On Sunday, May 4 the Miss Nevada United States organization held its annual pageant in the showroom of the Southpoint Casino in Las Vegas. The winner of the Ms. Nevada Unites States title for 2014 was Brittany Williams.
Most people who watch pageants on television know what beauty queens look like. They are tall, mostly, slim and feminine, always. Brittany Williams is not that girl. She is beautiful, to be sure, with flashing eyes that commanded the stage, but a body type that doesn't fit the “pageant girl” image. Nobody is going to confuse her with a fashion model. Too strong, too powerful.
So what's Brittany Williams doing wearing that crown? Therein is a story, and it's a story worth telling.
Young Brittany was always something of a tomboy, fully engaged in the rough and tumble of life, not so much with the feminine appearances that are a part of so many girls' self-definition. By the time she had reached her senior year of college in Virginia, the social pressures that come with that choice had taken their toll, and she began to doubt her own self-worth and attractiveness.
Well, not one to mope about the vicissitudes of life, Brittany decided to confront her lack of self assurance. Might as well jump directly into the deep end; she entered a beauty pageant both to learn something of self presentation skills, and to test her “attractiveness”. And she failed. Not only did she not win, she didn't even place. The experience, for all its value as experience, ended up throwing her into a year-long depression.
She took her new degree in Hotel Management to Las Vegas, moped for a bit, and then charged right back into the “self esteem” battle. Body building followed, and more pageants. She won some titles, lost sometimes, and culminated her career in 2008, winning the Miss United States crown. So much for tomboy.
Since then Brittany has devoted her time, in addition to her job as a realtor, to working with women and girls who have self esteem problems through her B Fab You Lous organization. Her message is not that everyone needs to become a model-type, but that women can grab their self-definition by the throat and shake it until it until it gets into line. This is not “self esteem” that is gifted by society, but is earned by accomplishment.
Finally, Brittany decided to have one more fling at pageants – to take her body-builder, powerful body and winning smile back to the stage, and own the judges and the crowd. To accept nothing less.
And that's exactly what happened. Brittany now advances to the national pageant in Washington, DC, where she hopes to add the Ms. Crown, and be the winner of both major divisions. A force to be reckoned with is coming to DC.