By Madison Adams
With hair teased bigger than Texas, earrings so large they have to be held on with glue and not one, but two pairs of fake eyelashes weighing down my eyelids, you probably would have judged me to be exactly what I looked like, a hopeful Texas beauty queen.
On Jan. 18, I had the honor of being crowned the new Miss Waco 2014, which on the surface probably looks like a title that feeds a young woman’s ego and boost her quickly to local stardom.
I think the young lady hidden behind the cloud of hairspray and stunning evening gown might have surprised you.
Actually, participating in pageants is new to me. I began this journey less than a year ago and not for the glamour, because that is not me at all.
In fact, just a few years ago on a Saturday night, you would have found me in a rodeo arena with a layer of dust on my face and adrenaline in veins, racing my horse around poles and barrels.
I chose to become involved in the Miss America program because I view college as a stepping stone into the real world that, if used correctly, can catapult you into your career and allow for opportunities that are not granted to those who sit around and wait for them.
Every step, every decision and every opportunity that I seize is done so in a way that will allow me to reach my highest potential now and be marketable when I am beginning my career in broadcast journalism upon graduation.
Starting this journey, I thought about all the ways this experience would help me to learn how to speak eloquently, articulate and handle even the toughest interview.
Slowly, I am realizing this process is not about that at all. Rather, it’s about giving-giving of yourself, your skills, talents, time, efforts all to be able to have the opportunity to give even more of yourself as you serve as a representative for the community. This entire process is about self-sacrifice and often learning to put your personal interests aside for the sake of others.
After taking a few hundred pictures with Miss Texas, the judges and all the directors and supporters of the Miss Waco Scholarship organization, the only things conceivable in my mind were taking off my 5-inch heels and getting some food.
My thoughts seemingly paralleled what Sandra Bullock was thinking in “Miss Congeniality,” “I am in a dress. I have gel in my hair. I haven’t slept all night. I’m starved. Don’t mess with me!” Of course, with emphasis on the word “starved.”
After a quick wardrobe change, I was whisked away to the celebratory after-party at George’s Restaurant, one of the Miss Waco Scholarship Organization’s sponsors.
As I walked in the door with crown, sash and lipstick picture ready, I was met with applause, more people and even more pictures.
After round two of pictures ended, I made it a point to meet as many of the people in the room as possible because I wanted them to know how much I appreciated them being there and supporting the Miss Waco Scholarship Organization.
Even if I were starving, even if I just wanted to sit down and get blood circulating in my feet again, it came to my attention that this was not all about me. Sure it was a celebration of my new title, but it was also an opportunity to be able to personally meet and thank the people who had played a part in radically changing the course of my upcoming year.
As Miss Waco 2014, I am a business partner to the city of Waco. I get the amazing chance to not only partner with local organizations, leaders and businesses as a representative to serve and help promote the exciting events that are happening in the Waco community, but also reach a vast audience with my platform that seeks to empower children and adults to live healthy and active lifestyles.
So what if I no longer get to make sporadic trips to Fort Worth with my friends on the weekend because I will be making appearances at events. So what if I no longer get to participate in Sing with my sorority because that time every night will be spent at the Student Life Center preparing for swimsuit competition at Miss Texas.
So what if my schedule no longer represents me, it gets to represent Waco.
You can bet your reddest lipstick that I will be gluing on my biggest earrings and layering on the eyelashes if it means in July I could have the chance to not only have my schedule revolve around representing Texas but also have the opportunity to make a difference in even one person’s life.
Madison Adams is a senior entrepreneurship and journalism double major from Fort Worth. She is a reporter for The Lariat.