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“My Director Rocks!” Winner

Mrs. Oregon & Washington International Director

Lesley Nardini

Esor Unlimted ∙ 201136 Ballinger Way NE ∙ Shoreline, WA ∙ 206-397-2006




Magazine 5 The Mission behind the Magazine Editor’s Notes Latasha Raines

6 PacificSpotlight 14 “My Director Rocks!” Winner Lesley Nardini Cover Story

20 Interview 101 Jeremy Monlux

22 Pacific Model Spotlight 25 Winning Wardrobe 46 BUILDING your body BETTER Health & Fitness Bekah Baker

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Magazine Editor In Chief & Founder Latasha Raines

Interview 101 Editor

Jeremy Monlux

Health & Fitness Editor Bekah Baker

Ask Laura

Laura Hunter

Magazine & Website Design B7 Designs, LLC

Winning Wardrobe

Heidi Fish Swimwear 4519 California Avenue Southwest, Seattle WA 98116

Winning Wardrobe Photography, Hair & Makeup Alisa Clark of Monaalisa Productions Model Division Get Spotlighted Career Opportunities Advertise Send us Pageant News & Tips Ask Laura General Inquiries & Questions 4 | PACIFICPageants Magazine




Editor’s Notes

Latasha Raines

The Mission Behind the Mag

I started PACIFICPageants because pageantry has enhanced my life in a way no other industry could. I have been involved in the modeling and entertainment industries and pageantry’s influence superseded the others. Pageantry gives girls, teens and women a “voice” and requires that you think of others and serve. My experience has shown me that pageantry is not just about the garment, but the person wearing the garment. It’s about building and equipping confident leaders and opening doors for them to use what they have learned. In my short five years within this industry I have been exposed to every aspect of it! From judging, volunteering, competing, losing, winning, being an emcee, coordinating to now directing I have found that I don’t just like pageantry, I LOVE it! The mission of PACIFICPageants is to make pageantry BIG in the northwest and to put pageantry in our region on the map. Our magazine will exclusively highlight every aspect of the pageant industry within the states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington. We seek to create a resource for those interested and are already immersed in this industry as well as a hot spot for the latest fashion ideas, tips and news that only reflects pageant-benefitting businesses within OUR own states! Why should you have to win a national title before you are recognized or seen in a quality publication? Why should a young lady competing in Oregon have to look on the east coast for her perfect gown when we have designers and retailers right here?! Our hope is that we begin to make pageantry on the local and regional level a big deal and boost the pageant economy right at home. PACIFICPageants is YOU. PACIFICPageants is me. PACIFICPageants is US. This is not about blonde hair, blue eyes and world peace, we are about PEOPLE, who have a PASSION and live with PURPOSE!

July/August Issue

This is a very fun issue! This issue’s theme is Fitness! There is an extended article from our Health & Fitness Editor, Bekah Baker and a hot Winning Wardrobe fashion spread to match! Winning Wardrobe was sponsored by Heidi Fish Swimwear and Monalisa Pro. It’s important to us that we understand how to be fit and healthy at every size. Health plays a huge role in our confidence and presentation, especially when we are competing. When you feel good, you compete great! Another special part of this issue was our My Director Rocks nomination contest! Wow, the nominations that came in were amazing and so touching. In this issue we do a special feature on the winner, Lesley Nardini and share some of the nominations! I am excited that this issue will be the first one to go to PRINT! Those of you who subscribed before June 30th will receive this issue in Print by mid-August. Make sure you subscribe and spread the word about PPM! Join me in making pageantry BIG in the northwest!

Latasha Raines PACIFICPageants Magazine | 5




PACIFICSpotlight Breanna Kauffman

2012 National American Miss Idaho

PACIFICSpotlight Breanna Kauffman 2012 National American Miss Idaho PPM: What is your Platform? I have a lot of different platforms because of my wide range of interests. But one thing I am really trying to get out there is for people to become bone marrow donors. There are always people out there that you could be a match for and possibly save their lives. To me, it’s a very small but important way of making a difference as well as helping people now. PPM: Tell us the most exciting part about your journey to competing in National American Miss Pageant! So far the most exciting thing has been representing the state of Idaho. Less than an hour after being crowned at the Oregon NAM Pageant I was recognized by a family from Idaho, it was great getting to represent the state and talk about NAM. I am really looking forward to Nationals though, so many of my friends are fellow state queens this year and I am so excited to meet the rest of the queens from across the country!

