Beauty isn’t everything, but it means so much more when you’re humble and intelligent too. That is definitely the case when it comes Miss Maryland 2013 Ciera Nicole Butts. This young woman represents herself and the pageant industry in such a refreshing way. Prepare yourself to be inspired as she reveals her perception of beauty, and how she’s used her title for good.
Naté: There is no more deserving and persistent person for this title. I was truly happy to see you win it, so I must ask, how does it feel to be Miss Maryland 2013?
Ciera: Thanks so much Naté! The night that I won, I was overwhelmed with joy. This was my third attempt at a state title. I had been working extremely hard and I am so happy that it has finally paid off! Sometimes I still can’t believe that I will actually be competing in a national beauty pageant. It feels weird, but in a good way!
Naté: I don’t believe I’ve seen one bad photo of you. How do you stay so camera ready all the time?
Ciera: Haha, I’ve seen a million. But that’s because I am super hard on myself at times. When going out for appearances, I have a few favorite products that I simply can’t live without. Those products are my Ruby Woo lipstick by MAC, I Envy by Kiss eye lashes and Studio Fix foundation by MAC.
Naté: Any specific brands of skin care you use to avoid break outs?
Ciera: I have always been a lover of Neutrogena Acne Free facial wash. It’s really good on my skin and I have been using it since I was in middle school!
Naté: I must admit I am a Neutrogena girl myself. I love their Grapefruit Facial Cleansing Wipes. I’m lazy when it comes to removing my make-up late at night, so I keep them right next to my bed and the trash can. What about hair care products to avoid breakage?
Ciera: My mom is a licensed beautician so she has been doing my hair since I was born. She uses a variety of products on my hair. However, the one she uses the most is Cream of Nature; from the relaxer to the shampoo and conditioner.
Naté: With the pageant industry being so beauty driven how do you remain so humble and stay true to who you are?
Ciera: Honestly, if you don’t stay true to yourself, you will lose sight of your real goals. Yes, the pageant industry is beauty driven; however, the pageant industry is more about what you do after the crown. This is job and people don’t realize it. When being a title holder, you are a public figure in your community. You participate in volunteer work, community service, and charitable causes. It’s not all beauty.
Naté: People live by their own clichés of what beauty means to them, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s only skin deep. It doesn’t last forever.” The list goes on. We have heard them all, but what does it mean to you?
Ciera: Beauty to me is presence; it’s not just outer aesthetics. If you can walk into a room and pervade the room with a pleasant presence, you are indeed beautiful.
Naté: We all have our moments of insecurities. You know, that moment of self-doubt you get right after you eat a whole pan of brownies and you have something form-fitting to get in to? What would you tell people of any age to empower them to get over it?
Ciera: Yes, I definitely know the feeling. But I would tell them the same thing I tell myself, “Smile, you are beautiful. Your inner beauty over compensates any flaw.”
Naté: How have you used your title to give back to your community?
Ciera: I have done so much! For one, my platform is youth mentoring with a focus on inner city youth. That platform is very importing to me because I am a product of the inner city myself. I know how easy it is to fall a victim to the negative and unfortunate situations around us. I use my title to help people understand that and avoid it by all means. I have gone to speak to elementary, middle, and high schools in the city as well as worked with organizations in feeding the homeless and charitable events for breast cancer and our US Armed Forces.
Naté: I’m so glad to hear that you have been putting your title to good use. Where can we expect to see the lovely face of Ciera Nicole again? I know this will not be the last we see of you.
Ciera: Absolutely not! This is only the beginning for me. I don’t know where this title will take me, however this will not be the last of Ciera Nicole. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming and there is nothing that I can’t do.
Thank you Ciera for the interview! It was such a pleasure. You can catch the lovely Ciera Nicole at the Fashion Awards MD on June 15, 2013. She is also competing for the title of Miss United States on July 4th through July 7th,2013. Visit http://www.gofundme.com/missunitedstatesbound to learn more about her cause, show support and stay updated on the great things she is doing in the community.