Ladies: imagine a truck full of fabulous clothes. Just thinking about it makes me excited.
Well, that’s the reality for Piper Stoeckel. The 22-year old Miss Arizona recently road-tripped to Vegas in her dad’s ride full of savvy swag…evening dresses, rehearsal outfits, bathing suits, outerwear, and pajamas included. That’s because she’s taking center-stage in Sin City’s Miss America pageant on January 12th, 2013.
I interviewed Piper when she was crowned our state’s Miss Arizona…now our little girl is growing up—she’s off to fight for the esteemed title. That’s why I thought it fitting to follow up with the stunning young woman about life, love, and preparing for the competition.
The Prescott-born beauty spent 18 years in the quaint Arizona town with her mother, father, and older brother. Growing up, Piper says she never had an interest in pageants; competitive dancing was her passion…she’s always been a natural performer.
Her interest in pageantry is actually fairly new. Piper was intrigued with the Miss America Organization after learning of it from friend Jennifer Sedler, Miss Arizona 2011. Piper was particularly drawn to the organization because it provides a number of scholarships to ambitious females. She was obviously a hot ticket because Piper scored the Miss AZ title, and now uses it as a platform to be a role model and make a difference…like her brother, currently serving in Afghanistan.
To me, though, Piper seemed to be born a beauty queen. In high school, she was on the pom line, secretary of Student Council, and secretary of the Key Club. Oh, and she also dated their school’s football super-stud.
After graduating, Piper headed to the University of Arizona; fun fact: the last 3 Miss Arizona’s are proud Wildcats! She is now a senior in college focusing on Broadcast Journalism (Go girl!). She hopes to eventually become a sideline reporter at ESPN.
But for now…her eye’s on the prize: Miss America.
A wonderful line-up of 53 contestants spend about ten days in Vegas leading up to the big pageant; rehearsing, interviewing, and making appearances around Sin City. On pageant night, the young ladies are critiqued by seven celebrity judges in the areas of interview, talent, evening wear, swim suit, and on-stage question. They look for a girl who can be the face and voice of the Miss America Organization; a spokeswoman for the national platform and Children’s Miracle Network.
Preparing for the Miss Arizona competition is more demanding than you may think; in fact, Piper says it’s a full time job. While you might laugh at that statement, Piper’s schedule is packed with events and meetings.
Here’s an example of her typical day:
8am: Morning work-out
10am: 4th of July Parade with the Mayor of Prescott
Noon: Meet with potential sponsor
1pm: Kiwanis of Prescott luncheon
2pm: Phone conference with Children’s Advocacy Center to plan the year’s platform
3pm: Work on Miss America paperwork/thank you cards
5pm: Meeting with Children’s Miracle Network Coordinator
7pm: Appearance at Prescott Rodeo Street Dance.
Take that, everyone who wonders what a beauty queen actually does—LOL!
Piper stays fit by befriending lunges and exercising 4-5 days a week. Instead of “dieting,” Piper eats “healthy choices,” including solid proteins, whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
Somehow, the busy young lady has time for a boyfriend she refers to as a “Bro.” (That’s what the organization prefers the women call beaus.) However, he would rather be called “Miss AZ manager.” Piper’s hooked to her man because he’s intelligent and boasts an outgoing personality. Plus, he’s handsomely tall with dark hair, light eyes, and an unstoppable sense of humor. Clearly he scored himself some arm candy as well.
Ok, back to her clothes.
Piper compares her style to that of Kate Middleton; she loves the classy, elegant and slightly old- fashioned look. (But there’s nothing wrong with a little pizzazz and sparkle.) She gets to choose her attire—the girls have the freedom to wear what makes them feel best! However, Piper always appreciates a second and third opinion from her director and interview coach…oh, and her mama. FYI, If you want to snag her style, Piper often grazes the racks White House-Black Market, BCBG, and Regalia (a gown boutique in Florida).
Of course, Piper is nervous about the televised pageant; however, she welcomes her nerves to fuel a fun-filled competitive spirit. Should she walk away with the crown, Piper will score a $50,000 scholarship, in addition to representing the Miss America Organization.
At the end of the day….the end of the competition…whatever it may be…you want to be yourself. So many different people want to help and advise you how to look, how to walk, how to dance…but you want to be yourself. On January 12th, 2013, I will be on stage by myself, and it is my time to feel empowered. -Piper Stoeckel
Feel free to tweet Piper @MissAZ2012