I had the honor of being in the presence of some of the most beautiful young ladies I ever met during last Saturday's Laurel Hill School Beauty Pageant.


I had the honor of being in the presence of some of the most beautiful young ladies I ever met during last Saturday's Laurel Hill School Beauty Pageant.



On stage, young constants wowed the crowd. But once off stage, there were unfazed, still glowing young ladies, and there were completely crushed ones. Defeated teen princesses let the tears fall and makeup smear. Many said “I just wanna go home!”



Thankfully, my little princess was part of the first group.



Please do not take this the wrong way, Lady Hoboes. I am not picking on you. I have been in your “high heels.” (Granted, it was a long, long time ago.) But I would like to take this opportunity to offer some advice.



At the beginning of LHS pageant season, I ask my daughters if they want to participate. If yes is the answer, we proceed. But if the desire isn’t there, that ends the conversation. When one of my daughters does enter the pageant, we make that our fun, dress-up time together with no interruptions from brothers or daddy.



Look at this time as an opportunity to be a princess. Please don't concern yourself so much with a title. Regardless of a woman's age, there is always a time when the need to dress up and wear pretty things arises. So take advantage of it!



Live in the moment and have confidence in yourself. Remember: The crowd greets you with cheers and claps because you have the confidence and courage to participate. You are beautiful to the audience because they’re your friends and family.



Whether you are awarded a title from five random people shouldn’t cloud the fact that you are already royalty in so many others' eyes. If people love you for who you are — the person inside, not out — you're crowned every time, hands down!



Remember: Physical beauty will fade, but caring for those who care for you, and enjoying each moment to its full potential, will last as long as you let it.



You are all Miss Laurel Hill.



Amber Kelley lives in Laurel Hill. Send news or comments to Hobo.homefront@gmail.com or P.O. Box 163, Laurel Hill, FL, 32567.