Laura Whitaker 2019 Pure International Ms. America
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Laura Whitaker 2019 Pure International Ms. America.
Full name: Laura Whitaker Title/Year: 2019 Pure International Ms. America Pageant System: Pure International Pageants Age: 31 Zodiac Sign: Leo Hobbies: Machine & Hand Embroidering Platform: Volunteerism Years competed: This is my first year competing in over 12 years Countries Visited: Canada, Mexico, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary Likes: Dogs, Chick-Fil-A, fall weather and spending time with my family and my husband Wesley Dislikes: Snakes and spiders Status: Married for 9 years and counting
World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about yourself. My husband and I live in Kingsport, Tennessee and we have two Cocker Spaniels – Carlee and Libbee. We live close to both sides of our family and I enjoy hosting them all at my house for family meals. I have been a registered nurse since 2012 and a traveling nurse the past four years. I work in the cardiovascular intensive care and specialize in the immediate post-operative care of patients following open heart surgery. Last December, I graduated with my Master’s in Business Administration and aspire to move into a career in corporate healthcare. World Class Beauty Queens: What does women's empowerment mean to you? Women’s empowerment means that women are being supported and celebrated as they accomplish goals that they were previously unable or afraid to reach for. A woman should never be afraid to set goals and chase her dreams - no matter how big they seem! As women, we should rally behind one another and share knowledge, skills, and tools help one another accomplish our dreams.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your pageant history. Competing on the national stage at Pure International Pageants this past July was my first pageant in over 12 years. As a teenager, I competed in several local pageants, but only won my high school pageant – Sullivan East High School's Miss Patriot in 2004. I took a break from pageantry until this past March when I received the title of Pure International Ms. Tennessee. This title led me to the Pure International stage in Orlando, Florida where I captured the title of Pure International Ms. America.
World Class Beauty Queens: Why did you choose to compete for your current title? As a teenager, I had the dream of competing and winning a national pageant - but never realized that dream. It is never too late to accomplish your dreams – so I set out to achieve the dreams my teenage self never realized. I am so excited to now be living my dream as your 2019 Pure International Ms. America!
World Class Beauty Queens: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about? Pure International Pageants offers state, national, and international pageants with representation in more than 30 states and 18 countries. PURE’s motto is Inspire! Lead! Achieve! They are a faith-inspired, family-focused, and community-service driven organization that allows contestants of any age, nationality, or religion to compete in a fun, friendly environment with a sisterhood like no other! Pure emphasizes good public speaking and interview skills while helping contestants discover their goals and dreams. Pure International Pageants firmly believes anyone can impact the world around them.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are you being judged on during the competition? During the national competition for Pure International Ms. America I was judged on my personal interview, fun fashion outfit, formal wear, and overall impression. When I compete for the title of Pure International Ms. next July in Columbus, Ohio I will be judged on personal interview, formal wear, parade of nation (country costume) modeling and overall impression.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your experience during the competition. Competing in the Pure International America Pageant was one of the best experiences of my life! From the Red Carpet Registration, 70’s themed Welcome Party (I was a disco ball!), Welcome Reception & Orientation, Wacky Tacky Party, Paparazzi event, Super Star Studded Awards Night, opening number production and all of the required and optional competitions - no detail was left undone. The stage was stunning and every event was flawlessly planned and beautifully executed. My favorite part of the experience was the sisterhood and bonding throughout the week with all my new pageant sisters. Girls, young ladies, and women joined together from all walks of life to share, celebrate and empower one another. Rather than the usual feelings of competition I only felt love and support. Contestants from all divisions were always eager to meet any need you may have to be competition ready, offer a kind word, give a pep talk before going on stage or say a prayer with you to calm your nerves.
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for. Pure International Pageants encourages their titleholders to #BeTheImpact in their communities and the world around them. Pure encourages their titleholders to choose a platform that has meaning to them and be that impact. I choose to be the impact by striving to increase and bring awareness to Volunteerism. The most recent United States Census showed that only 1 in 4 American’s volunteer - a statistic that I know we can change. There are many wonderful civic organizations making a difference in their communities who need more volunteers. By spotlighting these organizations and serving them myself I hope to engage and inspire new volunteers to do likewise.
World Class Beauty Queens: What appearances have you done with your title? Since being crowned Pure International Ms. America on July 4th, I have already had amazing opportunities! My favorites have been trying my hand at painting during a painting party to benefit Edgefield United Methodist Church Senior activities, attend two local preliminary pageants, joining East Tennessee leaders at a dinner with the Governor of Tennessee and attending Hear Me Roar at Creation Kingdom Zoo to benefit Waiting to Hear, an organization that benefits children who have hearing impairments. I have several appearances and volunteer activities already scheduled for the rest of my reign and I look forward to each one and welcome any new opportunities!
