FYI: Good Girl Season is a rebirth of my blog Good Girls Finish First. (The following blog post was transferred from there, originally posted on April 25, 2019.) Enjoy!
As we all know, being a queen doesn't necessarily mean you wear a physical crown, but our next good girl actually does! While pageantry in the United States was historically represented by European standards of beauty, Black women worked tirelessly to break that glass ceiling. In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first Black woman to win the Miss America pageant. Then in 1990, Carole Anne-Marie Gist became the first Black woman to be crowned Miss USA. From the outside looking in, pageant queens seem to just be symbols of beauty. However, there are many who strive to use their platform to give back to their communities and dive into personal business ventures.
This week's Good Girl is Lauren "Tula" Poindexter, a native of Landover, MD. At only a 27 yrs. old, Lauren has accomplished so much from becoming a media personality and digital lifestyle coach, to serving as Miss Louisiana United States 2018. Take a glimpse at her journey!
When did you begin your journey in pageantry, and did you always plan to take it this far?
I began my journey in pageantry during my sophomore year of college when my friends forced me to compete in Alpha Phi Alpha's Miss Black and Gold Pageant. To my surprise, I won the chapter and district pageant and really enjoyed the community service work I was able to do with my title.This led me to later compete in the Miss USA pageant system and most recently in the Miss United States Pageant system where I've been able to promote my platform, on Mental Health Awareness, as Miss Louisiana United States 2018.
What career field(s) did you work in after college? During college I had the opportunity to become a student trainee for the Department of the Army's Public Affairs program, which led to a full time position after graduating. I just recently walked away from an almost 9 year career as a public affairs specialist to pursue my ventures as a full time entrepreneur.
______________________________________ How did you build up the courage to walk away from your day job?
Although my old job was a huge blessing that funded my past ventures, I decided to take a leap of faith and walked away from it this past March to pursue my purpose and passions as a full-time entrepreneur. My faith in God is honestly how I got the courage to leave. I realized that God was making me so uncomfortable in that environment, because I was using it as my safety net and limiting myself...when in actuality God is my safety net. I had to have faith that what was planted in me would come to life. I never thought this would be my story! But I wouldn't have it any other way. ______________________________________ Some may view pageants as mere beauty competitions. What insight can you give on the purpose behind pageantry? What have you gained from the experience? Pageants are way more than a beauty competition. It allows participants to build their self confidence and public speaking through on-stage performances and interviews. Pageants also allow girls to bond and make lifetime friendships with one another and title holders are often very active in giving back to their community. These are all things I've personally experienced and truly cherish the bonds I have formed with my fellow Queens over the years.
Thinking back to your journey of pageantry and entrepreneurship, was there a point where you wanted to give up on one (or both)? If so, what made you keep going? YES! I have thought about giving up on both multiple times throughout my journey. Life isn't always as pretty as the photos I post and sometimes things get extremely hard. But when I am faced with those moments of wanting to give up, I have to remind myself of my 'why'.I have to allow myself to feel the feeling of wanting to give up and figure out where is it coming from? Am I tired? Am I overwhelmed?Once I pinpoint the root of wanting to give up, I allow myself time to reflect, recover and come up with a solution to address the cause behind wanting to give up.My "why" is always bigger than whatever obstacle comes my way and that's what keeps me going. ______________________________________ In a culture where social media and music seems to glorify a fast money/gold digger lifestyle, what has kept you from that path? For lack of better terms...what kept you off the pole? LOL
Listennnnnn I would be lying if I said that thought hasn't crossed my mind but let's be real...I AM NOT BOUT THAT LIFE!I believe that God has created me in such a unique way that I don't have to conform to activities that go against my moral compass or compromise who I am for attention or notoriety.My I have faith in my gifts, my pace of purpose and confidence that good girls do finish first!