Elite Miss Nevada 2018, Jody Marie is a true inspiration to the community. Being a speaker, Jody has been able to reach thousands of people every single year to influence others to reduce waste, go vegan, and support their local community. She has also been accepted to be a representative for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps and lead the global fight for climate solutions. As a Fashion Model, Raw Foods Chef, Speaker, Environmentalist and Activist… Jody tries her best to leave the biggest impact with the smallest footprint.

Hometown: Las Vegas Nevada
Occupation: Fashion Model, Raw Foods Chef, Speaker, and work at a Real Estate Investment Firm
Hobbies:Volunteering, Fashion, Modeling, Photography, Creating Recipes, Hiking, Kayaking, Teaching Classes, traveling, vlogging, hosting meetups and community gatherings, speaking at events, making a positive impact in the community, and personal growth.
Favorite food: Fruit
Favorite movie: Beauty and the Beast
Three words that sum you up: Persistent, Altruistic, Courageous
Song you have on repeat right now: Run by Sir Sly
Dream job: What I am currently doing, a Published Fashion Model. Completing my dream would be becoming Elite Miss Earth and Ms. Earth afterwards.
One thing you can’t live without: Love
Favorite quote:“I can do things you cannot do, you can do things I cannot do, together we can do great things” Mother Teresa

Having a state title must keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you?
Waking up and doing some form of self-love is very important to starting the day. It will either start off with Yoga, Meditation, or getting out in nature. Starting your day with self-love can make or break your day! My days consists of volunteering, appearances, photoshoots, planning community outreach activities as well as my day to day work activities. I also spend quality time with my boyfriend, friends and family. Working at a Real Estate Investment company, I have the flexibility to do what I love and love what I do! The joy of being a title holder is every day is different and every day is just as exciting!

What has been the highlight of your reign so far? Meeting some of the most impactful and inspirational women around the USA has been the highlight of my reign. Growing up being bullied by most of the girls in my class, I had an idea of how women behave and didn’t want to be friends with women. It wasn’t until I joined pageantry that I realized that not all women put you down and many of them have your best interest in mind. Empowered women Empower women and I truly believe that pageantry is a true sisterhood to greatness. Even before Nationals, I have met some of the most kind, genuine and empowered individuals. Some of my best friends were from pageantry and I am so thankful to be able to meet the rest of the ladies in Washington DC. Your vibe attracts your tribe!

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time? Eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables are what keep my skin looking flawless. I do not eat processed foods for many reasons such as the waste it produces, the lack of nutrition and for health. Being natural and rocking your own skin is also very important as it keeps your skin clear and free of chemicals. Being beautiful in your own skin is such an empowering feeling. I personally love myself with makeup but love myself even more without it.

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying? Bullying has nothing to do with you, it has to do with the other person. Being bullied my whole life, I used to always think there was something wrong with me until I studied cognitive behavior in my 20’s and learned that most people who cause harm to other people is because they are suffering and want to push it on someone else. The best advise I could give would be to give your bullies more love because they truly need it. Stay Strong and keep being you!

Tell us about your platform: Being an Earth Warrior, my job is to protect our beautiful life-giving and life-saving Mother Earth. Coming from Native American Ancestry, I have always felt a deep sense of connection to our Mother Earth and all living things on it. That is why my platform is to encourage others to reduce waste, go vegan, and support their local economy. Americans on average produce 4.4lbs of trash every single day. Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of the amazon being destroyed and causes 51 billion farm animals to be killed for food, every year, and that does not include sea animals. These are beautiful creatures that are essential to our ecosystem and our oceans. Supporting locals is also very important because it helps put money in your local economy and you help make your community a destination. Reducing waste is something everyone can do. We do not have a world hunger issue, we have a world waste issue.  I teach free monthly zero waste classes, intro to veganism, and host monthly meetups to bring the community together. As a speaker, I was able to reach thousands of people at the 7th annual Health Healing and Happiness conference here in Las Vegas to encourage them to reduce waste, go vegan, and support locals. Working with local and national businesses, leaders and congress, I have been able to make a drastic change in my community.

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? One thing you can do right away is use your voice for what you believe in! We have so much power behind our voice and if you are not speaking about something you believe in, your community is missing out. It all depends on what your passion is, but you can host community cleanups, teach a class about something you believe in, reach out to local businesses to host events to raise money for non-profits. My favorite quote from Mother Teresa…” I can do things better than you can…you can do things better than I can…but together we can do great things” If you are not good at planning community outreach activities, find someone in your local community who is and use your talents to help them!

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing? Everything I do, I do with love. I do not add anything to my calendar if I am not going to enjoy it. I have come to a point in my life where I do what I love, and I love what I do. During my free time I spend time out in nature. I love hiking, camping, kayaking, grounding, gardening and just being out with our Mother Earth.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Best advice I have ever received was you will always have haters in your life and people who will try and put you down. Be the bigger person and send love their way! Keep being you and never change.

Instagram: @Jodymarie_official
Facebook Fan Page:
Elite Miss Nevada



Elite Miss Rhode Island 2018, Laura Barlow, developed a passion for nature and animals at a young age. Now in her thirties, she spends her time volunteering, running a non-profit organization and taking care of her two rescue dogs. Her purpose in this world is to spread a message of love and compassion towards nature, animals and humanity. Laura also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree and is a school teacher. Laura is proud to be Elite Miss Rhode Island 2018!

Hometown: Cranston, Rhode Island
Occupation: Teacher
Hobbies: Volunteering, Nature, Animals, Health and Fitness, Cooking, Event Planning, Fundraising, Fashion
Favorite food: Do I have to pick one!? I love to eat! Some of my favorite foods include: Vegan Macaroni & Cheese, Vegan Nachos, Maple Mustard Tempeh and Hummus!!
Favorite movie: Avatar and Contact
Three words that sum you up: Compassionate, Passionate and Motivated
Song you have on repeat right now: XO by Beyonce! The song came out in 2013 but recently I have really connected to it. I love the theme of the song, “to create light from darkness.”
Dream job: I am blessed to be a teacher and I love my career. My other dream job would be working full time to help animals. I would particularly love to help put an end to the Taiji dolphin drive hunt.
One thing you can’t live without: My family and dogs!
Favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Having a state title must keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you?
I am very busy! My typical day involves teaching, taking care of my dogs, completing my responsibilities involved in running a non profit organization and being a state title holder. It is a lot of work but I would not have it any other way. Service to my students, community, state and the planet is what gives me purpose. I also make sure to take care of myself as well. Everyday I make time for healthy eating, exercise and relaxation. In order to best serve others we ourselves must first be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.

