I’m in the middle of reviewing intern applications for our summer semester, and this makes me very sad. I have had such a great group. I don’t want them to go. But I understand they have bigger and better things to do. For example, intern Karley Osborn is running for Miss Texas. I’ll let her explain why. But please read to the end and click on the link. She needs some votes to make it onto the cover of the Miss America magazine.
It’s time to come clean–I’m an undercover beauty queen.
For the first few weeks of my internship, I kept the whole “I want to be Miss Texas” thing to myself. I had good reason. For starters, I’m blond, which is already a lot to overcome in the “I want to be taken seriously” department. Second, when you drop the beauty pageant bomb, people tend to respond in one of two ways:
1. They (pageant fans, moms, young children) congratulate you.
2. They (everyone else) twist their faces into a question mark, grimacing as they ask, “Why?”
For some reason, I just had this feeling that the D Mag office might go with a collective sigh and a unanimous Option No. 2 (*Side note: as it turns out, I was almost right. More on that later.), and I wasn’t ready to play defense. Even scarier, I didn’t have an answer yet.
I signed up for a Miss Texas preliminary pageant while working as an au pair in Southern France. The general idea was that knowing I would have to walk around onstage in a bikini would motivate me to put down the baguettes and chocolates I had grown to love, and put a few miles on my running shoes instead (it worked). Plus, I was curious. I grew up watching the Miss America pageant on TV. I’ve always loved playing dress-up. I’m a dancer, and I missed performing. But none of that was the real meat of the why–it was just the seasoning.
I discovered the rest of it along the way, collecting the pieces of my why from different appearances, conversations, and realizations. It comes down to this: while some might find the format of pageantry outdated, as a titleholder, I’ve found that the opportunity to be a voice of hope, a community leader, and a role model has never been more relevant. Before competing, I knew what I believed. Now I know how to articulate it. I took a speech class in college. Now I have a platform that allows me to speak publicly on a weekly basis, to groups ranging from hospital patients to high school students working to be the first person in their family to attend college (shout out to Christina Westby’s AVID class at Creekview High!). I’m constantly challenged to be real in a world that sometimes feels manufactured–and I’m not just talking about pageants, either.
With that weighty why established, I was finally able to make the big reveal at D Magazine. Plus, I kind of didn’t have a choice. At the risk of sounding like a diva, balancing an appearance schedule and truckloads of fact checking is hard, so I had to cut back on my days in the office (sorry, Krista). The cool thing is that they’ve been more than supportive. Evidence: they let me write this article, and they even asked me to be on the cover if I become the next Miss Texas (okay, that last part may or may not have been fabricated).
They are, however, doing me a huge favor by letting me ask D readers (that’s you!) to help me win the national “Make Me A Cover Model” contest sponsored by the Miss America Organization’s magazine, Fourpoints. I know–I have the best bosses ever.
To enter the competition, I had to submit an essay and pictures. Based on that entry, I was selected as a top 25 finalist. Here’s where you come in. To become the magazine’s cover girl, I have to be voted into the top 5 by the public. Voting is easy. Simply go here, click on the “Make Me A Cover Model” banner, and vote for Karley Osborn up to 100 times a day every day until May 15. That’s it!
If you started reading by screaming why at your computer screen, I hope I’ve answered your question. Or at the very least, that your face has relaxed out of that grimace. If I’ve managed to convert you to a pageant fan–or at least a pageant tolerate-r–then by all means, come on out to the Miss Texas pageant this summer and be a part of my cheering section. I’d love to have you! Details (and that side note I promised we’d get back to) are below. –Karley Osborn
When: July 4th-7th
Where: Allen Event Center
Why: Please…you know we already covered that.
*Wick’s reaction? “Get a journal. Make the first entry “Why the **** do I want to be Miss Texas?” I’ve since done exactly that (minus the expletive).