PPM: When was your first time competing in a pageant? My first pageant was National American Miss in 2008 in the Jr. Teen division. I competed with them for four years, and finally my 5th year I won the Miss division as Miss Idaho. PPM: How did you get into pageantry? I received a brochure in the mail about National American Miss and was curious about it so I asked my neighbor Chantel Clifford about pageants since I knew she competed. I realized that I’d really like to try it and got hooked. I’ve been competing ever since.

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PPM: What would you tell someone who is considering competing in National American Miss? I would tell them to be themselves and get to know as many girls as possible. National American Miss is looking for a girl that is true to themselves and are confident with who they are. The True Beauty movement started by the 2011-2012 National All American Miss Amanda Moreno fits in so well with NAM because it gets girls to really focus on being them and realizing that they are beautiful. As for getting to know the girls, the women I have come to meet through NAM and other pageants are the best friends I have. I know that 10 years from now these girls will still be by my side, they are my sisters. I am on Facebook and have a page for following my journey. Its

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Camay McClure

Ms American Beauties Plus Ambassador 2012

PACIFICSpotlight Camay McClure Ms American Beauties Plus Ambassador 2012 PPM: How did you get into pageantry and when was your first pageant? My first time competing in a Pageant was in the First Annual Washington Plus America Pageant. I was approached by the Executive Director, Latasha Raines, at a Lane Bryant Open Call. After I researched the Pageant system of WPA and MPA, I felt directed to support their motto of, "Real Woman Real Bodies Making a Real Difference". When I took the Honorary Title of Ms. Everett Plus America, I started to evaluate my passions in life. What meant the most to me? When asked what my Platform would be, my parents instantly came to mind. Kidney Disease. They both passed away from renal kidney failure. I wanted to make a difference and raise awareness in my community about the seriousness of kidney failure and how it can be prevented. PPM: Tell us the most exciting part of pageantry and competing in American Beauties Plus! The most exciting thing about my journey was traveling to Atlanta, Georgia to compete in the American Beauties Plus Pageant for a National Title. I just took First-Runner Up at the Washington Plus America Pageant and felt prepared to compete, however, I had to be realistic... That was my first Pageant. I never imagined I would be crowned Ms. American Beauties Plus Ambassador! The most exciting part of competing in Pageantry for me is

planning my wardrobe for the entire weekend!!! It is so stressful but exciting at the same exact time!!! I love the event itself!!! The relationships that are formed and the support and encouragement each delegate shares with each other is priceless. Everyone gets excited!!! Love that!!! PPM: What would you tell someone who is considering pageantry? I would encourage any woman interested in Pageantry to research a Pageant system that they can relate to. One that supports their beliefs and the message they want to promote. I would share my story with them... the good and the bad. I would share my experience of the day I realized the power of my Regalia in my community. When you walk into a room wearing a crown and sash, you are noticed. Your voice is heard and your message touches the lives of people around you. You can find me on Facebook, Ms. American Beauties Plus Ambassador. Stay informed of my scheduled appearances and community involvement.

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PACIFICSpotlight Kym Hopen Mrs.Washington Plus America 1st Runner-up to Miss Plus America PPM: What were your feelings as our traveled to the National Miss Plus America Pageant? I was so excited to be traveling to Memphis, TN to participate in this new adventure! I did not feel nervous or anxious, just pure adrenaline! I felt prepared and couldn’t wait to show everyone how hard I had been working. PPM: Once you arrived in Memphis how was your experience during pageant week? Most of my experiences were very positive during the week. I was fortunate enough to have a built in support system, not only with my WA pageant sisters and director, but with my mother and my two daughters who came with me as well. I enjoyed the practicing of the opening number, the parties , the off site visit to Beale Street and meeting and getting to know so many women from all over the nation. PPM: What was it like during Preliminaries? Preliminaries were one of the most intense parts of the week for me. Practicing is one thing, but being on the stage and knowing that the judges are there and it’s real, is a much different feeling. I felt ready but nervous as well because I wanted to do a good job. I liked the fact that the contestants were split into two groups. I enjoyed being able to watch some of the pageant during the other groups’ day to be on stage. PPM: How did you feel when you heard your name called in Top 5 of your division? I was relieved! I honestly thought I had worked really hard prior to and during preliminaries and had done my best to show it. I was the last person called in my 10 | PACIFICPageants Magazine