What has been the highlight of your reign so far?
The highlight of my reign so far has been all of the amazing people I have met in my community and all of the wonderful organizations I have been involved with. I have volunteered weekly and I have so much more planned. It feels amazing to be making a positive difference in my community! There truly is joy in service to others. I am very thankful to the Miss Earth United States organization for giving me this amazing opportunity to be an ambassador to environmental protection campaigns.

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
My best beauty secret is to use cruelty free products! Nothing makes me feel more beautiful than knowing that no animals were harmed in the making of my beauty products.

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
Seek help! If you are being bullied please talk to a teacher, friend or parent. Please also know that you are not alone. It is impossible to be alone because you are connected to everything around you. I would also like to offer this quote from Scott Stabile as advice: “I wish you knew how normal your feelings are, and how universal your struggle is. You are so not alone. You couldn’t be alone if you tried.”

Tell us about your platform:
My platform is “We Are All Connected.” I want to help people awaken from the illusion of separation and to understand that we are all connected: nature, animals and humanity. We are all Earthlings. Every action we take has an impact on others. It feels great to know that we can live a lifestyle that shows compassion, love and respect for humanity, animals and our planet.

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved?
There are easy things that we can do everyday to respect the connection between all life. Reducing single use plastic, recycling, eating vegan meals, saying no to plastic straws and picking up trash are just a few examples. To get more involved in your community, search online or through social media for organizations that have a mission you feel connected to and passionate about. Reach out to organizations and ask what you can do to get involved. Most organizations need volunteers and would love to have your help!

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
In my free time I enjoy running a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and volunteering with causes that I am passionate about. I also enjoy trying out new vegan recipes in the kitchen, dining out at restaurants and traveling. I love spending time with my family and loved ones including my two rescue dogs, Baxter and Mama Belle.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice that I have ever received was to research how animals are treated in society. The knowledge that I gained though my research helped me to open up my heart to animals, to truly love and respect them. It feels amazing to live a lifestyle that shows compassion on animals, to know that my everyday choices reflect my core belief of love and respect for all life.


Today on LadyCode we have a guest interview with Miss Nebraska Earth United States 2018, Merrick Alexander. Merrick is a small town, farm girl living in a big city studying History, Psychology, and Classics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Music has been her passion since she was 3 years old, and she has been through years of vocal training. She is able to sing in several different languages including Hebrew and Italian. Aside from music, her life has revolved around faith, family, and sports. Merrick is also a graduate of two separate modeling and acting programs, and continues to pursue both of these career fields, while volunteering and advocating for Earth and its people.

Quick facts…
Hometown: Plainview, NE
Occupation: University Student/ Model/ Nanny
Hobbies: Singing, Dancing, Art, Volunteering, Running
Favorite food: Tacos
Favorite movie: Raise Your Voice
Three words that sum you up: Unique, Compassionate, Motivated
Song you have on repeat right now: The Girl You Think I Am by Carrie Underwood
Dream job: Miss Earth / Singer
One thing you can’t live without: Music
Favorite quote: Always believe something wonderful is about to happen.

Having a state title must keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you?
My days contain a balance of workouts, school, work, appearances, and photoshoots, plus I like to enjoy social time as well. The key is to be well-organized and recognize how much you can actually handle in one day without slacking on any of it. Being a student adds a little inconsistency to my schedule, and appearances are on different days and times, so you have to be orderly to make it on time to everything and be well prepared.

What has been the highlight of your reign so far?
The highlight of my reign has honestly been all of the little moments. The smiles on the faces of everyone I encounter, the opportunity to help others and be a part of something so much bigger than myself. I had the opportunity to be a part of the Autism Puzzle Walk in Omaha, NE, to hang out with the families and children. I was brought there to make them smile and bring joy and inspiration to their day, but it turns out that is exactly what they did for me. Seeing their strength and courage, and the utter happiness they get out of life was unbelievable. I want to find that same freedom in life. I had the same type of experience volunteering for Dance Marathon. Children are amazing and we can learn so much from them. These are a couple highlights, out of a multitude more. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with incredible people who constantly help me grow as an individual.

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
My best beauty secret is that Natural is Beautiful. For many of the appearances I have done I have worn much more natural looking makeup, no false lashes, and no extensions. I love doing more natural looks because I believe we are all beautiful in our own skin, and I want to show young girls they can be proud of their own natural beauty. This is why I chose to not to wear extensions or false lashes in my Official Headshot as Miss Nebraska Earth 2018. Another quick beauty tip is that less is more with makeup, and to always have translucent powder on hand to help with oil!

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
The subject of bullying touches right at home for me. My older sister and I both experienced bullying in JH and High School. It breaks my heart that I have to share my advice, because it means bullying still breaks the hearts and minds of young men and women. My first piece of advice when it comes to bullying is that you make sure your actions are in check. We must always follow the “Golden Rule.” So, even if someone treats you poorly, never let that darkness seep into your own heart and actions. Don’t be afraid to speak to someone about the way you are being treated. People do care, and will help if you let them know what is happening. I promise you are NEVER alone, even though sometimes it feels like it. Remember your worth and value, it will help you stay strong in moments where bullies may try to wear you down. Most importantly I would tell a victim that I truly believe in them and that they are special, worthy, and loved.

Tell us about your platform:
-First of all, my advocacy as an Earth Warrior is to preserve and protect Earth. Earth is truly a gift, and has been taken advantage of for hundreds of years. It is up to us now to work on changing our behavior and working to cleanse the Earth of garbage and damage. These changes will not happen overnight, but the more awareness we spread about recycling, picking up trash, reusable straws, bags, and cups, plant diversity, etc. we can begin to cause multiple ripples and then hopefully a wave of change. Let’s be the difference our Earth needs and the people of Earth need.
-My personal platform is “You Define You.” I came up with this movement to teach men and women all over the world that their circumstances do not have to define them. This is a movement to become extraordinary. We need to dare to dream bigger than we have ever dreamt before, and have the courage to pursue those dreams. We can break out of whatever box we are placed into, either by ourselves or by others, and become the incredible person we are meant to be. It begins with believing in yourself, and recognizing that you are capable of achieving whatever it is that your heart desires. Make the changes necessary and chase after your dreams and goals. Believe in yourself; I believe in you.

