On November 6, the Miss Shorter University pageant was held in the Rome City Auditorium. And though the event came earlier than usual this year, the contestants want everyone to know that competing for the title of Miss Shorter is different from what most might suppose from watching a television-aired pageant. Namely, students who compete are held to a different standard because of Shorter’s “Transforming Lives through Christ” mission statement.
This said, Miss Shorter is a preliminary pageant to Miss Georgia. It is focused on scholarship, raising money for Children’s Miracle Network and getting involved in the community through service.
Executive director of Miss Shorter, Melanie Lawrimore, believed this year’s pageant would be exciting, saying “we are looking forward to having a girl who is supportive of the mission of Shorter University.”
Lawrimore also added that she is confident that the winner of the pageant will attend and compete in Miss Georgia this year, unlike last year.
There are different phases of competition for Miss Shorter. In contrast to most pageants, there is no swimsuit portion. Instead, Miss Shorter does lifestyle and fitness, which counts for 15 percent of a competitor’s total score. There is a private interview with the five judges coming in the day before the pageant worth 25 percent, an on-stage question worth five percent, a talent portion worth 35 percent and, finally, an evening wear portion worth 20 percent.
A total of $2,800 in scholarship money is given away at the event. The winner received $2,000, first runner-up received $500 and second runner-up received $300.
Former Miss Shorter competitor and this year’s second runner-up, Millie Payne, commented that she was excited about trying to gain the title of Miss Shorter again this year.
“From my experience with Miss Shorter last year, I knew I wanted to do it again because I thoroughly enjoyed every moment” said Payne. “I truly love Shorter, and it would be the ultimate honor for me to represent this university.”
Payne was not the only one with positive things to say about her experience. Sophomore psychology major Stephanie Marrero also competed last year and did the same this fall. Marrero has competed in pageants before, but loves the initial night of Miss Shorter.
“When your turn to be on stage comes, it’s your time to shine and all the hard work pays off. My platform is to be a role model for younger girls,” Marrero said.
From here it is important to note that Miss Shorter gives girls an opportunity to branch out and try something new. Last year’s Miss Shorter University, Kelsey Kirk, said the entire pageant helped her learn so much about herself.
“I gained a greater sense of confidence because the Miss America Organization is one that prides itself in empowering women, which it absolutely did in my case,” said Kirk.
Kirk became the reigning Miss Shorter in an unorthodox way, which held her back from competing at the state level, but by not doing this Kirk claimed she gained a greater sense of what her title meant – to be a positive role model and representative of the school she loved dearly.
As Kirk’s reign comes to an end she encourages the new competitors to remember that the true reason for winning is not about the glittering crown: “as Christians, we already have a crown awaiting us. Winning a pageant should be for a the purpose of being a strong, independent role model, and being the woman of God that uses her gifts for His Glory.”