Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What Makes a Jersey Girl

       During the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Laurie Hernandez won a gold medal in the women's team all-around competition.  Before she performed her balance beam routine, she whispered to herself, "I got this."  Before she performed her floor routine, she winked at the judges.  Before she became an olympian, she grew up in Old Bridge, New Jersey.
Photo courtesy of

       She may be winning hearts across the world, but New Jersians are quick to claim the confident, bubbly athlete as our own.  I had always known that Jersey girls were a different breed of sorts, but I could never put my finger on why or how- until I watched coverage of Laurie's time in Rio.  Jersey girls have a spunk that can't be replicated.  It's a sort of attitude that I've seen in my fellow pageant competitors as well as my non-pageant friends.  It's Laurie Hernandez winking at her judges before soaring through the air to secure a gold medal.
GIf courtesy of

       While I prepare for any pageant, I try to pinpoint what makes me capable of not only winning a title, but what makes me worthy of representing the title all year.  At a local pageant or the Miss New Jersey pageant, I work to prove that I can handle the duties- performing a talent, promoting a platform, representing a county or state.  Miss America, like the olympics, is on a whole new level.  Each pageant contestant, like olympic athletes, are the cream of the crop.  What sets me apart?  What makes me most worthy of representing our nation?  I hope that in one month, I can prove that it's the unique spunk that each Jersey girl, including Laurie Hernandez, has, which makes me prepared to be Miss America.  If you see me whisper "I got this" to myself before I walk on stage, just know that I'm channeling my inner Laurie- my inner Jersey girl.