Competitors gain communication skills, confidence
by Anne Marie Fuller / For The Tracy Press
Jun 07, 2013 | 2046 views | 15 15 comments | 115 115 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The surreal moment of hearing my name called as the new 2013 Mrs. California was truly magical as I stood on the stage at the California State Pageant two weeks ago. As amazing as that moment was, it paled in comparison with hearing my daughter’s name called as Miss Teen California just moments earlier.

A photograph captured that precious moment as my daughter and I hugged for the first time after being crowned on the same stage.

We started this journey together last fall with our local titles and inched ever closer to the state finals. Along the way we discovered just how close we were to each other.

When talking with people, we found ourselves saying the exact same things — at the exact same time. The dresses and shoes we picked out seemed to mirror each other, even though they were bought at separate stores and at separate times.

At the state competition, we took turns standing in the wings while the other was on stage. I remember feeling tears of joy well up in my eyes when my daughter took the microphone to deliver her introduction. I was so proud of her at that moment.

Later, she told me that her proud moment came when I walked on stage for the evening gown part of the competition.

We also encountered our share of pageant stereotypes. Today’s world of pageantry has dramatically changed from that of yesteryear. Physical beauty is nice, but today’s titleholders also need to be knowledgeable representatives of their community or state. Instead of just posing for photo ops, they are often helping out behind the scenes in some way.

I have seen my daughter’s confidence and communication skills flourish as a result of competing in pageants. This helped her when she ran for student body president three years ago and had to deliver a speech in front of her peers. She won the election and became the school’s very first student body president.

The communication skills she has learned also helped her deliver oral reports in school and at City Council meetings where she represents the Youth Advisory Commission.

Tracy resident Kelli Goble, former Miss Ripon and Almond Blossom Queen, also values the skills learned through her days of competing.

“Winning a pageant is much more then looking cute,” Goble explained. “It’s also about learning to deal with the public and represent your community in a positive way. It gave me the skills to be able to deliver speeches in public and not be nervous. The experience also helped me be more confident. I’m glad I did it.”

For every plus, you may encounter a minus. Reality television shows, through shock-type reporting, can cast a negative light on a particular event or those who take part.

But this one’s for the next generation of pageant contestants: Stand tall in your convictions, believe in yourself and never give in to the negative Nellies in this world.

You are beautiful — let your light shine.

• Anne Marie Fuller is the television host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie,” which can be seen on Cable Channel 26 at 7 p.m. Fridays. She is also the chairwoman of the Tracy Arts Commission and was crowned Mrs. California 2013 in May. Contact her at annemarie@columnist.com.
Comments
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oldshoe
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June 08, 2013
Well Mascot I, my dad was killed in world war 2. My mother not knowing how to speak english went back to Mexico leaving us 5 boys to run the streets. My wife and I couldn`t raise a family because of a bullet I took in Korea.
mascot1
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June 08, 2013
I am truly sorry you had a rough life growing up and after the Korean War. I thank you for your service. I have military members that run from WWII through the present. I don't know if you are angry at what happened to you and feel that hurting others directly makes you feel like they need to feel the pain you carry or what the deal is. Many of us have had crappy lives but most I know have chosen to overcome those horribly negative aspects of our lives and turn it towards positive ways like giving to charity, helping our fellow man, helping another soldier, helping the animal kingdom, etc. Instead of being bitter, we choose to be positive despite the pain we feel inside. Please don't keep focusing on the negative past instead look towards a more positive future and see that not every person, especially women or Anne Marie are to be chastised because of who they are or because you think they have or had it better than you. Many of us have learned to hide the pain on the outside and only show it when alone or with those we put our trust into. Praying for you.
backinblack
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June 09, 2013
Oldshoe, I find myself in a bit of a conundrum. In light of your disclosure about serving our country and being wounded my boy comment is out of line and I sincerely apologize. I'd also like to thank you and although gone your father for serving our country.

However, what's your point? Nothing in your last comment excuses some of your other comments pertaining to women. If you have a problem with your mother, fine, but don't take it out on other women. We all have problems we face in life. My father looked at women as being good for basically one thing, he cheated on my mom and I had the wonderful experience of watching the fight which ended their marriage - oh yea, I was 6 when it happened.

Although not at war I was severely burned 30 years ago, I watched my father rot away with Alzheimers in a nursing home for the last two years of his life. So what, that's life brother.

I don't use those things or anything else for that matter as excuses or crutches and oh yea, I have the utmost respect for women. At some point we all have to stand alone and be accountable for our views and actions - regardless of our past trials and tribulations. Wise up.

backinblack
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June 08, 2013
Oldshoe, is insulting women your main purpose for posting comments? It sure seems that way to me.

If you are a woman, you are an embarrassment to your gender.

If you are a man, considering your view towards women I will look upon you as nothing more than a boy and will save the title of man for me and other real men who have respect for women.
newsfan01
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June 08, 2013
If I can get in the conversation here, directed to Oldshoe. The very definition of column writing is that of personal and not reporter style. You fail to mention in your nasty comments about the community stories she reported on. They appear in the same paper. So one can easily see her reporting style and her column writing style. I think given the amount of views her columns get, says more then anyone could say here. Any columnist worth following takes a page from life and makes a story for us. That is what a columnist is Oldshoe. Get with the program. By the way, to Anne Marie here, I have followed your columns from the Tri-Valley and you know how to capture an audience. I think Oldshoe has proven that point. The only way they can get attention is through you, that should make you smile. Keep it up, you being in the news helps sell papers.
oldshoe
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June 08, 2013
Well, another cheer leader, tell me, does the TP pay her to write about herself??
Mblog
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June 08, 2013
Oldshoe, I find it odd that you are personally attacking her. Mike McLellan also has a regular article and often talks about his experiences. In the May 17 issue he talked about turning 50. So what is wrong with you that you feel the need to attack? You call her another cheerleader - was she or are you just being one of those sterotypes she talks about in the article. You seem to fit that profile.
mascot1
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June 08, 2013
Have you not read the other articles she has written highlighting information about Lyme disease and the people of Tracy who are battling this ugly illness. Have you not read the article the kitten population exploding and what to do if one finds a litter if kittens? Or her article about the woman in town helping to deal with the feral population? Anne Marie writes about a lot of information that is good to learn about and and she writes of people who are doing wonderful things in our town. You Old Shoe it appears that you don't do or share anything nice but only display dislike. Do you have nothing better to do than be antagonistic towards others to build up your self esteem? What a pitiful life you must have and I feel sorry for you.
mascot1
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June 08, 2013
PS. Anne Marie was never a cheer leader. She ran track! I'm sure from the way you write you never did sports at all
Mblog
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June 08, 2013
You have a powerful writing style. I love how you talked about the 'negative nillies' and then you got one. To our friend 'oldshoe," get a clue. This mother and daughter team have accomplished something great, why must you rain on them? Is it because you have no life? State pageants are not won by ticket sales and once again you missed the message of the article. I like the positive message. If the world were full of negative people, like oldshoe, it would be a sad place. To you Anne Marie and your daughter, keep positive and thank you for all you both do.
mascot1
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June 08, 2013
I totally agree with Mblog. What Anne Marie and Rebecca have done separately and together for our town shows their dedication to Tracy. With their titles they can expand their outreach for charities both from Tracy and other areas. Old Shoe, you obviously were raised in a family where dad worked and mom stayed home to take care of the kids and cater to the family. I'm guessing you raised your own family that way. Times have changed and it is admirable that women can now take care of families, work and help charities. I love how this is a mother-daughter success story. Anne Marie is proud of her daughter and rightly so. We support both of them on their journey. No tickets are ever sold to pageants. The beautiful thing about this pageant is that the contestants have to be involved in their communities. It is not about the bathing suit Old Shoe. Go watch reruns if that is what you are looking for. These are new days and times. Tracy Talk is a weekly column. Anyone can be a guest columnist by submitting their editorial or comments to the Press.
oldshoe
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June 08, 2013
Is that the contest where the winner sells the most tickets??
mthouseman
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June 08, 2013
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jarbuckle
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June 07, 2013
Is Anne-Marie the new editor of this newspaper? The last three weeks thats the only editorials Ive seen.
newsfan01
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June 07, 2013
I caught two editorials in today's paper, both Anne Marie's and Mike McLellan. Both made me smile.


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