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved?
Oh my goodness! There are so many simple ways to get involved and help out our Beautiful Earth! First of all, you can make a personal initiative to change. You can recycle, use reusable bags, straws, and cups. These are all small changes that can be made at your own home. Many communities have groups that plant trees or do trash clean-ups. One way to find events is simply by googling events happening in your area or by using the key word search for events on Facebook. For example, Keep Omaha Beautiful and the Arbor Day Foundation both post events on Facebook people can volunteer for or donate funding too. It is truly so easy to get involved, and working as a group makes it so fun too! I would absolutely encourage you to get out in the community and start making a difference. Also, raise awareness through social media about things you learn or ways to help. If you are going to an event, post about it to see if others want to help as well. Let’s get everyone in action, and create a wave of change!
In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
Free Time? What is Free time? Haha Just kidding!  In my free time I love to travel, go to concerts, read, draw, paint, and most definitely watch movies. I catch up on time with my friends, family, and boyfriend. I love to go fishing, tubing, and boating. Spending time relaxing outdoors is one of my all-time favorite things to do. Also, I love love love to shop. So, when I get the time, I hit the malls and boutiques!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
“You are enough” is probably the most important thing someone has ever said to me. We get so caught up in competition to remember that even without a trophy, crown, sash, or medal we are still so worthy of living an incredible life. We are all beautiful, wonderful, children of God, and he made us exactly who and how we are supposed to be with a purpose. People are constantly telling us the areas we need to improve or do better, so my favorite piece of advice to calm the storm is “you are enough.” Another piece of advice I live by is “Always believe something wonderful is about to happen.” This piece of advice brings an optimistic lens to life.

Twitter: @merrickrandy
Instagram: merrickrandy
Facebook Fan Page: Miss Nebraska Earth United States

Meet Fern Olivia: The Most Motivating, Genuine and Loving Woman.

Happy Motivational Monday Lady Code!

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Indie Beauty Expo in Dallas, an exhibition where independently owned makeup, skin care and bath and body companies come to promote and grow their product. To say I love Dallas is the understatement of the year. The people there are absolutely lovely and the people who attended the expo are compassionate, hard working and beautiful individuals.

Meet Fern: The Founder of Ajai Alchemy 

The Expo started on Tuesday and as my mom and I rushed into the elevator I happen to notice a woman standing next to us, she had beautiful energy and a warm smile. Later, I learned that this bright soul was Fern Olivia, an internationally recognized motivational speaker and teacher on the power of self love, yoga, and holistic lifestyle practices.


Originally  a former Finance professional and Biomedical Engineer, Fern was diagnosed with the auto immune disorder, Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid disease in 2008, making her feel “sluggish and bloated” which only added to the insecurities she felt when younger.

Being bullied from a young age, Fern felt as though she had little self worth., which was furthered by a string of verbally abusive relationships. She says “I was always feeling that I was weird, picked last in gym class, the boys never had crushes on me.” In fact, this made her “unworthy of being beautiful.” This view of herself lasted until her late twenties until she found the courage to leave a six year abusive relationship and leave her corporate finance job. It was after this jump that she found her true self, beauty and now she is “shining”. 

The journey she took to gain this confidence included:

  1. Finding yoga
  2. Realizing she had a “purpose greater than being a hamster in a cubical”
  3. Stopped doing something that she thought she had to do because her parents wanted her to do.

Being born with certain gifts, she could always feel other people’s emotions and her heart would break when she saw others being bullied. She knew she could help people and decided it was time to stop working at an unfulfilling desk job. Fern has helped coach and empower woman of all ages on self-identify, confidence and healing their bodies. She left her job and moved to California where she founded Ajai Alchemy, an organic essential oil fragrance brand formulated to assist with hormone balancing.

Inner peace
“Rituals are habits made holy.” -Fern Olivia

Since starting her company, she has seen her own self-confidence improve and recognized that so many women are ready to make the jump in their own lives, they just need a coach. Fern has become a mentor, guide and teacher. Her advice: “women need to hear, I see you, you’re beautiful”. A message which Lady Code aims to spread among all women. We have to empower one another, not compete against each other.

Ajai Alchemy
Ajai are charged fragrances with each scent made with the intention to activate your own inner power. They are made with 100%  Organic ingredients and recycled, eco-sustainable packaging to lower your carbon footprint.

You can connect with Fern on social media:





Please check out the video below to learn more about this lovely soul and spirit and do not forget to follow this empowering woman as she changes the world.

Happy Motivational Monday everyone!

Let’s get social- follow me on Instagram and Twitter @charvontratt

Love and light,

Char ❤

Body Positivity For Motivational Monday

Happy Motivational Monday everyone,

Today’s post is all about body positivity and being happy with yourself.

It is important to love your body and truly understand it’s unique needs. In a day where social media reigns supreme, it is easy to understand why body dysmorphia is on the rise. Many social media bloggers will brand themselves according to their type of eating like Vegan or Paleo or cupcake lover. Women need to understand and embrace that every single person is unique and so are their dietary needs. Instead of trying to be like someone else, be yourself and really tune in to what makes you feel good.

Two women the same age can thrive on different lifestyles, diet and exercise. The key is listening to your own inner voice and wisdom and not get distracted on what the internet or a blogger or a movie star says. The other issue with social media is that it embraces the unattainable perfection. It just doesn’t exist.

Love your body inside and out for the incredible machinery and gift it is. Feed it well with love, care and good food that resonates on the inside. Stop comparing yourself to others because you will never be someone else only yourself.

Lady Code is a place to empower women, whether that be to eat healthier, have a positive outlook, inspire makeup and fashion styles, but mostly to LOVE themselves.

Please watch the video below which inspired me for this post.

I am implore everyone reading this to STOP thinking about what they don’t like about themselves or what they wish they could change and START thinking about what they love about themselves.

