As I enter my final few months as Miss Massachusetts, 21 young women from around the Commonwealth are busy practicing their talents, hitting the gym, reading up on the news----and preparing to take my job. I've invited each contestant to be a "guest writer" on my blog and contribute a piece that demonstrates her unique personality, interests and experiences. Over the next several weeks, members of the Miss Massachusetts Class of 2017 will be featured in this series as we "Countdown to the Crown". This week's featured contestant is Brittany Churchill, Miss Taunton 2017!
As a lady in the Miss America Organization, I would like to share with you what it is like to wear a crown. Although this is my first year as a titleholder, the Miss Taunton crown is not my first. I wear three crowns: the shiny one for appearances, the sparkly one of a beloved Disney princess, and the invisible one that I’ve worn my entire life.
The Shiny One: We know as titleholders the four points of the crown: Success, Scholarship, Style, and Service. Although each of these tenets is vital, I find service to be the greatest privilege. I worked for three years to earn the title of Miss Taunton so I could serve this city. I am able to represent the community and share my gift of song, in addition to promoting my platform: the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC) program. MARC is an anti-bullying and bullying prevention center located on Bridgewater State University campus. Although I was able to promote and support the program before being crowned, having a title enables me to do work I wouldn’t have otherwise. Wearing a crown opens opportunities to share knowledge and be heard.
The Sparkly One: Years ago my family joked about my destined future career as a traveling princess for birthday parties. Little did they know this would actually become one of my many fascinating occupations. When I transform into Frozen’s Elsa with a dress, wig, and classic purple eye-shadow, I become someone more than myself. I am no longer Brittany, but the embodiment of childhood fantasy.There are no words to describe the way children’s faces light up when I enter a room. It is an extremely humbling experience. The same is true when I place my crown atop my head and don my sash. I am no longer simply Brittany, but Miss Taunton 2017 and strangers address me as such. It is again a humbling experience to sacrifice my name for the title dozens have held before me. In losing that sense of self I ironically gain a sense of identity. As a princess, I have power and a responsibility to use it for good. I have had the privilege to meet a world of new people on my journeys as Elsa and Miss Taunton. I’ve been able to share my gifts in a way that is beyond what Brittany could do on her own.
The Invisible One: I am the daughter of a great King. This crown has been central to my life since I chose to follow Christ. My faith is not something I take out of a box to wear on Sundays, rather it is something that seeps into every interaction and decision. I live my faith and share it with actions and occasionally words. To me, Christianity is not something that is preached or makes people uncomfortable. I recognize it in others as an inner glow. I let my faith simply shine out, neither broadcasting it nor hiding it. Like the Miss Taunton crown and Elsa crown, my faith allows me to do incredible works. My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When I tap into God’s power,my life is guided miraculously. I credit all of my achievements to this infinite, ever flowing source.
These three crowns shape who I am and what I do. My faith fuels my life, my title serves the community,and my job as a princess adds a bit of sparkle to my world. These various hats shape my character and enable me to use my voice and my gifts to make this world a bit brighter. We all wear crowns to make the world a better place- what crown do you wear?