Lisa Hicks is a blogger that writes about pageants from a bit of a different perspective. With a title like "More Than Just Your Average Pageant Blog", Lisa lives up to the hype by crushing many of the stereotypes associated with pageantry. Recently, she interviewed me for a special post entitled, "The Rose and the Thorn of Pageants," in which she gathered points of view from several actual titleholders. A true journalist, she quizzed me on some tough questions... and documented my honest and candid answers on tape! I could give my own introduction to this interview, but I felt that Lisa did it so much better than I ever could! Here's what she wrote about our convo together, and the actual interview is just below!!!!!

(P.S.: If you would like to read Lisa's entire post and check out her fascinating blog, click here.)

...I sat down with the current Miss United States, Ashley C. Smith. Smith a self-proclaimed tomboy entered the world of pageants at the age of 16, not because she wanted to prove she was the prettiest or most popular; but to make friends. She viewed her high school pageant as a way to meet new people and gain a new experience in life.  Little did she know that she would win the title on her second try but also that it would launch her into a 7-year pageant career that would assist her in paying for her college education.  In the beginning she didn’t think she would be good at competing in pageants but through it all she maintained a positive attitude and even when she didn’t win the title, used the experience to make her into the woman she is today. When asked what the “thorn” of competing in pageants was for her she said that it was the fact that she did not start younger.  Ashley views pageants as an opportunity to meet people and network not as a beauty or popularity contest.   Throughout her 7-year journey to a state and national title Ashley has continued to be an example to others by not giving up and not stopping when people doubted her.  As Miss United States Ashley will spend the year promoting her platform, “Breast Cancer- It’s not just Heredity”. Smith chose this platform because of her mother who is an 8-year survivor of breast cancer.  As you will see in the interview clip... Ashley has a passion for others and is beautiful both inside and out. She has used what she has learned in pageants too not only be better-rounded women but to show others the power of perseverance.