This theme perfectly ties in with Lisa Opie’s un-retouched campaign for her swimsuit line, Vizcaya Swimwear. In this recent photo shoot, Lisa wanted to promote body love or what she is referring to as #PerfectlyImperfect!

A special “Thank you” to Dr. Elizabeth Trattner for helping with this post.

Happy Monday!

Love Char ❤

Meet Vanessa Hernandez: Miss New Mexico United States 2016

With the Miss United States 2016 pageant kicking off tomorrow, the countdown to Miss United States 2016 closes out with Miss New Mexico, Vanessa Hernandez! Vanessa was a student and Sundancer at New Mexico State University and a part of the first competitive hip hop dance team to win Dance Worlds. As an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe Vanessa takes pride in having a career with one of her tribes enterprises. Growing up she faced bullying for having a diverse ethnic background. Now she uses her personal experiences of overcoming adversity as fuel to her platform, Anti Bullying and Women Empowerment. Vanessa hosts fashion shows that encourage young women to “stomp their heels on bullying” and embrace the beauty of being different and the confidence to always make a [fashion] statement.

vanessa hernandez photo 

Quick facts…
Hometown: Alamogordo, New Mexico
Current City: Alamogordo, New Mexico
Hobbies: Snowboarding, dancing, weight lifting, yoga, traveling
Favorite food: My mom’s green chili chicken enchiladas
Favorite movie: Legends of the Fall
Three words that sum you up: Vibrant, Authentic and Empathetic
Song you have on repeat right now: Just like Fire by PINK (The lyrics are so empowering!)
Dream job: I currently have a very rewarding career but if I was to wake up tomorrow to do something else it would be traveling the world with my platform.
Beauty product you can’t live without: I was recently introduced to Solar Protection Formula by my aesthetician and LOVE it!
Favorite quote: “The only disability in life is a bad attitude” -Scot Hamilton

miss new mexico vanessa hernandez
Having a title keeps you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you?
One of the attributes pageantry teaches is time management. To keep my sanity of balancing my full time career and title amongst other daily responsibilities I start my day off with fueling my mind, body and soul with a workout, devotional reading and a good breakfast! After working a full day my evenings vary from weight lifting, pageant prep coaching for young girls, and preparing for appearances, photoshoots and interviews for the weekend.
What has been the highlight of being Miss New Mexico US so far?
A couple weeks after I was crowned I received an email from the fifth grade teacher of the Mescalero Elementary School and she told me she had asked her students who they wanted to come speak at their Graduation Ceremony and they chose me! I was completely surprised and felt so honored. I have a huge heart for the youth in my community so to know I was inspiring them inspired me!
What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
I wouldn’t say I’m flawless all the time. With a schedule as compact as mine I tend to be short on time and resort to one of my favorite looks, a bun! Since I was a little girl I use to love to dress like my Grandma Petra and she always had a good bun and bold earrings! Simple yet classy.  
 What is your go-to makeup look?
I love the natural look. My days start at 5am and usually doesn’t end till 9-10 at night so I always resort to a waterproof mascara and eye liner, MAC concealer under my eyes and MAC blot powder throughout the day. I love to curl my eyelashes with the tweezer man eye lash curler and always have a lip gloss on hand!

miss new mexico united states
Growing up, who was your inspiration?
Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla! I am from a diverse ethnic background and I loved being able to relate to her upbringing and strong family values. She is Mexican-American and embraced every part of that through her music. Her innovativeness to fashion, humility, and compassion for fans is an inspiration to me as a woman today and I aspire to leave a legacy like she has.
Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
When I first read this blog I did a happy dance because my platform as Miss New Mexico US is Anti Bullying and Women Empowerment. I’ll share more of that below but YES I do have advice. We all have been bullied in some form or another because if you are different in any type of way you become vulnerable to being a victim of bullying.  One of my favorite lines in the book I Am Malala is when her mother tells her daughter to “Hide your face— people are looking at you” and she responds “It doesn’t matter; I’m also looking at them”. Always remember that the opinion of others does not define you! The next time you find yourself the victim of being bullied consider yourself in that position for a purpose! Be the good, share love, be the reason that bully wants to change for the better!  Matthew 5:43-48
Tell us about your platform:
As a young girl growing up on the Mescalero Apache Reservation I was a victim of bullying. My peers would refer to me as “white girl” and “princess” in a derogatory way because of the way I dressed and the color of my skin. When I would get home I would scratch my skin so hard till it bled hoping that it would turn brown like my mom. My mother has such a moving soul and taught me at a very young age that there is beauty in being different and to embrace who I am. Now, as a woman I want to share that! Anti-Bullying and Women Empowerment is what my platform is about. Fashion shows is my chosen activity to bring awareness to the topic of bullying and female empowerment!
Stomping our heels on bullying while making a Fashion Statement!

vanessa miss new mexico child
What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved?
To get involved in your community with my platform I would just encourage you to stomp your own heels on bullying and create your own fashion statement that best represents who YOU are! By doing that you will be an encouragement to the next woman that comes your way.
To be more involved in your community with other projects I encourage you to listen to the radio, read the local newspaper or read up on your local chamber website for events. Social Media can be very helpful as well, simply posting a status asking how to get involved will blossom into philanthropic opportunities.
In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m grateful I have a family that supports my journey to Miss United States and the busy schedule it brings because when I do have free time it is dedicated to time being spent with them! Sometimes it’s only 20 minutes and my dad will come over and help me water my lawn, birthday BBQ’s on the back porch or sometimes I can collaborate shopping for the pageant with the women I love most! My mom and Aunt helped me choose my evening wear gown for Miss United States and that experience would not have been the same without them there.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
Friendship. I once had a conversation with a homeless man and apologized I wasn’t able to offer him much. He shared with me that my smile and generosity was enough and that more than anything he wishes people would just acknowledge him and wave hello. That conversation made me more aware that it is easy to take advantage of living a fortunate life and at the end of the day there is a lot of things we can live without but friendship keeps our souls alive!
What is the hardest part about competing in pageants?
 Letting others speak over your thoughts. In pageantry you get told “Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself”. As generic as that sounds it is so true! It’s easy to have someone you admire influence you. But don’t let their prominent manner steer the direction of your heart in the opposite way of YOU and your dreams! 
What is the best part about competing in pageants?
The voice of the crown! The moment I decided to participate in this organization it gave me the opportunity to have a more powerful and impactful voice to the young girls in my community. Choosing to no longer be on the sidelines and take the chance at vying for my state title challenged me to dig deep within myself and bring out the authenticity that I have been holding back. Thanks to USNP for the first time in my life I feel on fire!  
 vanessa hernandez new mexico photo
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I have come across lots of great advice through my life but most recently I had a friend reach out to me through facebook and shared with me some sweet and impactful words,
“…..Your coronation of Miss NM is a HUGE deal and super exciting as is the journey to Miss US, but never ever forget that you are Vanessa Hernandez, you were before and will be after this is all over. You have done an amazing job of not losing sight of your heritage and culture and where you’ve come from and most importantly your faith, and I just want to encourage you to hold onto that as things get more and more hectic….I know this is totally out of left field, I’ve just been thinking about it as everyone has been referring to you as Miss New Mexico as if that’s your new name…….”
God always has impeccable timing when bringing forward the support I need to help me on this unbeaten path to Miss United States!  
Keep up with Vanessa:
Twitter: @Miss_NMUS
Snapchat: MissNMUS2016
Instagram: miss_nmunitedstates
Facebook Fan Page: Miss New Mexico United States

