And The Winner Is...

I knew I had won as soon as I answered my on-stage question about how to increase economic development in the black community. I was thinking to myself, WOW, I can't believe I am about to take home the crown with my no makeup wearing face, kinky natural hair, natural nails and imperfect body. I really did it! 

The other contestants and I stood on stage, patiently waiting for the MC to begin announcing the awards & winners. I began reflecting on this entire experience and the reasons why I took on this challenge. It was for all the girls who think they are not good enough, for the girls who hide their flaws, for the girls who are insecure, and for the girls who have not accepted themselves for who they are naturally.

I then reflected on my competition. These ladies were kind, educated, and a lot of fun. There was even one contestant who was competing for her 3rd time. (Talk about dedication!) I thought to myself, I don't know her story but she is the definition of perseverance.  Now Focus Vernisha. Focus!

Wait a minute. I was just announced as the winner for Miss Congeniality. (Aww thank you everyone). This award goes to the person whose voted most helpful by all contestants. Things became a bit blurry, they announced 3rd runner up, and 2nd runner up. And my name hadn't been called. This is good. I got this. I did the best that I could do in all areas.  I am for sure the n....

1st Runner Up? They just announced that I was the 1st Runner Up. Smile Vernisha. Accept your trophy and smile. The winner was Ms Perseverance herself, I couldn't be mad at that. But in my head and in my heart I HAD WON! And I couldn't shake that feeling.

I HAD WON because I had did something no one has ever done.

I HAD WON because I took on a challenge that was unpopular.

I HAD WON because I gave everyone a run for their money in this competition.

I HAD WON because I felt confident, beautiful, and proud.

I HAD WON because I set my own standards of what it meant to win. 

I congratulate all the contestants and winners of the Ms. Black NC Pageant. I am excited to collaborate with them all later this year and I am BEYOND grateful for all of the support shown, to all who donated, to all who pushed and encouraged me through this process. To you I say THANK YOU!

Now the real work begins... The Miss All Natural Pageant will be here before you know it and I am ready now more than ever. I hope my girls are ready for the experience of a lifetime!