World Class Beauty Queens: What are some of your achievements? Winning the title of Pure International Ms. America is one of my greatest achievements. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve my community and country with my title. I am also very proud of my education and career. I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and secured a coveted new graduate position as a registered nurse in a Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. I worked there full-time until the fall of 2015 when I made the decision to go PRN and begin travel nursing full-time. In December 2018 I graduated with my Masters in Business Administration - a step I hope has prepared me to someday begin a career in corporate healthcare.
World Class Beauty Queens: What is your onstage strategy to win the judges over? The only strategy is to be yourself! I am the same person whether on or off stage. Being confident in myself, my journey and my preparation for that moment on stage allows me to shine. I make sure to be in the moment to show the judges a glimpse of my personality and who I really am.
World Class Beauty Queens: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls? No matter what I am doing – I am just myself. I am the only person who is made and created like me – so I let that shine!
World Class Beauty Queens: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner. When my name was announced as Pure International Ms. America I was finally fulfilling a dream that I made as a teenager. When I heard my name I was flooded with so many emotions. As the weight of the crown was placed on my head I couldn’t help but to thank God for allowing me so great of an opportunity.
World Class Beauty Queens: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen? A beauty queen is a woman who is more than just a pretty face. She is beautiful from the inside out. She believes in herself, leads by example and inspires those around her. She is intelligent, yet never stops learning. She loves herself, celebrates her flaws and exudes confidence. She is gracious, humble and kind to everyone she meets.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants help your life? Despite the many pageants I entered as a teenager - I only won one pageant. Years later I realized that what I had perceived as failures in my losses were actually triumphs in disguise. Through pageantry, I learned solid interview skills that enabled me to land my dream job. I refined my social skills that made everyday interactions in many situations a breeze. I uncovered confidence within my own skin and with myself as a unique individual and learned to love my flaws. I mastered functioning under pressure with confidence and grace. I have no doubt that pageants equipped me with these life skills that enabled me to be a successful adult.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did pageants help your self-esteem and body image? Competing in pageants has allowed me to be fully confident in my own skin. As a plus-size woman, I am so thankful to have found a system like Pure International Pageants that does not judge me on my dress size, but rather me as a person.
World Class Beauty Queens: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel? Pure International Pageants Motto is Lead! Achieve! Inspire! - and I want to do just that. I want anyone following me to see that I am not perfect, yet I celebrate and embrace my flaws as they are what make me the unique person I am. I truly hope that my journey to achieve my own dreams inspires others to do the same.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk? Practice! Practice! Practice! I recommend practicing in the shoes that you will be wearing on stage when you compete. As the competition nears, do a full dress rehearsal in all of your outfits, including all accessories, and have someone video it. By doing this you can watch the video and see how your outfit moves as you walk and make any necessary adjustments.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for choosing the right pageant dress? Choose what makes you feel beautiful and confident. Pick a color, style, and shape that flatters your body and showcases your personality. Don't get stuck thinking that you must choose a certain color or style just because it is the trend. You are going to look more confident and shine on stage if you are wearing a dress that you truly love!
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your tips for winning interview? Be yourself and be memorable! Remember that the judges are people just like you and I. They are there because they want to get to know you. Go into your interview with the mindset that you are going to make new friends
World Class Beauty Queens: How did you prepare for your competition? When I decided to compete for Pure International Ms. America it had been almost 12 years since my last pageant. I consulted with some of the best professionals in pageantry and created a team who believed in me and could help me prepare to shine in competition without sacrificing my true personality. I developed a plan and practiced every day in at least one area of competition to strengthen my weaknesses and perfect my strengths.
World Class Beauty Queens: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it. After I complete a competition I never look back and wish I could redo something - because I can't. Rather, I choose to review my competition performances and look for an opportunity for improvement. There is always room to grow, learn and improve in a positive capacity. I choose to be proud that I successfully prepared myself and completed that area of competition.
World Class Beauty Queens: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest? Not having fun and enjoying the fruits of their preparation efforts. Preparing for a pageant is hard work. You have worked so hard to be there at that moment, so enjoy it and have fun! Being relaxed and enjoying yourself on stage will allow you to shine.
World Class Beauty Queens: Any modeling or acting experience? I am so excited to have been chosen to attend and walk in New York Fashion Week 2.0 by Art & Beauty Magazine. This will be my first modeling experience outside of pageantry and I am so excited about this opportunity.
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2019 as a Queen? My year will quickly pass. I want to be able to look back on my year of service and know that no opportunity was left behind. I will make the most of and enjoy every moment of each service opportunity and appearance. I hope to share my heart with the world around me and inspire others to do good and #BeTheImpact.
World Class Beauty Queens: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? As an advocate for Volunteerism, I hope to inspire others to find a civic organization, charity or even to create their own project to give back within their own community. I want every person to see the good that they can create by giving the gift of their time.
International Director: Pat Miller National Director: Pat Miller Pageant Website: www.pureinternationalpageants.com World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview.
Laura Whitaker 2019 Pure International Ms. America, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Elizabeth Clary 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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