Meet Claire Wright: Miss Washington Teen USA 2016

Today I am so honored to share an interview with one of the most inspiring young women I have met through pageantry. Claire Wright embodies everything that Lady Code stands for, so I knew I had to share her story with you all! I met Claire at Miss Universe 2015 through an interview I did for PageantLIVE. Through the interview, I learned that Claire was a former victim of bullying and she has since then created her own nonprofit organization, Project Claire Bear. Claire is also a blogger, student, and your current Miss Teen Washington USA! Claire is currently in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Miss Teen USA competition, so I thought now would be the perfect time to share her story!

claire wright 1

What inspired you to compete in beauty pageants?
While being severely bullied in middle school, I was looking for activities outside of school, so I could build up my life away from the people mistreating me. I told my mom I wanted to compete in a pageant, who was initially apprehensive, until I received a letter in the mail the next day asking me to participate in a pageant. We did some research and looked at it as God’s perfect timing. My first pageant was the best experience I could have ever hoped for. I gave a speech on the importance of being kind to others, and that passion has since grown into my nonprofit organization, Project Claire Bear. My confidence grew immensely that weekend and I learned so much about myself, and even placed in the top 15! The experience led me to have clearer aspirations for my career and inspired me to continue competing.

What are you looking forward to the most at Miss Teen USA 2016?
I am so looking forward to spending more time with the girls there! What I love about the Miss Universe Organization is that it gives titleholders the opportunities to spend time together throughout the year, so by the time we get to Miss Teen USA it’s one giant reunion with all of our best friends! Of course I also cannot wait to see who the next Miss Teen USA is, it would be an absolute dream come true to walk away with the crown, but I love knowing that either way I will have the time of my life! 

Tell us more about Project Claire Bear and how our readers can get involved:
Project Claire Bear is a nonprofit organization I founded to prevent bullying and promote kindness. After being bullied, I realized I didn’t want other kids to have to go through what I went through, so I have made it my mission to teach kids the tools to stop a bullying situation when they see it occurring. I speak at schools and community centers in my area and really cover all roles involved in the situation, be it the bully, victim, or bystander, because everyone has the power to be the change and be the good. You can go to to find out more or like the Facebook page “Project Claire Bear” to stay up to date!

miss teen washington usa 

You have a strong focus on anti-bullying. Do you have a personal experience with bullying that inspired you to fight bullying?
I have experienced bullying several times in my life and I decided I wanted to do what I could to make sure that other kids wouldn’t have to go through what I went through. I created Project Claire Bear as a way to prevent bullying and promote kindness by speaking out about my story and sharing the tools I learned to educate others on the different roles people play in bullying situations and how to stop it before it gets too severe.

What advice can you give to Lady Code readers that may be victims of bullying?
The most important thing to remember is that it is going to get better. When you’re being bullied sometimes it can feel like your whole world and it can be hard to see past it, but it is so important to remember that it is just a small part of it.

Do you have a favorite blogger? If so, who?
I love Julianne Hough’s blog! She represents young women for our generation so well. She is natural and confident in whom she is and promotes messages that are important to her, while keeping the blog fun. She just opened an active wear line and is so involved in actively making the world a better place; I look up to her so much. She is relatable, approachable, has so much professional and business experience and has so much to share.

How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is trendy and chic, yet classic. I love to stay up to date on the latest trends and am obsessed with finding new looks, but I always like to stay classic in my style.

claire wright photos

Who is your style icon?
Blake Lively! Her personal style has really grown since “Gossip Girl” ended. Since then, her career has taken off, she got married, and became a mother. The confidence in her personal and professional life shows through her bold fashion choices, but Blake looks just as chic in jeans and a t-shirt as in a ball gown. What I love about her is that she wears the clothes, they don’t wear her.

 What are your favorite fashion trends this season?
I am in LOVE with the lace-up trend! From shoes to tops, I can’t get enough of it!

 You must be a busy girl! How do you stay looking gorgeous?
First of all, thank you so much! Hydration is the number one thing!! I always make sure to drink plenty of water and maintain an active lifestyle to help me stay healthy and feel balanced. When I’m on the go, I always take my “S’well” water bottle with me and drink from it throughout the day.

What is your favorite new beauty product?
I’m way behind on this one, but the other day I just got a beauty blender and I swear it is pure magic. I love it and it helps me apply makeup quickly and smoothly before heading out for the day!

claire wright head shot 

Who in your life has inspired you the most?
My younger brother has inspired me the most in my life. He has grown up having learning disabilities and has had to overcome so many obstacles along the way, but he has never let that hold him back from giving his all.


What are some of your goals for the future?
Of course a big goal I am working towards right now is hopefully winning the title of Miss Teen USA 2016! My other future goals include graduating college, and pursuing a career as a broadcast journalist. One day I hope to host a national morning show!

