On March 31st, a very exciting thing will be happening in my life – I will be judging the Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota pageant. Commence the sparkly dress search.
I’ve never done anything like this before, so I’m pretty psyched, but I must say I’m also a little nervous. While watching the Ms. America pageant growing up, the judges were either celebrities and past pageant winners, none of which I am.
So what’s a girl to do? I’ve decided to not let this bog me down and instead embrace it, looking at it as a opportunity.
I try to be as active as possible in the disability community. Plus, my 20 years of being paralyzed helps with my judge cred. So, when I was asked to be a judge for the Ms. Wheelchair pageant MN system, I didn’t hesitate answering them.
“Of course I would,” was my answer to Jenni Taylor, pageant organizer, C1 quad and former Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota (she does a fantastic job by the way). A cool side note – last year when the pageant chose a new Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota, my local quad friend Gabe Roderick, and his band Treading North, played at intermission.
Now it’s time again to get serious about crowning a new Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota. The pageant will be taking place on March 31st, 2014 at a hotel in the burbs of Minneapolis, and they’re still looking for contestants. So far we have only four contestants, so if you decide to run your chances will be pretty good (if interested, please contact me for the necessary paperwork).
And even better, there’s no ridiculous swimsuit portion for me to judge. These woman will be judged solely on their interviews, past advocacy and poise on stage. Sadly, the fun part – the talent portion – is not a part of this pageant system. It’s a shame because there are a lot of women with disabilities with some unexpectedly awesome talents.
Overall though I love this pageant system. Looks are just a bonus and advocacy is valued more above all else. It’s a beautiful thing seeing so many women aspire to such an important crown; one that’s beyond themselves. I’m honored to be a part of it.
I just hope at the end of the day to be a wise and sound judge, and that I help choose the right woman for the job. Whoever she is, she has a big year ahead of her.
– Learn more: Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota
Have you ever judged a beauty pageant?