Dexter woman seeks Mrs. America title

Sunday, March 6, 2011

DEXTER, Mo. -- A Dexter woman who isn't afraid to skip out on gym time to play "superheroes" with her son and jokes about being a "MacGyver pageant queen" will represent Missouri in next month's Mrs. America Pageant.

Rachel Watson was crowned as Mrs. Missouri last month in Branson. Now the 25-year-old real estate agent will compete in the 35th Mrs. America Pageant on April 14 in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The pageant will be televised Mother's Day weekend with a network to be named.

"This is not one of the pageants where the prettiest girl wins -- the prettiest girl can win, but in the American system, public speaking and interview are more important than any other skills to them," Watson said.

In fact, 50 percent of scores in the Mrs. America pageants are based on interview, she said.

Watson said she began competing in pageants when she was a teenager.

"I made the decision myself to do pageants," Watson said. "After high school, they are few and far between. After you're, you do one of two things -- die off of the pageant circuit or you enter Mrs. pageants."

For the past couple years, Watson said she thought about competing in a large state pageant.

"I was at my house one night and got on the Mrs. Missouri America website and I thought: 'Just do it,'" Watson said. "So I filled out the application and was accepted."

Watson was crowned Mrs. Missouri on Feb. 5 and has since been making some appearances while preparing for the Mrs. America Pageant.

"It's very, very busy -- but it's a good type of busy. I'm not complaining," Watson said.

During her reign as Mrs. Missouri, Watson said she'd love to speak on Christian radio and to youth groups.

"Right now as Mrs. Missouri I can affect people in Southeast Missouri and my town," she said. "When you have a crown, it makes your voice louder and gives you opportunities you otherwise may not have been able to have to affect those youth."

As the national competition approaches, Watson said she's anxious but not nervous.

"There's only so much prep work you can do," Watson said. "I can brush up on my interview skills and establish what colors look best, but at the end of day, I hope they want Rachel Watson and what I have to offer to represent married American women."

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