Do you have any current or upcoming projects that you’d like to share?
Right now I am definitely in full Miss Teen USA preparation mode! I started a blog a year ago,, and plan on focusing more on it after Miss Teen USA! It is a fun way for me to share my thoughts and experiences and I am excited about it.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Always remember to be strong and be kind!

miss teen usa claire wright

Keep up with Claire:

Instagram: Personal: @clairewright12 Titleholder: @misswateenusa
Snapchat: Personal: clairewright12 Titleholder: misswateenusa
Twitter: Titleholder: @MissWAteenusa
Facebook: Personal: Claire Wright Titleholder: Miss Washington Teen USA

Meet Miss Kentucky United States 2016: Jessica Wallace

I’ve got a treat for my readers in Kentucky today! Lady Code scored an interview with our very own Miss Kentucky United States 2016, Jessica Wallace! I’ve been a fan of Jessica since she got crowned because she is so kind and humble. She is passionate about serving her community and giving back. Read on to learn more about this Kentucky queen who will be taking the Miss United States 2016 stage in a few weeks!

jessica wallace miss united states

Quick facts…
Hometown: Louisville
Current City: Louisville
Hobbies: Creative writing, Rock Climbing, Watching Horror films
Favorite food: Pasta, Steak, Salmon, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Grits, Greens, Pickled Okra,
Fried Chicken, Deviled Eggs and Sweet Potato Pie (Don’t forget I’m from the south) hahaha!
Favorite movie: I’m really into Horror movies! Alfred Hitchcock’s, Psycho is an all time favorite of mine.
Three words that sum you up: Resilient, Ambitious and Charismatic
Song you have on repeat right now: Beyonce’s entire Lemonade album
Dream job: Becoming an Executive Producer for CNN
Beauty product you can’t live without: Urban Decay Mascara
Favorite quote: “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”- William Shakespeare

miss kentucky jessica wallace

Having a title keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you?
Wow! Where do I begin? I work in the banking industry, I am a Branch Manager. I am responsible for all things financial. This could be anywhere from credit card, mortgages and loan bookings to sitting down with a family and constructing the best financial plan to get their children through college. I work in a fast paced environment where things are changing every day. I have the ability to help a person plan their financial future, so each day is rewarding for me.

What has been the highlight of being Miss Kentucky so far?
Everyday as Miss Kentucky United States is a highlight! I have the BEST support system in my hometown of Louisville. I wanted to give a voice to the people in my community and promote positive change and my title enables me to do so. I am so blessed that I am in a position to where I can be a positive influence to those around me.

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
I try to take really good care of my skin, I love to exfoliate. Also, I drink as much water as possible. Majority of the time I try to go with little or no make up so I can give my skin a break from product.

Growing up, who was your inspiration?
My mom. She is such a blessing in my life. God spent a little more time on this woman, she is phenomenal! My mother is a type 2 Diabetic, watching her battle this illness and never give up really shows me what true strength is. My mothers diagnosis has heavily impacted my life, it inspired me to become an advocate for the Diabetes Association. I spread diabetes awareness throughout my community by sharing my mothers story and being a mentor to families who have members that suffer from this illness.

jessica wallace photo

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
My advice is to be strong, you’re not alone. There is a misconception that a person in my position (a pageant girl) would not understand what it’s like to be tore down by my peers. Actually, it is the complete opposite. I was bullied throughout elementary and middle school. It really took a toll on my self esteem. I found it really challenging to love the skin I was in, until one day I decided to pick myself up and work on ways that I can improve. I started focusing on my strengths instead of my weaknesses and I began to not only flourish in all aspects of life but I began to love myself.
* Remember* God gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors. Never give up!

Tell us about your platform: Blessings in a Backpack is an AMAZING non profit organization. This organization mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for Elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. There are more than 15 million children in this country who are at risk of hunger. Children are fed during the school week by Federal government programs but we want to make sure they are getting nutritional meals on the weekend too. In Louisville we have fed over 10,000 students this past school year!

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? Donate backpacks and non perishable food items to your local elementary schools. Become a volunteer by coming out to your local elementary school to help pack bags for the kids to take home for the weekend.

miss kentucky united states

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
Free time? What’s that? Haha! I enjoy being around people who love and support me. I’m all about creating memories and having a great time with good company.

What is your go-to makeup look?
I like simple and easy.
I love my full glam moments but I feel the most beautiful when I have a fresh look. Urban Decay Mascara, Make up Forever blush, Nars lipgloss and I’m out the door!

What is one thing you can’t live without? That’s a tough one! I’d have to say music. Music can change any horrible day into a good day once you hear your favorite song.

What is the hardest part about competing in pageants?
The hardest part is being critiqued. We all work so hard to win and sometimes our best isn’t enough. However, as long as you have a strong sense of self and confidence to match you’ll always be a winner!

What is the best part about competing in pageants?
The best part of a pageant is challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone. Displaying the best version of you is such an amazing experience and we are lucky to be able to do that on such a grand scale. Another great part of pageants are the bonds and friendships you make with the other young women. We all want the best in life and definitely empower one another on and off the stage.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“Never forget where you came from.”

Keep up with Jessica:

Facebook: Jessica Wallace

Instagram: jesscee___

Facebook Fan Page: Miss Kentucky United States

Meet Miss Washington United States 2016: Shelby Meader

The countdown to the Miss United States National Pageant continues with your Miss Washington United States 2016, Shelby Meader! Shelby just earned her MBA and works hard in her community to rescue dogs. In this interview, Shelby shares her beauty secrets, advice for victims of bullying, and her platform!

Hometown: Camas, Washington
Current City: Camas, Washington
Hobbies: Wakeboarding, Snowboarding, & Hiking
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Three words that sum you up: Loyal, Confident, & Determined
Song you have on repeat right now: “Needed Me” – Rihanna
Dream job: Fly around the USA rescuing dogs from different situations
Beauty product you can’t live without: Chapstick
Favorite quote: “Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be”

Shelby Meader

Having a title keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you? 
A typical day for me starts at 4.30am. I get up, go to the gym, come home and meal prep for the day. I work at Clackamas Federal Credit Union as an Assistant Branch Manager. Twice a week, I attend night school from 6-9pm as I am pursuing my MBA. My last class will be July 27th!! After all of that, I come home and usually like to relax and watch TV with my boyfriend Derek and our 6 month old Golden Retriever puppy curled up next to us.