Kym Hopen

Mrs. Washington Plus America 1st Runner-up to Miss Plus America 2012

division! My heart was beating so hard that I was certain people could see it from the audience! PPM: Nationals was only your second pageant and you placed 1st runner-up in nationals what did you take away from this experience? Being 1st runner up in my first national pageant was a phenomenal feeling! My goal was to be in the top 5. I think that the entire experience has opened doors for me that might otherwise have stayed closed. My

daughters that will see that you really can do and try anything you want at any age because their mom is leading by example! I am doing things now that I have only thought about in my mind. I think my thought process has moved more in the direction of “why not try it? I definitely think that the Miss Plus America system is a large part of that new thought process. I truly believe that I can balance a husband, children, and career and still go out and make a difference! So if I believe it, maybe I can inspire just one woman out there to believe that they can too!

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PACIFICSpotlight Kristin Wood Miss Washington Plus America 3rd Runner-up to Miss Plus America PPM: What were your feelings as our traveled to the National Miss Plus America Pageant? My feelings were all over the place. I was excited for the opportunity and the experience. I was excited to meet a bunch of incredibly amazing women. I was excited to come to nationals and show them who I am and what I have to offer. There were plenty of nerves along with that though. I was nervous because I was worried I forgot something important, that I would show up and realized I forgot an important piece of my wardrobe for competition. I felt stressed because there were so many feelings and thoughts wheeling through me. There was also the feeling of pressure. The pressure I put on myself to do really w

ell because I had worked so hard and because I wanted it so bad. There was the feeling of not wanting to let anybody down. I wanted to make sure I did my best and made myself proud along with my other WPA queens who were supporting me. During all that though, I was feeling pride. Pride in myself for working so hard and for stepping out and doing something I had never done before. Pride in knowing in the months since being crowned at state that I had bettered myself in ways I did not dream possible. PPM: Once you arrived in Memphis how was your experience during pageant week? Pageant week was interesting to say the least. I praise our hair/makeup artist for her wonderful work and being so on top of making sure we were beyond 12 | PACIFICPageants Magazine


Kristin Wood

Miss. Washington Plus America 3rd Runner-up to Miss Plus America 2012

beautiful at all times. So.... thank you Laura!!!!! It was nothing like I thought it would be, but somewhat of what I expected it to be. I felt like we were very prepared for what was presented to us. So.... thank you Latasha!!!!! There were great times and emotional times. I mean, it’s a large group of girls together for a week. The events we had aside from competition were a lot of fun. I can say that the experience pageant week was nothing like state. The competition level was very high amongst the contestants. It felt like a competition. During pageant week, the tension increased leading up to finale. I definitely think it brought out true colors in many of the women who were competing. PPM: What was it like during Preliminaries? Preliminaries were a blast! I got to put on my outfits that I was completely in love with and couldn’t wait to get out on the stage and show them off. Not only that, but to put all my hard work into motion. It was fun! I loved being able to pick the question I had onstage during preliminaries to give a snapshot about me to the judges before they got to interview me the next morning. It was interesting to know that your other competitors were watching out in the audience. PPM: How did you feel when you heard your name called in the Top 5 of your division? When my name got called I was excited and relieved. Excited because at first going into preparing for nationals, all I wanted was to make top 5. I told myself getting top 5 was a big enough achievement for me. I had never competed at a national level so to get into the top 5 would be like winning for me. I also felt relieved because the pressure was off to see if I was going to make top 5. However, in the back of my mind I started stressing the on stage question. PPM: Nationals was only your second pageant and you placed 3rd runner-up in nationals what did you take away from this experience? Placing 3rd runner up was exciting! Like I said when preparing for nationals my goal was to make top 5. Just placing top 5 would be a big enough achievement for me. This experience was something I had never

PACIFICSpotlight Kristin Wood Miss Washington Plus America 3rd Runner-up to Miss Plus America dreamed of being an option for me. Nobody in my circle of friends or family had heard or knew about plus size pageantry. Signing up for this pageant and winning state and going to the national competition gave my friends a positive outlook on things they could achieve. I have stirred up excitement and belief in people I know to try something new or try something that may not necessarily be in their comfort zone. I have inspired my sister and my mom to enter into a pageant. I have portrayed a positive change in my being and showed what trying something new can do for you. I have grown so much as a person and people around me see that. They are in awe and absolutely love that I have taken a step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. I want to encourage people to try something new and know that every opportunity you take by stepping out of your comfort zone is making you better and changing your life and the lives of those around you.



