Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bring on 2018!

This blog was created when I found myself astonished. 

I've always said that when I started Section 36, I never imagined that it would in any way be connected with the Miss America Organization. I mean, it's a Red Sox blog...why would it? On a whim, though, I started following and interacting with titleholders on twitter. Again, I wasn't expecting anything. I'm ashamed to admit that the only thing I was was thinking was that they were Red Sox fans, and maybe they'd send some pictures for the blog. After all, I figured, no sports blog ever got fewer hits by posting pictures of attractive women. Luckily, the idea to interview them came about, and I realized that I was an idiot. These were not a bunch of pretty faces. They were so much more than that.

Lauren Kuhn started things off. She was going to be a dentist, with a degree from Harvard. Then came Alayna, on her way to being a medical examiner. Followed by another Harvard student, Alissa. They just kept coming. And not just with resumes on paper. They spoke so passionately about things. You could sense their drive. There was Rylee bravely talking about her depression as a way to remove the stigma from people battling mental illnesses. There was Emily actually changing my mind about STEM by insisting it should be STEAM. Nicolette was doing everything she could to help people join the bone marrow registry. Katie was passionately talking about how more women needed to take roles in government.

It went on and on, and I was amazed. These weren't beautiful women. (Well, they weren't JUST beautiful women.) They represented the very best part of America. They were strong, intelligent, determined women who wanted to make the world around them a much better place. My eyes had been opened, and I started to feel guilty hiding them on Section 36. People who weren't Red Sox fans needed to be exposed to their stories. They deserved to be celebrated with a wider audience.

Which is why I created Section 36 Pageants.

It's a place to celebrate them specifically, and pageantry in general. I wasn't sure how I was going to do that at first, but it has been an evolving process. I knew I wanted a place to house all the interviews with a pageant feel. I didn't want baseball card blogs on the sidebar. They deserved their own setting. So, there's a photographer on the sidebar, and their platforms. There are links to their blogs and websites. The interviews are displayed on another sidebar. I hope you agree, that it gives the feeling that they belong here. 

I wasn't sure what kind of posts would be on the blog. But, I like what I've come up with so far. I've been able to celebrate them by promoting their events, or their fundraisers. I was even able to interview a photographer, exclusively on Section 36 Pageants, who took some amazing pictures of prior visitors.

Beyond that, I've started creating a page on the blog for each visiting titleholder. That's what you'll find if you click the links on the state tabs at the top of the blog. There it will have quick information about them and their platform. I also intend to add some pictures eventually. At the moment, those are very much a work in progress, but I'm excited about what they'll become. A chance to show off these incredible women to as wide an audience as possible.

Which brings me to the most recent development. Just a couple weeks ago, I added a couple more exposure opportunities. Section 36 Pageants added both a Facebook page and an Instagram account. This allows me to share their interviews to more people, who might not be Red Sox fans. To get their message out to the world. (Once, of course, they add some likes and followers.)

Which is why 2017 was a huge year for Section 36 Pageants. It needed to be created. It needed to provide a voice to reach people like me. And then it grew to try and reach even more people. Hopefully that can continue in 2018.

I certainly hope Section 36 adds more interviews. A visitor every Friday would be fantastic, as long as there are enough willing titleholders. (Are you a current MAO titleholder, and a Red Sox fan of some degree? You could be added to the list! Drop me a line to let me know who you are.) I also know that this blog will get better. The titleholder profile pages will be completed, and then improved. I hope the blog itself will continue promoting all the good that the titleholders are doing. Who knows, maybe one of the visitors will add a guest blog to the mix. How much fun would it be to see a titleholder use an entire blog post to talk about her platform in a way that only they can?

And I'd like to add more pageant content to the blog. Maybe add a page of photographers who have done sessions with visitors. Or, clothing companies that have dressed them. Or make-up, or salons. 

I'm excited by this opportunity, and I can't wait to get started. I can't wait to see what 2018 brings and what I can come up with. What ways I can celebrate these amazing women.

They definitely deserve it.

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