Why I Didn’t Practice for My Crowning Moment

Like many of you, I had watched countless crowning moment videos. I had seen the photos of previous winners and attempted to visualize what I would look like if that was me. In preparation for Miss International, I took to heart the advice I received when people told me to imagine the crown being on my head. But honestly, I don’t think you can practice for a moment like that. You don't know if you will collapse, scream, look to the judges in thankfulness, or simply smile and wave.

If you watch the video, you’ll see that I did none of those things. I was frozen in place, crying. That was the most raw, authentic reaction that I could muster…complete humility. After years of preparation, service and dreaming, I finally heard MY name. My hands shot to my face to cover the fact that I am not a “pretty crier.” After I don’t know how many seconds, the other women finally had to tell me, “go up there!”. As I walked toward Amanda, Miss International 2016 all I remember is her repeating that I needed to look up and out because this photo was going in Times Square. So I wiped the tears and somehow managed to follow directions.

Now it’s time for my first walk as Miss International 2017…Do I go left? Do I go right?. I know I bear-hugged my newly crowned Miss Teen International and then did my best to cover the stage. Someone asked me, “why did you stand on the side of the stage for so long?”. The answer is simple: I turned around and was in awe of all the other women behind me. To be selected among such an amazing group is a true honor that I do not take lightly. I feel that my crowning moment was shared with each and every one of them because I plan to spend my year making the class of 2017 proud. Nothing could prepare me for the tears of joy on some of their faces, or the massive group hug we shared on that stage. You can’t practice a crowning moment because you can’t fake pure joy.

The crowning moment was a beautiful spark that is going to a light the flame of my year ahead. I am proud to wear the title of Miss International 2017 and I plan to serve with the same amount of love I was shown on August 5 by my sister queens. Thank you in advance for following along and allowing me to share these moments with all of you.

In health and happiness,

Kelsey Craft
Miss International 2017


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