July/August 2012 Cover Story “My Director Rocks” Winner Lesley Nardini

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Comments from a few of the nomination entries... As a husband and father I have been involved in pageantry for the past eight years. Thankfully, my wife realized that it was time make a change and inquired about the Mrs. International pageant.  I could tell immediately that this experience was a departure from what I had seen in the past.  Lesley, the director, was not only ethical but professional and kind to all of the contestants.  There was no gossip.  There was no drama. There was no inappropriate behavior of any kind.  From a male standpoint it was a much more enjoyable experience and from a business management standpoint I found Lesley to be exceptional at running a professional and ethical business. I give her my highest recommendation.

Her ability to stay neutral is amazing. At the same time she is compassionate, caring and professional in every way. I had an amazing experience as this was my first pageant ever!

Lesley is one of the most genuine, caring people I have ever met. She embodies all that is great about pageantry and the volunteer spirit that the Mrs. International system represents. She also busts all the pageant myths and molds by running a fair and professional pageant giving all of herself to each participant. There are not enough good things to say about this amazing woman. She is simply the best!

I cannot say enough good things about Lesley. She is a truly wonderful person.  As a director, Lesley embodies all that is good about directorship.  She is caring and directs for all of the right reasons.  She truly believes in pageantry and loves all of the people involved.  Lesley cares so much about the contestants and always supports them in all of their endeavors, including other pageants.  She has accompanied me to another pageant, out of state, and trained women for all of the systems in her area regardless of her position with the International system.  When she has workshops she invites people from all systems to her events and welcomes them to her pageants.  She truly just wants everyone to be happy. I believe that she is fostering the true spirit of pageantry in the northwest and is an amazing role model for directors and contestants alike. Personally, Lesley is an amazing friend and person.  She always makes time for those around her and has a way of making everyone feel welcome and valued.  I consider her one of my most valued and trusted friends and I am so thankful for having met her. Few people know this but Lesley is also a Kidney donor.  She has literally risked her life for those that mean the most to her.  She is truly a wonderful woman.  I hope you will choose her for your award.

My pageant Director, Mrs. Lesley Nardini, is so very deserving of this title and honor. She has taken on a leading role in the Oregon/Washington International level as Director & Coordinator for several years now, giving Contestants, past and present, her respect, time and guidance as best she see fit for that individual.  Making sure to place the best of women in this prestigious opportunity where contestants are concerned. Lesley has time and time again been able to produce amazingly talented Queens that represent the states perfectly with beauty and poise.  Changing women’s outlook on life and themselves in a positive light.  Helping women find themselves is something I can honestly say that Lesley had a huge part in for my own self change.  Her support and can-do attitude allowed me to see a positive in all steps of the way.  And I will be forever thankful! She is a mentor, a beautiful Wife and Mother, a business savvy lady that’s well respected in our community.  A Director of the Mrs. Oregon & Washington International pageant, Lesley Nardini, is greatly deserving of this award.  I think that she would appreciate it with all her heart with sincere gratitude.

...find out more about “My Director Rocks” winner Lesley Nardini on the following pages PACIFICPageants Magazine | 15

PPM: How did you get introduced to the pageant world? When I was a senior in high school, a representative from the local Miss America pageant in California came to our school and gave a presentation on being part of their program.  It sounded like fun so I decided to audition to be in the pageant.  I was one of 20 girls who were selected to participate and we spent six weeks together rehearsing and making appearances.  It was a thrilling experience that taught me poise & self-confidence and I became hooked on pageants for life. PPM: What is your personal experience in pageantry?  Besides being a director for the past five years, I have been a contestant numerous times, coached several winners and judged for many different pageant systems.  As a contestant I’ve placed in the top five several times and in 1997 I won the title of Mrs. Oregon International.  My proudest moment in pageantry was coaching my daughter to win the title of Miss Oregon Teen USA 2010. PPM: Why did you choose to become a director?  I saw this as a way to pass on to other women the same exciting opportunity I had for personal growth and self-discovery. PPM: Which do you like best: Competing or Directing best?  Both are exciting, challenging and provide a way to touch other people’s lives in a positive way however, I give a

