top of page
  • Cocoa

Spirit of the Miss & Teen USA Pageant Award Winner

So, our official goal of at least making it to the semi-finalist round was not met. It feels a bit defeating to try again next year, but this year was very fulfilling.




The Weekend


This year felt different mostly because my mom was there, and I arrived with support from my real friends. I arrived at registration with my mother and we both looked really stylish. I met some of the other contestants and said Hey specifically to the other Milwaukee & Milwaukee County contestants.


My sister and her husband had a drink with me and mom on the first full day (Saturday). We had a great time enjoying ourselves and brushed off the racist microaggressions at the hotel restaurant.


I get this anxiety sweat when I am in certain spaces so sleeveless is always my first choice. No shame in my reality. I remembered my butt glue this year and I handled all my makeup and hair ish with my mom. So every look was styled by me and my mom.


Everyone loved the custom evening gown (Basia Rose Designs) and swimsuit (Sabrina Lombardo) I wore this year. I want to thank both of them for being flexible and working with my vision.





Pageant Sisters


First person I started interacting with was Camille, Miss Whitefish Bay 2022. She is a sweet pageant first-timer who draws and sells art on her Instagram. We talked about random things and checked each other's makeup and outfits to make sure we looked our best before we went on stage. She has such sweet and subtle energy about her. Seeing her first-year jitters made me humble. I forgot how daring and bold it is to step into something new like this hoping for a fair shot to win. Camille reminded me of how important it was to build connections with folx during the journey and not just being so focused on the end goal.


Autumn (Miss Milwaukee 2022) was one of the first pageant sisters I took pictures with. She was a contestant in 2021 as Miss Teen USA. She had made Top 16 in the teen division and this year she was definitely a judge's favorite. She placed top 16 for the miss division along with my other pageant sisters: Hawa, Jalessa & Tanya (congratulations babes)! She caught my eye because I loved her natural hair and her outfits complimented her skin tone well.


Jalessa (Miss Racine) & Hawa (Miss Brown Deer Village) are the closest I got to have best friends. Like if we thought of the pageant as a summer camp, we would be the three femmes that stayed joined at the hip the whole trip. Like, none of us knew each other before the pageant but it was such naturally beautifully interactions between us that none of that mattered to me. Jalessa won the People's Choice award and Hawa was runner up. Both ladies are Wisconsin natives and have just started to branch out into modeling and the pageant world. Jalessa is a basketball athlete agent/manager. She travels alot and has an awesome podcast platform. Then Hawa, she is phenomenal cause she did this pageant as a surprise to her family. That literally means she made a way for herself with very little direct support from her established community. Both of these women are dynamic. I had the pleasure of designing outfits for both of them in my aaBA Fashion Show in August. It meant so much to me that they were there to support me.


Unique (Miss Northwest Teen) was also a sweet spirit I loved checking in with since the pageant. She won Miss Homecoming Queen at her school and is a budding nail tech and chef. I can't wait to keep up and support her journey.


Willow, Vernida, Samia were all Teen USA pageant contestants. All three were beautiful individuals with great energy. I hope they all apply to be in the 2023 Miss Wisconsin Teen USA pageant. Willow is a signer and does Broadway & musical shows! Vernida is a published book author! Samia is a upcoming model and her outfits on IG give LEGIT Black Girl ALT vibes (I love it).


Tania was the Miss Wisconsin 2022 runner up. I had competed with her in the 2021 pageant as well. She was nice and could help another sister she didn't hesitate. She had a steamer that came in handy for a few people!


I hope one of these sisters (who enters in the 2023 pageant) wins or enters the Top 5 in either division. They all deserved the recognition. Every one of these pageant sisters of mine will always get a vote from me!


Paige (Miss Teen Oshkosh), Paige (Miss Green Bay), Katrina (Miss Appleton) were dope pageant connections I made as well. I loved connecting with Katrina out of all my sisters though because we both work on the Gender-Based Violence spectrum. We talked a lot about the folx we encountered and the type of fulfillment we get from this work. Miss Green Bay ain't new to this, she true to this. She dresses to Slay, not impress. Miss Teen Oshkosh is still snatching titles, scooping up Homecoming Queen at her school.





Spirit of Miss & Teen USA


This year I won the Spirit of Miss USA & Miss Teen USA. Winners are said to be chosen by random after the pageant staff read support letters from their family members/ friends who are in attendance. The staff chose a letter my mother wrote which highlighted the trials I've gone through to get where I am today. Of course, she got me all teary eyed and we both walked onto that stage a mess. I appreciated the standing ovation and the applause from the audience though. I was grateful to have proven to myself that regardless of the people who uphold limiting beauty standards, I was still the people's choice. I am proud of my time and journey with these pageants because it's given me strength to rise to my purpose. I hung up my sash, the letter and the award right next to each other. All that mattered was that my mother and my people SEE me.





Being a Local Titleholder


Being a local titleholder means that folx in your community can request you to attend events and help promote certain experiences with the approved permission of the USA State Pageant production company. If you are ever interested in booking a photoshoot or an event with a pageant queen, look up the contact info for their branding company or reach out to the titleholder directly.


In June 2022, I got the chance to wear my sash in the Juneteenth parade & celebration! I ran into a couple different pageant siblings and took photos with some community members and politicians.






What's Next


I won't be competing a third year. I am moving forward with my dreams of being a local fashion and I am focusing on travelling for worldly experiences. In the next 5 years, I see myself in a successful and environmentally conscious company that I've built to support the trybe and legacy of my Enchanted Werk.


That means owning property to house my employees and my family. I also plan to incorporate community asset mapping so I know of experts/novice (in various fields) who have strengths I can build with.





Articles I'm Featured In


Abolish MKE

TMJ4

Neighborhood News Service (NNS)


Now, to talk about the BS...


I am personally proud of my accomplishments and how far I've gotten, however I know the limitations of some opportunities presented to me. I know how far I can get with certain things. It was really disappointing to be the only of the Top 4 People's Choice pageant contestants that didn't make the Top 16. I was glad for receiving my Spirit Award, but that felt like an award to keep me from complaining about the lack of representation. To me, the USA State pageants were rigged just by feeling it out. The interviews felt like a show, meant to amuse you. Folx who had long interviews were the folx (I noticed) to make the Top spots. Even in the icebreakers or running around, I picked out who was going to be top choice. I mean, when was it ever recorded that someone with locs was in the Top 16? Or someone with visible tattoos or opposing views? I knew that it was a long shot getting to Top 5, but I had my faith. I had community that was supporting me every step of the way.




Peace & Blessings,

Annia

High Priestess of The Divine Trinity




8 views0 comments