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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Jun 6, 2022

With Taylor Hale, Miss Michigan USA 2021


What do you think of when you hear the words “beauty pageant contestant?” Are you envisioning a gorgeous woman with great posture, professionally-applied makeup, and beautifully styled hair? While beauty pageant contestants can also be intelligent, articulate, and talented, as a society, we tend to focus more on a person’s physical attributes. But if beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, how do we define feminine beauty today? Are pageants an outdated concept? Are we sending the wrong message to young women by creating an artificial reality with Instagram-perfect images and carefully retouched photos? At a time when celebrities and social media influencers are dictating what is considered beautiful and desirable, are beauty pageants even relevant?


Today, the role of a pageant winner is far more important than just a pretty stand-in for a photo opp; she’s an ambassador and advocate for a variety of social causes who makes personal appearances on behalf of her chosen platform. Her participation not only draws more attention to a specific cause, it often increases public support for the cause as well.


My guest today is Miss Michigan USA 2021, Taylor Hale. We’re going behind the scenes of beauty pageants with Taylor to learn how pageant contestants differ today from previous years and discover just what it takes to become a pageant winner and how titleholders can make a positive impact on our society.


What You’ll Hear on This Episode:


  • What was Taylor’s childhood like?


  • 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?
  • 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 one 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, 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.”



  • “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 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