Christiansen places in state teen pageant

summit daily news

When Jackie Christiansen suggested her daughter, Blakely, enter the Miss Colorado Teen USA pageant last year, Blakely wanted nothing to do with it.

“She just blew me off entirely (saying), ‘I would never do that.'” Jackie Christiansen said.

“I thought it was really superficial – that’s all I knew about it,” Blakely Christiansen said.

Then she received an ad in the mail and saw the pageant offered scholarships. She began to research the event and discovered it had much more depth than she thought. Organizers were “looking for an intelligent, well-spoken young lady,” Blakely Christiansen said. “It’s basically a job interview; it’s your job to represent the company, and you have a chance to be a role model and make a difference.”

So, she began preparing about two months in advance of the pageant, which took place last weekend in Greeley. But, she wasn’t aware of how much was involved, she said.

Her mother, a personal trainer, had participated in a teen pageant at age 17, so she knew Blakely “had to mentally prepare more than anything else.”

Summit County resident and Toastmasters member Amy Nakos has been in Mrs. Colorado pageants, so she helped Blakely with interview questions. Every night, the Christiansens would ask Blakely questions and record her answers so she could see her facial expressions and hear her tone of voice. In fact, her little brother piped in with some of the best questions.

“It was definitely a family affair,” Jackie Christiansen said. “It’s a big commitment for a family, but it was a great experience overall.”

Blakely Christiansen also worked out every day, cut out junk food and increased her protein intake to sculpt her body for the swimsuit contest.

“It was grueling for her the last week because she couldn’t have anything (she craved),” said Jackie Christiansen.

“It was definitely a sacrifice, but it was worth it,” Blakely Christiansen said, admitting dieting was the hardest part.

The pageant scored the 52 girls who competed in three categories: interview, swimsuit and evening gown.

“The most nerve-racking part was answering the final question in front of the audience and judges,” Blakely Christiansen said, explaining that her question asked what her generation has contributed to the world. “I started freaking out a little in my head, but really, it was divine intervention.”

She doesn’t remember exactly what she said, but the gist of it was: She admires the determination and advancement her generation has contributed socially and technologically.

She praises the pageant for helping her develop more willpower, communication skills and time management abilities, as well as reduce her stage fright. She had to contact local businesses to raise the $900 entry fee, and she credits the community for making her experience possible. She also enjoyed meeting “all these amazing, wonderful girls from all over the state” who busted any stereotype of pageant participants being catty and mean, she said.

“It was really a growing experience,” she said. “I would encourage other girls to try, even if they think it’s not their thing because it’s a really wonderful experience.”

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