My Interview with Mrs. Arizona 2012 Kirin Christianson

These days, it seems that everyone has opinions about beauty pageants and I am no different.  My opinions of beauty pageants have always been less than favorable, however I decided to find out more about them.  I had met Kirin Christianson, Mrs. Arizona at number of functions and decided to see get the inside scoop on the pageant circuit. I will be the first to admit that I have always felt that pageants focus more on beauty than intelligence and character.  Kirin was refreshingly kind and positive about her experience with pageants and did her best to get me to see things from her perspective.  Despite my personal feelings about pageants, I would be remiss if I did not mention that two of my journalism heroines are both southern pageant girls: Diane Sawyer was America’s Junior Miss and Oprah Winfrey was Miss Black Tennessee.

about-kirin-christiansonAs she welcomed me into her beautiful Scottsdale home, she shared the story of pain and cruelty she experienced growing up, being known as the “Ugly Girl.”  Having two sisters myself, one of which was a homecoming queen, I also grew up being over shadowed by my more attractive siblings. Kirin explained that she decided to challenge herself and  figure out how to change the things that she could and to work hard on her self-esteem and courage. Her story is really unbelievable, she entered 12 beauty pageants before she ever won one. I like to think that I am strong and press on, but I think I would have cut my losses and moved on if it were me!  Her happy smile and can do attitude is what I admire about her and the fact that she proved that dreams and beauty don’t have an expiration date.

Kirin sensed that I wasn’t a fan of the pageant circuit, so she explained that pageants are now platforms for women to find their voice.  Pageants provide scholarships for younger women and the “Mrs.” pageants are a great way for women to highlight the charities that mean something to them.

Kirin is a busy mom but she uses her story to inspire other women to think outside the box.   She encourages women to dream and to get up after falling down.  We all have the ability to change how we feel about ourselves.  Self-esteem is the one thing no one can give you, it is a gift you must give yourself.

Surprisingly her experience with all the pageants put her on the road to self-discovery and helped her with her never give up attitude.  On a final note Kirin signed a modeling contract with Ford at the age of 38 thus proving beauty doesn’t have an expiration date!

It is true that beauty starts from within and radiates outward.