extra year of modeling experience and knowing what to expect, I come with even more confidence, maturity and experience to put toward this year’s competition. It’s a no-brainer for me to try a second time to win the other two-thirds of the pageant — interview and evening gown — and ultimately win the title of 2012 Miss Maryland USA.
This year a plan of action was developed by my mom, a timeline to help with management of my time, hair/makeup appointments, coaching and most importantly, the fundraising. Instead of writing to everyone in my mom’s address book, we held a social networking party to raise pageant funds at local sports bar called Winston’s Billiards located in Rockville. Fun time had by all, invited some of my model friends, talent agents to meet fashion designers, and photographers to mingle and share each other's creative talents with one another.
I have been driving home every Friday from college in Pennsylvania, trying out hairstylists, makeup artists, meeting with a clothes designer, and the best part — the shopping!
About a month before the pageant, pageant headquarters hosted a most important “meet and greet” of this year’s contestants. It’s during this time, the trunk show by LaCasa Hermosa, an official pageant sponsor and “noted for the most beautiful gowns,” takes place. Selecting that perfect gown that make you appear taller, longer, thinner, accents your body strengths or a color that causes you to stand out from others and leave that everlasting impression can be so nerve-wracking, but yet so much fun!
See my Facebook page "Samantha Lynn" with my updates on my journey in preparing for the Miss Maryland USA 2012 pageant.
The Miss Maryland USA pageant will be held Oct. 28-30 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in North Bethesda. The Miss Maryland USA pageant is the official preliminary to the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and is a Donald J. Trump and NBC Universal Inc. joint venture.
Samantha Grier, 20, attends Cheyney University of Pennsylvania while pursing a modeling career. She is a 2008 graduate of Gaithersburg High School.
She is a volunteer contributor to The Gazette. This is her first column. Look for more after the pageant.
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