Words of Wisdom to the 2013 Minnesota International Contestants

It is hard to imagine, but I used to be a very shy girl with little motivation or interest in anything other than my BFF and the latest Hollywood gossip. Until one day when my mother said, "Hey, let's go watch a pageant in Chicago!"  With nothing significant stopping me I said, "Sure! Sounds like a fun girls weekend!" After watching the 2011 National pageant and our two incredible National queens Ciji and Jurnee be granted a once in a lifetime opportunity to be role models, leaders, and inspiration for young women like myself. A flame was ignited inside of me.

Reflecting back, I remember my mother and I joking on our drive back to MN from nationals saying, "That could be you someday! Should we try?"  And ever since that conversation, I haven't stopped working! This pageant system is special…It's different.

Miss Int'l is encouraged to represent more than just a pretty face, but a driving force with a cause behind it. I am so proud, blessed and humbled to be your Miss Minnesota, Miss International 2012 and a representative of our titleholders around the nation and globe. I had no idea I had this in me until I got involved in this pageant system. I stand before as a truly confident, accomplished, and driven young woman. I am no longer the timid shy little girl cowering behind her mother’s leg when the sales clerk asked my name.

I can't say thank you enough to this system for bringing out the best in me. Not in a cookie cutter mold of what a pageant queen should be, but in my own special way, just as I am. I am blessed beyond words. I know God has given me times of struggle and sorrow because He always had a plan. For the past few years I have prayed and prayed, "God. What is it that you want me to do? Why am I here? What is my purpose?"

I think that prayer was finally answered when I received the International Pageant post card in the mail. It was, at the time, an insignificant event that has grown into the greatest moments and accomplishments of my life.  I know have a new family of pageant sisters and the fabulous support system I have always felt had been missing.

This year I traveled over 15,000 Miles, Made over 50 appearances and worked with 35 different organizations. To the 2013 contestants, make this a year to remember! Make friends, be humble, allow yourself to make mistakes and laugh about it! This is a place to showcase who you are. There is no such thing as perfect so don't even try. Being the most polished and proper version of yourself accompanied by a handful of clumsy moments is who a real queen is.

Dedicate yourself to your platform, whatever it may be! My platform Healing Lives Through Creative Expression is everything I am, my past, my present and my future. It is the story of how I came to be, who I am, and what motivates me to continue my education, volunteering and awareness efforts everyday. When you step onto the stage remember, this is your moment, this is the beginning of your story. Whether or not you leave with a crown, this is your opportunity to create a story worth telling and let the world see your passion. I have learned through art that the life you are living right now, is your blank canvas. You make the rules, you write the narrative, you are in control of your story.

Make it a colorful one!

Krista Wanous 
Miss International 2012


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