What has been the highlight of being Miss Washington so far? 
I was just named Miss Washington on June 22nd, so it is all new and exciting for me. The highlight so far has been scheduling various appearances for the year. In particular, I reached out to the Southwest Humane Society, which is my platform, and created a partnership with them. I will be attending adoption events each month and continuing to walk the dogs every Sunday. I have been volunteering weekly at the Humane Society for almost 2 years, so I am thrilled to continue working with this amazing organization.

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
As tough as this sounds, I have been drinking a gallon of water a day prepping for the Miss United States pageant. I have noticed a huge difference in my skin, energy, and overall health. Another beauty secret of mine is using vaseline on my lips at night. I wake up with moisturized and plump lips and it keeps them soft all day long.

shelby meader washington

What is your go-to makeup look? 
My go-to makeup look is very fresh faced. Because I am in business, I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup during the work day. I usually just wear mineral powder, blush, mascara, and chapstick. I love the fresh faced look because it keeps my pores clean and it is easy for me to get ready in the mornings :).

Growing up, who was your inspiration? 
Growing up, my inspiration was and still is my Mother. She is the definition that handwork leads to success. She was a stay at home mom by day who take care of my brother and I, and my Dad’s paralegal by night. I have always looked up to her because she is the wife and business woman that I one day hope to be.

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
I do. I was bullied as a kid in school. I was always underweight and was under 5 foot until I was a freshman in high school. I was as straight as a board and socially awkward. I know how it feels to bullied, and I am 100% against it. Growing up, I had this dream of becoming a successful business woman and being a model. Well fast forward to a decade later, I am Miss Washington and I just completed graduate school and received my MBA. The advice I would give would be to not give up. DO NOT let what other people say to you define who you are as a person. You are all here for a reason and are meant to do something amazing. At the time when someone is bullying, it hurts, it really does. But just know that those feelings are temporary and the bullies are only acting on their own insecurities and you are the person they happen to take it out on. Let what they say roll off your back like water on a duck. I did not let people telling me I was too ugly to ever model, too short and that my teeth were too messed up to be a beauty queen, and not strong enough to be a business woman. I just think back on those comments and I silently thank those individuals for saying I can’t, because that made me want it ever more, and now I think … I can!

shelby meader mba

Tell us about your platform:
My platform is the Humane Society. I volunteer there every week with my mom on Sundays. We walk the dogs that are up for adoption and we post our “dog of the week” on social media in hopes of getting them adopted. One thing that I appreciate about this amazing organization is that it is a no kill shelter. I made this my platform because I have always had a passion for animals and being the voice for them because they can’t have a voice themselves. As Miss Washington I want to continue spreading the message of the Humane Society and work with the organization even more than I already am. I want to one day help in the stopping of the Yulin dog meat festival. That is my biggest hope and dream.

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? 
You can volunteer as a dog walker at the Humane Society or donate. Every dollar donated helps in getting food, blankets, and supplies to the shelter. Even thing is donated and it is always in need.

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
In my free time I love taking our dog to the dog park, going on hikes, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am an avid snowboarder in the winter and a wakeboarder in the summer. I am also an adrenaline junkie and thrill seeker. I’m an individual that has a bucket list and likes to cross things off of it.

What is one thing you can’t live without?
My cell phone. My entire life is on here and I don’t know what I would do without it. I have all of my favorite pictures and most importantly my color coded planner. If I didn’t have my planner, I really would not know what to do.

shelby meader miss washington

What is the hardest part about competing in pageants?
I would say that the hardest part about competing in pageants is everything leading up to the pageant. There is so much prep work that must be done: picking the right dress, being dedicated to a gym routine, drinking my gallon of water a day, and of course putting the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream down.

What is the best part about competing in pageants?
The best part about competing in pageants is EVERYTHING. I can’t pick one part. I have met so many amazing women throughout this process, pageant friends are friends for life. I love being on stage and empowering other women to be the best that they can be. My platform is for dogs and my passion is for women empowerment and education.

What is the best advice you have ever received? 
Do not let negative comments that people say to you undermine who you are as a person.

Keep up with Shelby: 
Twitter: @shelbymeader
Instagram: @misswashingtonus2016
Facebook Fan Page: Miss Washington United States 

Meet Miss Colorado United States 2016: Shanel Perry

The countdown to Miss United States continues with Miss Colorado United States! Since I was born and raised in Denver, I’m particularly excited about meeting our queen of the Centennial State! 25 year old Shanel Perry was born in San Diego, California, and raised in Colorado. She attended the University of Kentucky as a double athlete, varsity dance team and captain of the equestrian team all while studying Broadcast Journalism. She also has studied at the Colorado Film School for Writing and Directing. After college, Shanel moved back to her beloved state of Colorado where she now works as a National Sales Recruiter and teaches Pure Barre several times a week. Believe it or not, Shanel was a victim of bullying growing up. Shanel not only overcame bullying, but today she is the leader of a women’s empowerment movement and is using her title to support the cause. Read on to learn more about Shanel’s story. 

shanel perry miss colorado

Meet Shanel: 

Hometown: Castle Pines, Co

Current City: Denver, Co

Hobbies: Horseback riding, Pure Barre, watching movies, traveling

Favorite food: Mac and Cheese or pizza!

Favorite movie: It’s a tie between Forrest Gump and Top Gun! If Game of Thrones was a movie, it would win this one. It’s my favorite thing on TV ever. J

Three words that sum you up: Loving, Goofy, Spiritual

Song you have on repeat right now: “First” – Lauren Daigle

Dream job: Working on a movie/tv show! (Acting is a secret dream of mine!)

Beauty product you can’t live without: Lash Extensions! I go every 2 weeks!

Favorite quote: “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” –Jim Carrey

shanel perry pure barre


Having a title keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you? Today I woke up at 4:45am and went off to teach 6am Pure Barre. From there I ran home to give my puppy and boyfriend a kiss and then it was off to my full time job where I spend the day interviewing candidates for positions at Richmond American Homes. During lunch I ran errands for Miss United States! Only a few weeks out now! Yay! After work, I went to the gym to work on my fitness! Today was arms and abs. (I can barely walk today since yesterday was leg day. Ouch.) My boyfriend is a professional athlete so you can imagine how intense the workouts are! I’ve definitely through a jump rope at him before. Whoops… After the gym I made myself a healthy dinner and planned my outfit for my appearance for Miss Colorado United States tomorrow at the Defend Freedom Tour. Now it’s time to get some much needed rest to do it all over again tomorrow! Phew!

