On June 6, Addison Price,a marketing junior from Edmond, was crowned Miss Oklahoma. In January she will be competing against 50 other women who have won their state’s title in the Miss America competition. She sat down with the O’Colly to talk about her win, pageantry and the impact she hopes to leave on others.
Q: What was it like when they called your name saying you won the pageant?
A: It was definitely a moment I had dreamed about for a really long time and throughout my whole preparation I always would imagine and kinda visualize what that moment would be like. But it is definitely a moment that you can’t prepare for. So when I actually heard my name called and they announced me as the new Miss Oklahoma, it almost didn’t feel real and it feels like you go into an out of body experience where you don’t know how you’re reacting, what your emotions are being portrayed as. I remember, it’s kinda funny now, but I remember thinking in my head ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t even know if I’m crying or not right now.’ Looking back at it now, I thought all my pictures when they come back, they’d be completely smiling and just have these beautiful crowning moment pictures. Of course, I get them back and I completely did the ugly cry and it was a full on ugly cry where you can see just this shock of this dream of mine really did come true. I knew I had it in me and was capable of doing it but you can never plan for that moment of it becoming you reality.
Q:Why was this win so meaningful for you?
A: So it really comes down to the village that it takes to get you there. You will always hear any girl who competes in pageants say that it takes a village to get you where you are but it is the truest thing. My whole family was there… I had my Miss Tulsa directors, so the whole year they would push me outside of my comfort zone and they would push me because they saw that in me before I saw it in myself that I was capable of being Miss Oklahoma. There is so many people like that who just continue to pour into you and it is a volunteer based organization so all of those people are not getting paid to spend this time with me and to invest in me like how they do…The fact that no matter what the outcome is, I could have not won the pageant but they still would of been so happy and gracious to do all of that over again. That is the most humbling part of it all and I think that’s where all the ugly cry stems from cause you know you didn’t get there on your own and it really is a matter of all the people who stand behind you and support you.
Q: How did you get into pageantry?
A: So I start was a sophomore in high school and I say I started out as a little girl who couldn’t order her own food at a restaurant, I was way too shy and I felt so scared to speak up for myself. I joined pageants originally because I had a babysitter who competed in the Miss Oklahoma system as a teen and that is exactly what I’d be jumping into. Whenever I started, I showed up to my first local pageant and immediately I looked to my mom and I said ‘I do not belong here. These girls are way out of my league and they’re so much more talented than me. There’s no way I can do this.’ And she said “Ok, you signed up for your first one. You’re just going to have to finish this one and if you don’t like it, we never have to do another one.’ It took a lot of convincing for my parents to get on board with the idea of my competing in a pageant… Whenever I completed that first pageant, the competitiveness in me it really came out and I knew that I needed to be improved and I need to be worked on and I knew that the people in this organization would the people would pour into me like that. That’s what really kept me going throughout my first year of doing locals and after that, we call it the pageant bug. You get bit by the bug and you almost can’t get out of the system because it is just so amazing to be a part of and it is just so amazing it really does grow and develop you in a completely different way than you could ever imagine. It’s something that you can’t even fathom but looking back as the girl I started out as… who was too scared to order her food at a restaurant and now being able to go into a room that I have no idea who they are and talk about my goals and dreams and my desires for my life, that is what the organization is all about.
Q: What do you want to do with the Miss Oklahoma title to help the state?
A: So my social impact is ‘empowering individuals with disabilities through self advocacy.’ So I have a disability of dyslexia and I think of it as an invisible disability because you look at me and you wouldn’t know I have dyslexia but it is something that growing up I always had to struggle with accepting that about myself and I always want to shove it to the backburner and not be something that I talk about. I wouldn’t tell some of my very best friends about the fact that I had dyslexia because I thought it was a hindrance to me but now I know that it doesn’t make me different, it doesn’t make me weird and it doesn’t make me an outcast with my friends, it just taught me a different way to navigate my education and the way that I had to learn. It is just a little more challenging for me. I think it translates all across the state of Oklahoma because there are so many students who struggle with a multitude of pressure, whether it is just to feel good enough or you can’t accomplish what you are setting out to accomplish, and they need to hear the fact that no matter what obstacles or challenges that stand in their way, whether it’s disability or it’s just an internal conflict, you can achieve those dreams and you can achieve those goals and it’s not a matter of you aren’t good enough but it is just learning how to get there and learning how to fight the obstacles.
Q: Miss Oklahoma has a reputation for doing well on Miss America, do you feel the pressure to uphold that legacy?
A: I would say that every Miss Oklahoma, they definitely leave a very big pair of shoes to fill but just working with the Miss Oklahoma board the short amount of time that I have, they never place that pressure on you and they really know that every girl wears a different pair of shoes. They aren’t trying to make me fitting into the same pair of shoes that Ashely, who crowned me, wore but they are finding my own. That is something that is a key aspect to the success that the Miss Oklahoma has because they aren’t trying to fit the mold that they think Miss America wants but they are trying to develop the representative of Oklahoma as the person she needs to be in order to feel the most successful at being Miss America.
Q: What kind of Miss Oklahoma, and maybe Miss America, do you want to be?
A: I hope to be a Miss America who is a unifier. Someone who when I walk into a room as Miss Oklahoma, because you don’t really carry the name Addison Price for that year, I more so carry the name Miss Oklahoma for a year and that could translate into carrying the name Miss America for a year. When I walk into a room, I want people to know that I am that symbol of hope almost and that unifier of people that no matter what type of situation you are in, if you feel like you aren’t good enough or you come from a very rough background, you know that there is someway you can relate to me or there is someway you can talk to be and I can be that shoulder to lean on and that person you automatically feel like you can trust. That is the biggest key aspect to being in the public eye so much and just having that instant feeling of trust in someone so that is the person I want to be so that I can connect with as many Oklahomans as I can.
Q: Have you thought about the reality that you’re Miss Oklahoma and you could be Miss America?
A: You know there’s time that I’ll catch myself in the car and I think about that and the reality sets in that I’ll be competing at Miss America. The show that I have sat and watched for so long, the competition that I have sat and watched for so long since I was a little little girl. I remember seeing Miss Oklahomas compete on that stage and never thinking that that would be me. It wasn’t necessarily because I didn’t think I could do it but it just seemed like a dreamworld that you don’t even think about living in. So the fact some little girl will be watching me on stage and have those same thoughts that I did is a very surreal moment but also the same time I couldn’t be more proud to represent Oklahoma and to be out of all 44 other candidates that competed to be the one that was chosen to go to Miss America to represent all of them and all of the candidates that we have in the Miss Oklahoma organization. That is an honor because we have that long legacy but it is the girls that compete even at the local and state level that make it so strong because it is a hard competition to even get to be the state title holder. So I am very excited to be the girl who represents Oklahoma.