Cardinal finds inner beauty, purpose in Michigan pageant circuit

Being different doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

This is the message of current Miss Spirit of the State, Jaeleen Davis, who is now in the running for the Miss Michigan crown.

Davis is a communications and criminal justice junior and has been competing in pageants since she was 15.

“The local title holder was at an event for “Wigs for Kids” (Davis’ championed organization) and she put her crown on my head,” Davis said.  “After that I was hooked.”

This is the third time Davis has been in the running for Miss Michigan.

The first time, she was one of the youngest to compete the second time, she made it all the way to the top ten.

However, Davis is keeping her focus on the here and now, even as she prepares for the next level of competition.

“I’ve realized it’s more about what you do with your local crown than whether you go on to the state or national level.”

Regardless of whether she receives the Miss Michigan title or not, Davis hopes that she can be an example of children everywhere that being different or unique is OK.

Davis started her performance career early as a childhood star on Broadway. That all changed though when she was diagnosed with alopecia and lost her hair.

“I didn’t feel worthy anymore,” Davis reflected. “Wigs for Kids gave me self esteem back.”

Davis’ platform for change is to see legislation onto the floor of Congress so that medical insurance companies will cover the cost of a hairpiece for children under the age of 18.

“Right now, funding is solely through non-profits and while that’s great, there’s only so much they can do.”

Davis will be making several radio interviews and appearances at Wigs for Kids events as part of this journey to raise awareness.

Despite the challenges in her past, Davis believes that these experiences have made her into the strong person she is today.

“I was bullied constantly growing up and still am. You think growing up will make it better but it doesn’t always,” she said. “As long as I put myself out there honestly, it doesn’t matter and I just keep going.”

Davis sees herself as a champion against social norms and wants to encourage children that they can be beautiful regardless of whatever makes them different.

“I want to show people that you can be bald and be a beauty queen, even if you’re not what society says is perfect.”

And if Davis does win the Miss Michigan title, it will be simply one more stepping stone in her fight for Wigs for Kids.

“This is my journey to help kids everywhere, and I can’t stop until I’ve accomplished what I want for them,” she added. “I want them to see that if I can do this, so can they.”

The Miss Michigan Pageant will be June 18-20.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 16th, 2015 and is filed under A&E. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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