FARMINGTON – The United States of America’s pageant winner for the title of Mrs. Maine 2022 is Emily Bailey, who chose to represent the town of Farmington upon entering the competition.
Having received a business degree and worked in banking for a while, Bailey needed a change.
“I wasn’t super passionate about what I was doing, and I was really looking to fulfill myself, so that was when I decided I wanted to step back from working for a little bit, and that led me to my journey now,” Bailey said. “I’m a licensed aesthetician. I started my own business this year, and during that I had a friend that had done the Mrs. Maine pageant, and she was like, ‘you’d be such a great candidate’…so that is what led me to go for it.”
With a history in body-building competition, Bailey stated that it wasn’t a significant change to taking the stage for the pageantry competition, but the difference was meaningful.
“Body-building is great, but they don’t really take the time to get to know you as a person, versus in pageantry it’s very much like, who you are, what your skills set is, what you bring to the table, how you contribute to society,” Bailey said. “It’s kind-of more deep.”
Part of the depth of Bailey’s new title includes the responsibilities that accompany the role, such as utilizing her platform to help bring awareness to organizations and events, volunteering, representing the pageantry system and being a good citizen.
Bailey, a loving mom, wife and owner of BareBeautyCo. in Winslow, has had her hands full with the competition, but the feeling of accomplishment and personal fulfillment is an irreplaceable piece of her journey.
“I was very proud of myself for being able to do it. I was a first-time competitor in the pageantry system, so it was unique to be able to come out and have that title. It means a lot to me because I didn’t grow up thinking this was ever something I would ever be,” Bailey said. “It means a lot to me to be able to represent the state and empower other women…it’s okay to have something and to do something for yourself.”
Bailey stated that there are a number of misconceptions about pageantry, including that of competitors being stuck-up or snooty, and wants people to know that it’s not like that at all.
Bailey also wants to encourage anyone interested in pageantry competitions to take the leap and go for it. Having herself been concerned about what the competition would be like, she wants to dispel those concerns for others.
“It was like a sisterhood. I was worried, like, oh my gosh what if this is cut-throat?” Bailey said. “I was worried that it was going to be super intense, but it was very welcoming…It’s a great way to build friendships and build a network, too.”
Bailey gave some advice for aspiring pageantry competitors and shared her motto for trying new things—the motto she used to get through a career change and get the most out her journey to becoming the USOA’s Mrs. Maine 2022.
“Feel the fear and face it anyway. I have said that to myself a hundred and one times,” Bailey said. “It took me a while to realize that, yes, there are things that are scary…take the risk; jump and do it anyway.”