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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Jan 9, 2023

With Taylor Hale, Miss Michigan USA 2021


Little did we know when Florine interviewed former Miss Michigan USA pageant winner, Taylor Hale, earlier this year that she was about to embark on a completely different type of reality TV competition that would crown her the winner and almost $1,000,000 (one million dollars) richer. As the season 24 winner of CBS TV’s “Big Brother,” Taylor won the $750,000 grand prize and became the first Black female to win the coveted title. Taylor also achieved another “first” by becoming the only series winner to ever be voted “America’s Favorite Houseguest” by the viewers, which brought her another $50,000. The same charming personality traits and people skills that earned Taylor the title of “Miss Congeniality” during her pageant days also impressed her fellow housemates who voted 8-1 for her as the “Big Brother” winner. But although she eventually won the respect and admiration of her fellow housemates and the TV audience, the road to the winners’ circle wasn’t an easy one. Early on, Taylor experienced instances of bullying and racism from her fellow housemates. But in choosing to respond with grace and dignity by forgiving those who attacked her, Taylor slowly made inroads and ultimately earned the respect of her fellow competitors. Instead of letting someone else’s bad behavior block her from achieving her goal, she kept her eye on the prize and focused on her dream of becoming the first black woman to win the competition. So how has Taylor’s life changed since winning the title? Well… it turns out the monetary prize wasn’t the only souvenir she took from her time in the Big Brother house. She formed a very strong friendship with her former housemate and fellow competitor, Joseph Abdin, who was one of her strongest allies in the house and a welcome source of support. But once the series ended, their relationship began to heat up and romance blossomed. If you want to find out what’s next for the pair and more about this beautiful, talented and delightful young woman, you’ll want to check out Florine’s interview with Taylor from earlier this year.


What You’ll Hear on This Episode:


  • What was Taylor’s childhood like?


  • Who inspired Taylor to start competing in pageants throughout her life?
  • What was it like for Taylor to attend George Washington in DC?
  • How did Taylor get started in blogging and fashion?
  • Did Taylor get started in politics while in college?
  • Was Taylor popular or bullied in school?
  • How did Taylor’s parents help build her confidence?
  • Did Taylor ever suffer from body image issues?
  • How did the pageant world help Taylor develop healthy habits?
  • What inspired Taylor to enter her first beauty pageant?
  • How does Taylor train for a pageant?
  • How many other women competed in Miss Michigan, and what are they like? 
  • Is it expensive to be in pageants and are there sponsorships?
  • Is there diversity and representation in the pageant world?
  • What are the other contestants like?
  • How does being in pageants affect Taylor’s dating life?
  • How has Taylor used her title to inspire others?
  • What did Taylor enjoy most about pageants?
  • What does Taylor do today professionally?
  • Taylor shares some success stories from her work as a personal stylist.


Today’s Takeaway:

There is no single standard that defines what is beautiful.

Various cultures around the world define the concept of physical

perfection differently. But the truth is that real beauty comes in all

shapes and sizes. It’s important to recognize that genuine beauty is

not merely skin deep; rather how we behave and treat others is the

real testament to our attractiveness.


Remember that every day is a gift and the gift that we get from learning to appreciate and honor our own beauty, both inside and out, will allow us not only to value ourselves, but we can share the spotlight and appreciate the beauty of others. Think of it this way, the most beautiful gardens are made up of a wide variety of flowering plants, each one with its own unique appearance. On their own, each of these flowers is lovely, but when combined together, they make for an absolutely dazzling array of colorful blooms. Our individual differences are what make us shine when we unite together.

I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway” and if you enjoy

this podcast, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.



  • “If not me, then who?” — Taylor
  • “These are just stories that moved me. I got to see who these women were from a holistic standpoint and I was completely sold on competing.” — Taylor
  • “That’s how I learned that you can still value beauty; you can value style and fashion without sacrificing your intelligence.” — Taylor
  • “I don’t want to be President, but I wouldn’t mind being Chief of Staff.” — Taylor 
  • “What’s important to me is being visible.” — Taylor 
  • “I want to make sure that I’m actually representing where I actually came from.” — Taylor 
  • “Everybody there wants to be the best. It ups the ante for competition but you’re never alone.” — Taylor 
  • “It’s beyond friendship. It’s a sisterhood bond.” — Taylor 
  • “I can’t fix everything happening in the world, I can’t change everybody’s opinion of me. All I can do is be the best version of myself.” — Taylor
  • “Not everyone’s going to like me and if everybody does like me, that means I’m losing a little bit of myself and I always want to be true to who I am.” — Taylor
  • “The body that I had at Miss USA is not the body that I have now but the eating routines, the healthy habits that I made, those are what’s important to me and those are the things that will stick with me for the rest of my life.” — Taylor
  • “Don’t do it for the body. Do it for the health.” — Taylor
  • “I want to be a human being first that just so happens to have a crown and a sash on her as well.” — Taylor
  • “I think what we all do every day is pageantry!” — Taylor


Brought to You By:

Gardner White Furniture


Mentioned in This Episode:

Taylor Hale on Instagram @thetaylormack


Miss Michigan USA 2021 on Instagram