D-Queen is over and I didn’t get a crown.
In one of the more high-stress days of my life, I ran between the newsroom and pageant participation. Three hours of dress rehearsal on Monday hadn’t instilled a ton of confidence in me and I was running low on sleep. Also, the tan shoes I needed for the pageant were drying — I couldn’t find comfortable ones, so I resorted to spray painting my favorite old brown heels. Classy, I know.
The private interview part of the judging came first for me. I felt pretty good about this part, as I have been acing job interviews for years. The judges were pleasant and it was easy to feel comfortable and answer naturally. Next was the luncheon — I was late — then I practiced my talent twice in full costume onstage. Later we had one more quick dress rehearsal, and then it was time to get ready for the real deal.
Unfortunately, the hair and makeup school that was going to help backstage backed out at the last minute. Luckily for the ladies in my dressing room, my best friend came to help me and then jumped in to do hair and makeup for others. There was a great pooling of resources in our messy dressing room with none of the cattiness portrayed in the media. We loaned hair pins, jewelry and the beautiful gown I wore for the evening wear section of the pageant was loaned to me by another woman who hadn’t worn it yet.
We may have been competing for the title of D-Queen, but I didn’t feel like we were against each other. As there were 20 contestants, I didn’t get to know everyone that well, but there is a bond there.
The actual pageant was a fest of high energy and nerves. My hastily spray painted shoes betrayed me; when I pivoted during our opening number, my dry-but-sticky shoe stuck long enough to make me wobble. My aching and blistered feet made hula dancing less than pleasant during my talent performance. I made it through my evening wear walk without incident, and then I was asked my onstage question, “what is the most important quality in a D-Queen: attractive, intelligent, funny or relatable?”
All I could think to answer was “I don’t see why she can’t be all those things.”
The women I’ve gotten to know through the pageant were all those things, and I fully believe the current queen Shelby Christensen and her court also have all these qualities.
I’ve been thinking how I feel about putting literal blood, sweat and tears into a project and walking away with nothing. But that isn’t strictly true.
For one thing, I met some excellent women and made new friends. I challenged myself to try something that terrified me and shared my experiences. My family and friends turned out to cheer for me as I pranced around on stage, which isn’t an experience I’d had before. One sister-in-law even drove up from Las Vegas with her baby to see me.
While I can’t speak to all pageants, I would encourage any Dixie State University lady who receives the D-Queen invitation to take up the challenge and participate in this unique and awesome pageant.