What has been the highlight of being Miss Colorado so far? I have met SO many new people. That’s one of the main reasons I love pageants so much! And you don’t just meet other people, you meet women who are just as driven and goal oriented as yourself. Every title holder wants to make a difference and that’s what makes it so special. Why wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with these people?!

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time? Confidence!! Is that a beauty secret? Moisturizer helps too J especially being from Colorado. I walk around everywhere with lotion in hand otherwise I would look like a prune!

shanel perry miss united states

Growing up, who was your inspiration? This is going to sound so funny, but Michelle Rodriquez in Fast and the Furious… my brother always had me watching those movies growing up and now they are some of my favorites. She was so confident and independent and kept up with the boys… I grew up in a neighborhood where I was the only girl so being able to stand up for myself and prove that I was strong and fearless was something I had to do on the daily! Whenever they would pick on me I would say to myself, “what would Letty do?” Haha!

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying? I’ve been a victim of bullying since I can remember. I was the curly white haired, round glasses, brace face, straggly little girl that apparently everyone saw as an easy target. The name calling was the worst, but there were other times when it got more physical or cleaver… I had a girl intentionally pour a full water bottle all over me when I was wearing white capris. That was brutal for a 6th grader! What I learned through it all was to be the bigger person. If someone is saying something that is hurting your feelings, tell them. If they won’t leave you alone, get yourself out of the situation and tell someone if you need to. The BIGGEST thing you can do is be the bigger person. Be kind to everyone. If you witness bullying, stand up for them. The only way we can put a stop to bullying is to put a stop to it ourselves. Stop the gossiping, stop the name calling, the girl on girl harassment. Women should stand together, not fight against each other. Imagine how powerful we would be if we were all one!

Tell us about your platform: I co-created “Women Empowering Women” with a good friend of mine over a year ago. We have a community page on Facebook with currently over 1,200 followers! Women from all over the world encourage and inspire one another, from sharing articles and videos of strong and inspiring women, to giving advice. Everything that we share is to show that yes, YOU are worthy and YOU are strong. We have plans to make it a nonprofit and are currently scheduling events to bring our online community together in person! As women, we thrive on empowerment, courage, love, success, and the ability to be vulnerable in strengthening the positive aspects in our daily lives. It is wonderful to have a group of women that agree and stand by this.

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? 

Join us on social to join our online community and too see what we do next!

Private group:

Public Page:

shanel perry interview

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing? My number one love has always been and will forever be horseback riding. I have been riding since I was just 2 years old! Dancing has also been a huge part of my life since I was very young and I competitively danced and rode all the way through college. After I “retired” from dancing I got hooked on Pure Barre, which is a work out similar to pilates, yoga and ballet all mixed together. I now teach that several times a week! If I’m not doing any of those, I’m probably either at the movies or watching a movie. I have been fascinated with TV/Film since I was in high school and I actually won ‘Female Filmmaker of the Year” my senior year of high school. I also took a year of class at the Colorado Film School where I studied writing and directing and out of college hosted a TV show called Rupp TV for Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.

What is your go-to makeup look? Is it sad that I only wear makeup on the weekends? My face is so sensitive that if I wear foundation and heavy makeup every day, I will just break out everywhere. When I do put makeup on for appearances and events, I go full glam! I LOVE makeup so if I could do it every day, I would. I love a gold and rose gold smoky eye with a bold lip. “Whirl” with “Current” Lip liner from MAC is my favorite. It’s almost purple.

shanel perry interview photo

What is one thing you can’t live without? Music and motivational speeches. Those are the 2 things that can get me out of any funky mood I’m in. If I’m tired and need to work out, if I’m upset and need to be at an appearance, if I’m angry and need to calm down, music and motivational speeches can fix everything. I suggest Eric Thomas. My favorite from him is called, “Adele.” YouTube it. You won’t regret it!

What is the hardest part about competing in pageants? Honestly, myself. I think it’s very easy to get into your own head and start to compare yourself to others and start telling yourself that you’re not pretty enough or smart enough and this is when I pray the most. I know God put me in these positions for a reason and I always just ask him to speak through me and let me shine for Him! Once you check yourself, you can really relax and enjoy the rest of the experience! 

What is the best part about competing in pageants? There are so many things! I didn’t do my first pageant until I was 23 (I’m 25 now). It was something I always watched on TV and admired… I even dressed up as Miss USA for Halloween a couple times, but I never went after it. Partly because I didn’t know where to start and partly because I didn’t think I had what it took. Boy was I wrong! Pageants are all about learning about yourself and what you are made of. I have never better understood myself then I do now. Not only do you gain confidence, self-esteem, self-improvement, friends,etc… the biggest thing for me is that it made me step back and say “okay, what do I stand for and how do I want to make a difference.”

I have been through a lot at such a young age. Eating disorders, bullying, depression, anxiety, serious health problems, toxic relationships, I couldn’t figure out why God made this life for me. I frequently questioned him saying, “why me, why me.” As I have grown and have been around the right people, I have seen the bigger picture. God gave me this life because I can handle it and I can make a difference. I’ve grown very strong over the years and its now my time to help others. The world of pageantry changed my life when I stepped onto the stage for the first time a year and a half years ago. That’s when it all sort of clicked for me. I saw what titleholders could do. The impact they have on others. I wanted to be that woman. I want to raise awareness about anxiety and depression, put a stop to girl on girl bullying, be a spokesperson for eating disorders, be an advocate for suicide prevention and so much more and you know what the best part is?! I can do it all as a titleholder.

shanel perry cheer

What is the best advice you have ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received was actually something to help me handle my anxiety. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety when I was in college. Someone once told me that when I am experiencing a panic attack or having anxiety about something that happened, to look at the big picture and say to myself, “will this matter in 5 years.” 99% of the time the answer is NO! It somehow helps me calm down a bit.

follow shanel perry


Keep up with Shanel: 

Twitter: @misscoloradous


Facebook Fan Page: