As Danica Olsen walked across the stage practicing for the Miss Utah pageant, her boots sparkled with the letters “UVU” written out in green and white sequins. Olsen has held the title of Miss UVU since Oct. 2010 and this week will be competing against 50 other young women for the title of Miss Utah.
For an audience made up of friends, family, coaches and well wishers, Olsen showed off her eveningwear and swimwear, as well as practiced answering an interview questions and her dance routine for the talent portion of the competition. Olsen has been competing in pageant for years, with the Miss Utah Pageant being her ninth competition.
When asked about her favorite aspect of being Miss UVU, Olsen talked about her family and coaches. “The support I’ve gotten from my advisors has helped me be the best version of myself I can be,” Olsen said. “[Being Miss UVU] means the world to me. I’m so grateful.”
In addition to attending campus and community events as Miss UVU, Olsen has been prepping for the Miss Utah competition, now only a week away. “I feel great. I feel ready,” Olsen said. “I feel like ‘bring it on!’”
The pageant consists of four events: interview, on-stage question, eveningwear and “Lifestyles and Fitness,” informally known as swimwear. Each contestant also has a service platform they will promote if they are crowned Miss Utah, and possibly Miss America. Olsen’s platform is Prescription Drug Addiction Awareness. Olsen recently attended an addicts meeting and had a chance to see what prescription drug addiction can do to individuals and their families.
In sitting down with Olsen, she expressed the need to combat the ‘pageant girl’ stereotype society has been placed on contestants. This stereotype, which labels the women as air-headed bimbos, is something competitors like Olsen encounter everyday. “You need to be real [and] genuine,” Olsen said. “If you’re you, people will respect that.” Olsen also encounters claims that pageants objectify women. When asked about such claims, Olsen answered with a smile. “I believe pageants are a celebration of women,” Olsen said. “And they’re a blast.”
The Miss Utah Pageant is a weeklong event, with the winners announced on Saturday, June 25. The Review will be checking in on Danica Olsen throughout the week as she competes for Miss Utah. Be sure to check the Review twitter for updates at twitter.com/uvureview.