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slight edge to competing because when I’m preparing for competition I am very focused, sharp and on-track with every aspect of my life. PPM: What is the toughest aspect of directing a pageant? For me it’s all the little details of running a business.  I’m better with the big picture and creative side of putting on a production.  Thankfully my husband supports me with the details of managing the business side of things. PPM: Are pageant directors just in it for the money?  Most of the directors I know, myself included, do it for the love of pageantry however, in order to be successful (as in any business) you must take care of finances.  There is nothing wrong with making money doing what you love but, if someone becomes a pageant director just for the money, they will be unhappy because it’s a challenging business to be in and it’s even more challenging to make a living at it.  On the other hand, if someone becomes a director out of pure passion but they don’t take care of finances, they won’t be in business for very long. PPM: What goes into putting on a pageant?  Quite a bit!  The first priority is to give the contestants a great pageant experience—they are the “client” and we want them to walk away happy even if they don’t capture the title.  In order to create a great experience we look for great sponsors, find well qualified unbiased judges, and we have a team of people who help put on a high quality production.

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PPM: If someone wanted to be a pageant director, what would be your primary advice? My best advice is to surround yourself with good people who you can trust to share your vision and have a positive attitude.  It takes a strong team of people to run a successful pageant.  In the beginning I tried to do everything myself but I have gotten better at delegating, so much so that I have decided to be the assistant director for our pageant starting this year. PPM: Tell us about your pageant system.  The areas of competition are interview (50%), evening gown (25%) and fitness in aerobic wear (25%).  The Mrs. International pageant system puts an emphasis on platform work which encourages women to contribute to their communities.  On the national level the directors do an amazing job of putting on a high quality production. PPM: How can someone enter your system and what are the requirements?  The requirements are to have been married for at least six months and be at least 21 up to 56 years of age by July 1st of the pageant year.  Anyone interested in participating in our pageant can go to our website for more details, or send an email to to request an information packet and entry application.

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PPM: What do you look for in a queen? To me the ideal queen is someone who is well-rounded and has a genuine interest in making a difference, not just during her reign, but beyond that.  She has the maturity to carry out the responsibilities that comes with the title, the confidence to handle the pressure of being in the public eye and the humility to know that holding the title is a privilege that gives her the opportunity to touch other people’s lives in a positive way. PPM: What is your long-term goal for your pageant system?  To attract high-profile sponsors who will help grow the pageant into a larger program that offers this exciting opportunity to a multitude of women all over Oregon and Washington. PPM: Are there any last thoughts you have?  It takes a great deal of courage to participate in pageants.  There are fears to face and obstacles to overcome when taking on an adventure like this.  For anyone reading this who is thinking “I would love to do that but I’m too afraid” I say, take the plunge.  When we conquer our fear and push out of our comfort zone that’s when we build true confidence and become a better person.  Take the plunge! Website: or on Facebook.

GRAPHIC PROVIDERS FOR YOUR REVOLUTION. OR... SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS. | 206.402.3116 | skype : ballardoutdoor PACIFICPageants Magazine | 19




Interview 101 Jeremy Monlux

The pageant interview. For some, it induces fear, for others, it is a breeze. Whether you are scared, excited or maybe a combo of both, the interview portion of the pageant is arguably the most important phase of competition.

My background is in HR and executive recruiting, where I have had the opportunity to place individuals in an array of professional settings. When our daughter, Madeline got the “pageant bug” back in 2006, my wife and I had no idea what to expect in a pageant. My wife had many questions such as.. what should she wear, what should she say, how many formal dresses will she need? I had one question and it is still the same question I ask today… how much will this cost me?

As we researched pageants, we read over and over that the interview portion of the pageant was very similar to a job interview. Testing this theory, I worked with our daughter on how to answer a question in a professional setting and how to articulate exactly what you want the interviewer to know. After the interview was over, Madeline said she felt it went well and enjoyed answering the judge’s questions. To our surprise, she placed first runner up in her very first pageant. Even more important was the new found confidence and skills that Madeline had learned. This is why our family is such strong supporters of pageants; the lifelong skills, friendships and confidence that is obtained through competing is invaluable and has made a positive impact on not only our daughter, but our entire family. 20 | PACIFICPageants Magazine

As our experience in pageants grew, I began judging pageants. This was eye opening for me as I had the opportunity to see firsthand what happens in an interview setting and if there was any truth to this saying I had heard that “The pageant is won in the interview room”. There was, it is and now I see why. The interview offers a chance to meet one on one with a contestant, to hear their opinions and for the judge, to ultimately evaluate if she has the potential to take on the role as a titleholder.

