PHOENIX -- Congratulations to Jennifer Smestad! This weekend, the Gilbert resident was crowned Miss Arizona 2013. Jennifer will represent our state this fall at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.
The Grand Canyon University junior entered the Miss Arizona pageant as the reigning "Miss City of Maricopa." She is majoring in communications, and describes herself in her twitter profile as a country singer and songwriter.
She says a lot of preparation goes into getting ready for a pageant. "You need to learn a lot about yourself, and your opinions about the hot topics," Jennifer told Yetta Gibson on Monday's Good Morning Arizona. "It's a lot about empowering yourself as a woman."
She talked to us about some of the prep work she did ahead of time, especially when it comes to tough interview questions. "I think it kind of just comes to you," she says. "I just do a couple of interview practices with a coach that I have. We just practice random questions and I have to keep thinking on my feet."
Jennifer's platform is "Hope and Support for Children with Neurological Disorders." It's an issue close to her heart, since she lives with Tourette's syndrome. She was diagnosed at 10 years old and has had to overcome many challenges growing up, such as making friends and learning how to write.
We asked Jennifer about some of the behind-the-scenes pageant secrets. She confirmed that contestants do use duct tape used to hold things in place. She also said some girls use hairspray on their face to keep their makeup from melting off.
She says many young women use Vaseline on their teeth to help maintain their smile. She also acknowledges that spoons can help control under-eye puffiness, and a few other unconventional practices.
"We actually do use a spray adhesive," Jennifer reveals, laughing. "It's called butt glue.Apparently it makes your swimsuit sick to you so it doesn't move when you walk around."
The Miss America Pageant airs September 15, 2013, from Atlantic City, New Jersey.