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Miss Northern California- Beyond Beauty for Girls

10430884_1024805167547916_6273712213128090267_nHello again! For those of you haven’t seen my previous guest blogs, my name is Molly Crawford and I am Miss Northern California Regional 2015. I am so grateful to have the opportunity, yet again, to share with the Miss California social media community! Click the links below to take a look at my other posts and get to know me a little better.

One of the greatest parts of competing in the Miss America Organization is the element of service that is constantly fulfilled with the journey each contestant takes in advocacy for a service platform, that is usually near and dear to her heart. The nation wide platform for our program is the Children’s Miracle Network (have you 11070796_10206524385889364_6409944474216505151_n-1ordered your Miracle Band yet?!), which all of the titleholders and contestants raise money for in their efforts on the #Road2MissA. I spent a morning at Children’s Hospital Oakland, in honor of the inaugural Miss America Serves Day, where I had the opportunity to see these fundraising efforts in action. Watching the fundraising efforts of the Miss America Organization come to fruition, encompassing all important aspects of the “make a difference” concept that the platform element encourages, and spending time with the patients and my Miss California sisters, are all valuable and humbling experiences, that helped inspire me to make my own change.
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In the summer before I started high school, I struggled with body image issues, which lead to an eating disorder that I hid from everyone. As a 14 year old, I did not know how to rise above the opinions of others and took matters into my own hands, landing me in the emergency room, with a tube in my arm, that re-nourished the huge nutritional deficit I inflicted upon myself. My dance career was put on hold and at risk. I spent the first semester of my freshman year in independent study to fully recover and regain physical and mental strength. I felt hopeless, lost, ugly and like no one could understand this constant battle of looking in the mirror every day, and being repulsed by what I saw. The loneliness, frustration, and sadness took a toll that occasionally still haunts me today. This experience also helped inspire me to make my own change.
298219_10200930813013538_1738026875_n“Beyond Beauty for Girls” was founded by Miss Maryland 2010, Lindsay Staniszewski, and has set out on a mission to end negative self fat talk, and to crush the stereotype media today has placed on what it means to be beautiful. Since 2013, I’ve had the opportunity to be a California Ambassador with this organization, using the titles I’ve had with the MAO as a vehicle to make these concerns heard. The way young women see themselves, especially in stages of development like middle and high school, is so incredibly important. Being an advocate for self love and acceptance has challenged me to develop my own insecurities into something positive and raw. Taking the opportunities to speak about self esteem issues with the Girl Scouts, special needs and education programs, and within my own community and home, has helped me be the change I want to see in the world. The Miss America Organization gave me the courage to speak up, be heard, and make a difference, if not on a grand scale of the masses, definitely for the 14 year old me who looked in the mirror and had no hope to feel beautiful, strong, or comfortable in her own skin.
Join me in the #BeyondBeauty movement! Tag us in your most beautiful moments on social media! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @MissNorCalRegional
Molly Crawford
Miss Northern California Regional