Fast forward to today where I have perhaps the coolest job on the planet as an interview coach, helping to bring out the best in my clients and providing them with skills to help them perfect their interview, on stage question and introductions. I never tell my clients what to say; rather I help them to articulate answers that reflect their personality, their opinions, their dreams and aspirations. I am proud to say that many of my clients have gone on to win numerous local and state titles and as this article is being written, I have first time clients competing for international titles in Orlando, Florida! If you would like to schedule a session with me, I work in person, via SKYPE or on the phone. You can find me on Facebook by searching for Monlux Consulting, or send me a friend request. I’m looking forward to future articles where I can share tips on how to make your interview a success!

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PACIFIC Model Spotlight

Jessica Riggs

Mrs. Washington 2012

Pacific Model Spotlight Jessica Riggs Mrs. Washington 2012 PPM: Why did you answer PPM: How is modeling different our model casting? from competing in a pageant? I love PPM and would jump Modeling is different from at any opportunity to be in the pageantry in that you are magazine. Also, I have somewhat creating a persona and a recently toned up and look for the picture that is different slimmed down a bit so I knew form yourself. In pageantry, you I would feel comfortable want YOUR own personal look and being in a swimsuit. persona to come through. Modeling is a lot of fun because you get to PPM: We have released two play a little bit with being different issues so far what do you from who you normally are. think about them? LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! It's Pageants you want the REAL you hard to believe the magazine to come through, not a "look.� is so new. It is highly PPM: What do you think about professional and I love the the Heidi Fish Swimwear line? diversity of the model and I ADORED her swimwear. I felt it articles you feature. was feminine and sexy, but not trashy. I felt totally comfortable PPM: How did you feel with my kids seeing me in modeling swimsuits in a swimwear like that. public area? At first I was a little nervous, PPM: What would be your one Hair, Makeup & Photo by Alisa Clark of Monaalisa Pro but then I realized people piece of advice you would give to were really enjoying it! God created women for many an aspiring model? reasons and one of them is to be beautiful and Have confidence in yourself. I have been told before admired for their beauty. Except for one weird guy I that I am too short to model, but through pageantry, I had to yell at for trying to take pictures of us on his have gained some confidence in my abilities and have phone, everyone was really respectful. realized that there is a need for ALL types of models. That is another reason I love PPM so much is that PPM: What was the shoot like for you? It was the first time I felt like a REAL model! Alisa they embrace all different types of women and seek to Clark did such an amazing job with our hair and honor us all. makeup, and then took some really amazing and PPM: How has fitness played a role in your tasteful pictures. Latasha's direction was thoughtful preparation for Nationals? and it was so nice to have her direct the photo shoot. Again, being fit has given me more personal She knew exactly the look she wanted to create and confidence. Also, it is one less thing I need to worry was able to relay that to us in a way we understood. I about while I am preparing. I can focus on my appreciated the positive feedback when we "hit" the speaking skills, walking, and interview skills instead of look she wanted and then also appreciated the worrying about my weight or being jiggly. This is the constructive suggestions she made to help us look our first time in a competition I have not waited until the best. very last moment to get fit. I have Bouari to thank for that! 22 | PACIFICPageants Magazine

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...imagine the


| Web | Print | Media | & | Marketing Services | 24 | PACIFICPageants Magazine

Winning Wardrobe




Presented by Heidi Fish and Monalisa


Each issue, Winning Wardrobe will reflect a different designer or retailer based in our region showing diverse aspects of the pageantry wardrobe! We will also use models of all ethnicities, ages and body types including titleholders you will know! It’s important to PACIFICPageants that YOU can see yourself in these fashions and invest in the amazing options we have right here in the Pacific Northwest!

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Represent YOUR CAUSE At

Interview Evening Gown Pant Wear Photogenic


Kym Hopen


2012 Mrs. Washington Plus America





Health & Fitness

Bekah Baker

CONFIDENCE. What does this word bring to mind? Maybe a specific person immediately pops up? Or maybe a certain type of person? Better yet, you may think of how you feel when you’re doing something you KNOW you’re great at doing? According to Wikipedia “Confidence” is generally described as a state of being certain that a prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best. But I want to talk more specifically about SELF-CONFIDENCE which is having self-assuredness in one’s personal judgment & ability. Why is self-confidence SO important? Because being confident in you is infectious. As you present yourself well others will want to follow in your foot steps towards success… And THAT is a beautiful thing & what makes doing life together so wonderful! So as self-confidence relates to health & fitness I’d like to chat about self-image vs. body image. Some people think it’s the same thing but it’s really not. Like all things in life it’s ALL about balancing the two & how they relate to each other. I had a very eye-opening experience with this recently.

