Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"What can you do to make Miss America relevant?": My Day in the TN House of Representatives

I would compare my feeling of walking into the Tennessee State Capitol, just before a meeting of the House of Representatives, as the average girl would compare being let loose into the Neiman's shoe department-- Overwhelmed, but in the very best kind of way.

Those of you who know me know I love politics, I love law, and I also just happen to love shoes. For many years now, the usual first statement that I hear after being asked what career choice I have chosen to pursue is "OH! Like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde!"

Um. Because I have a lot of hair and dress nicely? Thanks.

Most of the time I quickly skew their "quick-to-judge" opinion of me the second they begin to question my opinions on hot button issues and local news.

So, I won't say I wasn't nervous about wearing my crown into the House of Representatives-- I didn't want a single person there to assume that because I was wearing a crown and red lipgloss that I wouldn't be able to have an intelligent conversation.

They didn't.

Sitting with Representative Matthew Hill (part of Washington County - From Jonesborough, woo!) and Representative Glen Casada (part of Williamson County), I felt right home. I talked with them about my platform, Let's Make "Healthy" Fun!, and my love of working in politics and hopes of becoming a district attorney one day. They showed a genuine interest, asked me questions, and Rep. Casada even invited me to appear at an event for Get Fit Tennessee in Nashville. [Sidenote: I also swiftly schooled them on the difference between Miss America and Miss USA.]

I guess what I am trying to say is that over and over again we are asked, "What can you do to make Miss Tennessee and Miss America more relevant?"

The answer is to SHOW THEM. That's all you can do to make anything more relevant-- Show them what you are doing, WORK to get yourself out there. That's all it takes. Say Yes, I wear make up, Yes, I have a giant sparkling crown on my head and tell them what that crown is helping you to accomplish.

They'll listen.

Jennifer Leigh :)

With Matthew Hill

With Glen Casada

With Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell

1 comment:

  1. I am very proud of you, Jennifer. You did a great job in Nashville. Great pics, too!