On June 19, Christina Lowe was crowned Miss Utah of 2010. Lowe, a junior at UVU, beat 50 other contestants representing various parts of the state. Lowe was crowned Miss Utah County back in August, which automatically qualified her for the state competition.
To many in today?s society, the idea of beauty pageants evokes thoughts of shallow, empty-headed narcissists who sing and dance in a bikini while promoting “world peace.” The fact of the matter is, however, that pageants exist for a much bigger purpose. Each contestant must create a platform, a cause or combination of causes they will devote their entire crowning year to promoting.
Lowe will tour Utah encouraging civic engagement and voter registration. As part of her public service requirement for the competition, Lowe launched the UVote campaign, a program that urges Utahns to not only register to vote, but to become aware of the political issues and have their voices heard.
Raised in Midway, Lowe grew up in a family that was interested in politics, both on the local and national level. This passion helped drive her to join the debate in high school. For Lowe, encouraging others to vote and become engaged in politics came naturally. Her campaign has already registered over 3,600 new voters.
As Miss Utah, Lowe will also serve as an ambassador for the Children?s MiracleNetwork and act as the official spokesperson for the Child Protection Registry, an organization dedicated to protecting Utah families from adult-oriented solicitations.
The Miss Utah pageant, as well as the Miss America pageant, also serve as a scholarship program for women between the ages of 17 and 24. Along with her title, Lowe won a $10,000 scholarship to continue her education – a major benefit considering how ambitious her educational and professional goals are. After receiving her bachelor?s in International Relations, she hopes to obtain her law degree and practice international law.
Before attending college, Lowe had no interest in beauty pageants. In 2007, she entered the Miss Wasatch pageant completely on a whim. She ended up winning the competition, along with a one-year scholarship to UVU and $2,500 in cash. She had planned on studying music at the University of Utah where she was offered a scholarship for her singing, but changed her mind after the pageant.
She earned another one-year scholarship when she won the title of Miss UVU in 2008. This qualified her for the Miss Utah pageant, where she placed fourth. Lowe took a year off to focus on her schoolwork before entering and winning the Miss Utah County pageant.
The Miss Utah pageant is a four-day event where each contestant must excel in five different categories, each assigned a certain percentage of the overall score.
Lifestyle and fitness in swimwear accounts for 15 percent, evening wear represents 20 percent, talent displays are worth 35 percent, a private interview determines 25 percent and the on-stage question makes up the final 5 percent. The private interview is a 10-minute interview with the judges where each contestant is asked about her interests, her community involvement and why she wants to be Miss Utah.
For swimwear, each contestant may wear a one or two-piece swimsuit. Loweopted for a zebra patterned two-piece. She plans on wearing another two-piece for the Miss America pageant, a decision that only a few contestants from Utah have made in the past.
During the talent portion of the competition, Lowe sang “I Believe” by Nikki Yanofsky, the theme song from the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Toronto. This came right after the evening wear portion of the competition, where Lowe wore a simple black dress with shimmering silver accents.
When it came time for the on-stage questions, Lowe was asked whether contestants in beauty pageants should get plastic surgery. Lowe, while not excluding the possibility of surgery, emphasized that women should love their individual beauty and be comfortable with their bodies.
Lowe will be participating in the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas on January 15, where she will go through the same process as the Miss Utah pageant but on a much larger scale. She will compete against contestants from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. If she does win, she will be the first contestant from Utah to be crowned Miss America since Sharlene Wells Hawkes won the title in 1985
Lowe will take a year off from her studies at UVU to tour the state and country to promote her platform. She will also spend the year preparing for the Miss America pageant.