As you know I’m a mom of four. I own a supplement company, compete in an itty-bitty bikini, & LOVE rockin’ that stage blinged out & tanned to the nines! A couple months ago I’d just finished my last competition – I was lean & fit… feeling fabulous & getting ready to hit the stage again in 3 weeks. Then my Dad became very ill. It was SO fast. In literally 2 weeks I watched him go from healthy & strong to basically bed-ridden without the use of his hands & feet. No one knew why & my life went on hold. My sister & I traded off nights staying in the hospital. I didn’t go to the gym for over a month. I was eating hospital food – which was actually very tasty but meant lots of carbs my body wasn’t used to. AND I was eating all hours of the day & night. The more sweets/salts/breads I ate the more I craved them. And like a whole lot of people STRESS does NOT make me stop eating… nope… kinda’ the opposite happens. I was in a carb coma & didn’t mind because I was in such an emotional place not knowing if my Dad was going to make it – or if he did what kind of life he would have. 46 | PACIFICPageants Magazine

Fast forward 6 weeks – My Papa is miraculously healed, begins & finishes physical rehabilitation, & against ALL odds was able to go with our family on a previously planned trip to take him home to Jamaica.

I had a decision to make. My body was NOT how I wanted it. I was rockin’ a tummy that was NOT the business. My thighs were rubbing together. There was quite the layer of insulation covering the muscles in my arms. This body was NOT representative of me! HELLO! I’m a health & fitness editor! I compete in a bikini! What was I going to do? Was I going to “crash diet” – maybe not eat for a week? Or drink lemon & cayenne & run 10 miles a day? This choice was mine. Thankfully I have come a long enough way to know that compromising my long-term health was NOT worth looking “cute” in a bikini on vacation. I cleaned up my eating. Drank only water. Started exercising consistently, but when I stepped on that plane I was still very far from my goal. My body was like “Whatever lady…!” So there the question stood: Where did my confidence lie? Was it in my BODY or was it in ME? While on our flight to Jamaica I decided it was in ME. I had SO much to be thankful for & I was NOT going to waste ONE moment lamenting my extra “lady lumps” when I stepped into that bikini! I enjoyed authentic Jamaican foods I normally wouldn’t eat (even grapenut ice cream much to my kids’ delight) but I also made sure to get my butt up early & run for 30 minutes at least every other day before the sun became too hot. I also packed a jump rope for the days I just needed to turn on the AC & knock out 20-30 minutes of intervals (jumping for 40 seconds & resting for 20 seconds for 20-30 minutes) I said my goal was to only gain 10 pounds instead of 20! I didn’t want to fall off the deep end saying “Well I had one ice cream cone… might as well eat the whole quart!” But rather, to ENJOY that ONE ice cream cone & move on. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t exactly posing left & right for pictures! But I had an amazing time with my family. I was happy & feeling blessed to be PRESENT in the joy of seeing my Dad’s strength return more & more each day. Watching him swim, kick a soccer ball, even JOG on the beach!!


Bekah and her Father in Jamaica after his illness.

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So, my body image? I acknowledge it wasn’t my favorite look. But I had the MOST important of the two, which without question is self-image. Self image is a broader category that refers to one’s inner perception of his or her physical, mental, interpersonal, and spiritual characteristics and abilities. Who I AM vs. What I LOOK like. Let’s face it – The two get tangled up with each other easily. We are bombarded moment by moment with what “they” say we are “supposed” to look like. Who are these “they” folks anyway? I’d love to meet them & kick some butt. On the other hand however, we cannot ignore that when we are exercising, eating clean, drinking water, & generally feeling healthier – Our life DOES take this positive turn! Feeling energized & fabulous DOES impact your daily interactions. Who doesn’t want to feel fabulous?


No one I know, that’s for sure! But here’s where it can get tricky. Sometimes we feel like we have to WAIT for that “perfect time” to start. Bottom line: You have to love yourself enough RIGHT NOW TODAY EXACTLY AS YOU ARE to take that first step to getting healthier. You have to love who you are today so you can meet the even BETTER version of YOU who you will transform into later.

• Make a list of what you are really good at. It can be ANYTHING! Maybe you are patient, great with animals, great cook, great listener, amazing shopper, loyal friend, find humor in hard times, great communicator,

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Building blocks to Self-Confidence – There are many more, but these are a few of my favorites that have gone a long way in building self-confidence in my life!

