World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Kristin Wilson Miss West Virginia for America 2020.
Full name: Kristin Marie Wilson
Title/Year: Miss West Virginia for America 2020
Pageant System: Miss for America
Zodiac sign: Aries
Hobbies: Spending time with my Chiweenie "KoKo Chewnel"; early century primitive shopping; watching Lifetime movies; maintaining a healthy lifestyle; coaching cheerleading
Platform: Crowned with Empowerment
Years competed: 16
Countries visited: Canada; Bahamas; Mexico
Likes: The three "p's": Pancakes, puppies, & pageantry
Dislikes: small spaces, dishonesty, & waking up early
World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about yourself. I am a 5th grade science/social studies teacher. When I'm not teaching, I work my small business, Prim Queen, where I sell hair bows and distressed flannels. My crazy chi-weenie, KoKo Chewnel, is the center of my world and together we like to participate in dachshund derby racing. I am a Lupus warrior and childhood survivor of sexual assault, which is the force behind my platform, "Crowned with Empowerment."
World Class Beauty Queens: What does women Empowerment mean to you? Everyone has a story to tell. Some are more painful than others and can change your world in a matter of minutes. Experiencing trauma often leads to a life spent in survival mode. Having the ability to transition from surviving to thriving is a blessing. When you can tell your story and not cry, that's when you know you've healed. Often, it's our deepest pain which empowers us to become the highest version of ourselves. Telling the story of a mountain you climbed could be a page in someone else's survival guide. Owning your story will be the bravest thing you will ever do, and to me, that is empowerment. Straighten that crown, keep it moving, and feel "Crowned with Empowerment." World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your pageant history. I competed in my first pageant, when I was 15 years old, in the middle of a mall. I was so nervous that I forgot my name during onstage introductions. When I told my best friend I was thinking of competing in my local fair pageant, a few years later, he told me he didn't think that was such a good idea and actually begged me not to. I ended up placing 1st runner-up, and that was the start of my journey in pageantry. Over time, I held various local titles. In 2014, I was crowned Ms. West Virginia United States and went on to compete for the national title of Miss United States. Currently, I am Miss West Virginia for America 2020 and will represent my state in Las Vegas at the national Miss for America Pageant.
World Class Beauty Queens: What inspired you to do your first pageant? Like many young girls, I grew up admiring all of the beautiful women in their sparkly gowns competing on national television. In the 6th grade, Miss West Virginia visited my school. We sat in the auditorium as she gave a motivational speech, and I was star struck. She signed the basketball, on my t-shirt, and I told myself that, one day, I would become Miss West Virginia. The t-shirt hangs on my bedroom mirror and played an important role in motivating me to achieve my dream at the Miss West Virginia for America pageant.
World Class Beauty Queens: Why did you choose to compete for your current title? After going through a major life change, I was approached by the local director and encouraged to compete. At first, I laughed and said absolutely not as I had not competed in five years. The more I thought about the proposition, the more it sounded appealing. My goal in competing was to use the physical and mental preparation to "find myself again."
World Class Beauty Queens: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about? Miss for America Presents is a National Pageant dedicated to featuring the most accomplished single women of America. Ranging in ages from 18 years and older, widowed, divorced, or never married; 51 women compete for the coveted title of Miss for America.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are you being judged on during the competition? Miss WV for America uses a "circle system" instead of a number score. Contestants meet with a panel of judges for a four minute interview based on your ability to articulate, show confidence, facial beauty, and overall personality. This constitutes for 50% of the final score. Each contestant models a one-piece swimsuit on stage. Judging is based on your figure, fitness, posture, grace, beauty, overall health, and confidence for 20% of the final score. Contestants also model an evening gown on stage. A panel of judges will base 25% of your score on poise, posture, grace, confidence, beauty, and elegance. After the selection of finalists, a "fish bowl" question will be asked of each finalist to aid the panel of judges in ranking the final contestants. The top five will then model their evening gown again to give the panel of judges a final look before their final ranking.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your experience during the competition. My best friend, Kirsten, and I took on the pageant as "Team KK," which made the experience more fun and less nerve wracking. She competed for the title of Mrs. West Virginia America and placed as 1st runner-up. I had a positive experience and wish I could relive it all over again. One of the judges was former POW, Jessica Lynch, who I have been in awe of for years. Eighteen of my family and friends traveled to watch me compete, which meant the world to me, and made the experience that much more special.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for. "Crown with Empowerment" is the initiative that I have dedicated my reign to promoting. As a childhood survivor of sexual abuse, I made the decision, nearly ten years ago, to turn my negative situation into a positive one. Making the transition from feeling like a victim to a survivor is the bravest thing I have ever done. It has become my mission to utilize my title as a megaphone to raise sexual assault awareness and empower others so they, too, can feel "Crowned with Empowerment."
