‘Not a beauty pageant’
SUMMIT COUNTY – At the end of each day, Chelsea Seegers certainly deserves a good night’s sleep.This Summit High School senior is president of Spanish Honor Society, a member of the National Honor Society, student body president, part of the leadership program, performs in musicals, is a varsity swimmer and a Summit Singer. To top all that off, Seegers teaches 2- to 4-year-olds ballet and tap at the Art of Dance in Breckenridge and spends time doing community service when she can.And this weekend, she will showcase her talent, beauty and brains as she competes in the Colorado Junior Miss Pageant in Denver.Seegers, 18, decided to compete in her first pageant after reading a letter that came to SHS about three years ago. She thought it sounded fun and she could possibly earn scholarship money, so she figured she would give it a try. After that, she was hooked.”I was so satisfied with the image it gave pageants that I wanted to go back,” said Seegers, whose cheerful, professional attitude makes it easy to see she that the interview portion of the competition will be a breeze. “They are just really gorgeous girls who are so smart and so ready to achieve. … It was nice to meet other girls who don’t sleep.”
Last year in the Miss Teen Colorado pageant Seegers came in second runner-up, and in 2004 she won an award for personality and poise.That first award is one she will never forget. After receiving it on stage and shaking hands with Miss Teen Colorado, the stairs tripped her up.”The girl who just got an award for walking in heels just tripped herself,” Seegers said laughing at the memory and irony of the experience.She certainly does not plan to repeat that fumble this year. For the pageant, she will be wearing her prom dress. Seegers described the black lace gown with a short train as simple, chic and classic. And while she has danced in the past, this time she will be singing an Italian love song, “Nel Lor Puir No Mi Sento,” to show off her range.”I’ve been singing since I could talk,” she said.
Seegers is hoping this talent will help her earn some scholarship money this weekend. She has not yet decided where she will be going to college, but plans to go into hospitality and hotel management and Spanish. She already received an acceptance letter from the University of Denver and is waiting to hear back from Cornell University. Her dream job would be coordinating runway shows for a designer.When Seegers was 4, she won a modeling search and spent a year living in New York. There, she worked as a representative for Cabbage Patch Kids and Fisher Price.Now that she is older, the 5-foot 10-inch teen has strayed from modeling. She was not quite as impressed with that scene as she is with the pageant world.”You meet girls there who you swear to God if they could tie their shoes it would be a miracle,” she joked.Also, a modeling agency asked her to lose 15 pounds and she drew the line. She wants girls to know that you don’t have to be really tiny to be beautiful and wants to help fight off “body image crap.” After all, Marilyn Monroe was not the skinny figure image girls struggle with today, and she was known for her beauty, she said.
Seegers found that pageants carry the image of women she prefers – smart and talented.”There’s a difference between beauty pageants and scholarship programs,” she said. “I wouldn’t take for granted these girls are just a pretty face. They are super competitive, over-achievers who want to make a difference.”Many of the teens will become doctors or hold important positions and the pageants help them bring in money for school to get there, she continued.”People should give it a try before they judge it,” she said. “It opens your eyes to how women are changing the world. … It’s not a beauty pageant. It’s an opportunity to showcase the up-and-coming leaders.”Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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