• Take care of yourself. Taking good care of yourself is the first step to taking good care of those you love. Be kind to your body: Eat clean. Drink water. Exercise each day. Look in the mirror each day & SMILE. Be kind to your mind: Let go of things you have no control over. Don’t overload your schedule & create unnecessary stress in your life. Prioritize what really matters & do them. Ask forgiveness. Give forgiveness & be free to move on.

• Choose a role model. It can be someone you know

or someone famous. It’s not about being LIKE better prepared for what’s coming! them. Only THEY can do that. It’s about being INSPIRED by them! YOUR mission is to be the best • Help others. It’s amazing how great you will feel about yourself when you put your focus on those YOU possible. Only you can fill this role & you can who need YOU! And focus on seeing good in do it!! • Stick up for yourself. Never apologize for who you are! Celebrate your uniqueness & individuality. Do people “jokingly” put you down? It’s important to let them know you don’t agree with their negative opinion about you. Speak up & make eye contact with people. Let go of your fear of what people will think or say. People will judge you all the time, and usually they’ll misjudge you anyway, so why not just be your fabulous self – It’s who God made you to be! Always remember: If you were like everyone else you wouldn’t be who you are. • Be optimistic. Write down all the GOOD things that could happen in any given situation. What’s the BEST thing that could happen? Along with this go ahead & think about what’s the WORST thing that could happen too. Usually if you stop & actually think it all the way through, no one dies, you’ll learn & grow, & life will go on with you smarter &

o Help teach a younger child to read or read for someone elderly or visually impaired o Help serve a meal at a homeless shelter. o Gather clothing from your neighbors and donate it to a local shelter. o Make “I Care” kits with combs, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. for the homeless. o Pack and hand out food at a local food bank or deliver groceries for someone in need o Adopt a senior citizen “grandfriend,” war veteran, or overseas soldier & write him or her letters. o Hold the door open or give up your seat on a bus for someone

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I want to have more confidence. I really do! But it’s so hard. I’ve started & stopped so many times. I’ve failed so many times. When I tell my friends my ideas they try to be nice & listen but we all know they’re thinking “Here we go again…” How do I start new? How do I build my confidence & get a new positive track record? Where do I start? Sincerely,

Trying to change for the better. Dear Trying to change for the better, I personally think helping others is the fastest way to building your own self-worth. You are incredibly valuable when you are answer to someone else’s need. And knowing you put a smile on someone’s face feels FABULOUS!! Check out my “Help Others” list & do a local Google search of your own to find something you already LOVE to do that will make a difference in someone else’s life.

Another really great way to start building self-confidence is to start doing easy things where you can easily win! I’m SO serious… Every “little” victory will help build up your confidence & will quiet the “I can’t” because you just DID. It could be as simple as playing tic-tac-toe or some other easy video game on your phone. Making a list of 3 kind & thoughtful things you’ll do for others in a 24hr period & doing them. Reading a new book in a set amount of time. Making eye-contact with 2 strangers & giving them a genuine smile. Sometimes it’s not about winning as much as it’s about making a commitment to yourself or others & following through! Now, as far as the friends go: Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your endeavors to better yourself & help others. Sometimes friends won’t be supportive of any type of change even if it is positive growth. That’s okay & that’s their choice. It’s also YOUR choice who you do life with & it’s important they are bringing support & love into your life!

in place for 60 seconds allowing your body to recover from your intense burpee session. Repeat 10 times for 15 minutes Bekah resides in Bellevue WA with or Keith her husband ofcan 13 total. You can also split 15sec/30sec 60sec/120sec. You years 4 kids. In 2010 Bekah found herself create & thetheir perfect workout between 15-20 minutes eachunhappy day & with how she looked and sick and tired of being sick and tired. So she set out on a quest to get her body back! Along the way she discovered she not only found a body way better than the one she lost but also found her authentic self. She has stopped apologizing and started embracing and walking boldly in the destiny God is showing her. Bekah started a blog called “A Mama Bringing Sexy Back” to share with others a no-holdsbarred perspective of her journey. She is now co-owner of Pro Body Supplements, a National NPC Bikini Competitor, & Fitness & Commercial Model among other things! For more info about Bekah go to: Email Bekah at:



I’ll be honest – At first this was titled “Exercise smarter not

see incredible results! It is possible to get the SAME results


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Bringing Life To Art‌


Hair Design Make-up Artistry

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PACIFICPageants Magazine July/August 2012  


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