World Class Beauty Queens: What appearances have you done with your title? Unfortunately, just weeks after being crowned, the state of West Virginia was shut down by the Governor, due to COVID-19, resulting in limited appearances. I was able to attend a few pageants and a festival as visiting royalty. My goal has been to be as visible as possible on social media since appearances in person are limited. I have participated in Read Aloud with a Queen, held an online pet calendar contest, and virtually participated in Sexual Assault Awareness Month, including painting and hiding rocks with messages of empowerment and sharing statistics on my social media fan pages.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are some of your achievements? After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, I graduated with a Master of Education in Professional studies with a 4.0 grade point average and have since earned 15 additional hours and a certification in Autism and Multi-Categorical Special Education. I have written and won two technology grants for my school and have coached our varsity cheerleading squad to multiple grand championships. Related to my platform, I have successfully organized successful fundraisers to benefit my local rape and domestic violence center and have been the keynote speaker at a sexual assault awareness rally.
World Class Beauty Queens: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls? I am a compassionate, thoughtful, and competitive person. My life has been dedicated to raising sexual assault awareness through sharing my story in hopes of helping others turn pain into power. I am a firm believer that "Idle time is wasted time" thus resulting in me being a "Present titleholder." My goal is to be accessible and visible in both the community and on social media to promote my platform and grow the organization I am representing.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner. Waiting to hear if my name was going to be called felt like an eternity, but hearing my family and friends above the entire audience was the best and most comforting feeling. The moment I heard my name, I erupted into an ugly cry and felt the room begin to spin. It was like a dream, and I often replay it in my head. I get as choked up as I did the first time because it was such a surreal feeling that I will never experience again and is one of the most special moments in my entire life.
World Class Beauty Queens: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen? A beauty queen is more than meets the eye. One of the best pieces of pageant advice I have ever received is to "Make time." No matter where you are going, what you are doing, or how late you are, always have time for the people who stop you along the way." A queen should have the goal of being the "People's queen." She should be someone who is successful, believes in the importance of service and volunteering, values education, and is of course, classy.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants helped your life? Competing in pageants helped me shift from surviving childhood sexual abuse to thriving. The first time I shared my story, I cried, but each time it got easier. Through promoting my platform and raising sexual assault awareness, I planted roots, became empowered and grew into the highest version of myself.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did pageants helped your self esteem and body image? The day I looked in the mirror and realized I am only in competition with myself was a pivotal moment in my pageant career. Competing has given me the opportunity to focus on becoming the best version of myself. The harder you work for something, the greater you feel when it is achieved. Training myself to have the mentality that at the end of the day it is just me vs. me and remembering my opponent wants the same thing as I do is my biggest motivator. I have learned the only thing that matters is who works harder for it, which drives me to strive for success, in all aspects of competition, thus boosting my overall self-esteem and body image.
World Class Beauty Queens: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel? One of my favorite quotes says "Be the kind of woman who fixes another woman's crown without telling the world it is crooked." Having the opportunity to teach young women to embrace the strength of such sisterhood is heartwarming. As women, it is our responsibility to foster the development of young girls through empowerment. Being in the spotlight, provides titleholders with the opportunity to serve as a reminder that there is no force more powerful than a woman who is determined to rise.
World Class Beauty Queens: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over? My goal is to win the judges over during personal interviews through leaving the lasting impression that I am fearlessly authentic, exude confidence, and stand out from the other contestants. It is my mission to use the stage time to engage the judges with eye contact, show I am having fun, and serve as a reminder that I am the right person for the job.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did you prepare for your competition? I prepared through working with a variety of coaches to cover all aspects of the competition: Jorge Esteban from Pageant Smart on interview; Heather Habura on modeling; Complete Physique for fitness. Also, I have a great support system of friends who I like to call my "dream team."
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk? Practice, practice, practice! Turn on a song that motivates you, set up a full length mirror, and record yourself. When I first started competing, I walked my German shepherd in high heels around the neighborhood!
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for choosing the right pageant dress? Choose a dress that takes your own breath away! If you aren't in love with the gown you're wearing, you won't feel confident, and it will show on stage.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for winning interview? Make the interview a conversation versus rapid fire question/answer. My favorite thing to do is ask myself questions, while driving, and practice my answers without sounding too rehearsed. Stay up to date on current events, know your bio sheet, and remember to be authentic.
World Class Beauty Queens: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it? Occasionally, I tend to go blank on stage, let my nerves get the best of me, and forget the walking pattern. I have learned to listen to my dad's voice and focus on that.
World Class Beauty Queens: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest? As a contestant, surrounded by beautiful girls, who are aspiring to capture the same title you are, it is difficult to remember your only competition is yourself. No one else is you, and that is your superpower.
World Class Beauty Queens: Any modeling or acting experience? I have modeled in bridal shows for Oliverio's Bridal & Prom Boutique.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2020 as a Queen? My year has been much different than I envisioned due to COVID-19, but I plan to make the most of it. My goal is to continue to promote my initiative "Crowned with Empowerment" to the best of my ability and be as present as possible.
World Class Beauty Queens: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Aside from leaving behind the legacy of being a quaran-queen due to COVID-19, I hope through telling the story of the mountain I climbed, my words will show other "victims" if they survived the abuse, they can survive the recovery. If I only touch the life of one person, my reign will have been worth it.
National Director: David Z. and Elaine Marmel
Your Local Director: Lisa Bird & Stephanie Duffield
Pageant website: https://missforamerica.com/ World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview.
Kristin Wilson Miss West Virginia for America 2020, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photo by Gretchen Pingley Photography
Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner/Editor in Chief Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org
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