FARMINGTON — Emily Bailey took home the crown for Mrs. Maine 2022 while representing Farmington in November 2021. And it was only the first pageant competition she entered.

Emily Bailey, representing Farmington, won the Mrs. Maine 2022 crown in November 2021. Bailey credits the win to her self-confidence and passion for empowering women to be leaders. Bailey moves on to the Mrs. United States pageant in February. Submitted photo

Bailey, a Winslow native, originally had a background in body building competitions. A client at Bailey’s salon and spa, Barebeautyco, suggested she compete in pageants. But Bailey, who describes herself as “super laid back,” was skeptical — to say the least.

“I was like, ‘oh, I don’t know — are the girls going to cut my dress backstage? Is it die hard?'” Bailey recalled.

Bailey said she “decided to take a leap of faith and do it.” And ultimately, “really enjoyed [the] process,” “made life-long friends” and felt happy to “step out of [her] comfort zone, try something new and challenge [herself].”

As all queens do, Bailey went into the competition for the Maine division of the United States National Pageants with a platform: empowering women to be leaders.

In partnership with Bombshell wax, Bailey wants to “help women or girls (getting ready to go on the college-age level) and establish a women’s leadership group in order to help entrepreneurial women.”

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Bailey is also hoping to sponsor woman-owned businesses and create a scholarship for women ages 18 and older who want to pursue business.

Bailey envisions the statewide women leadership group starting in Farmington, where she lives and is raising her son.

The focus on empowering women, particularly women entrepreneurs, comes from Bailey’s balancing act as a wife, mother and business owner.

Though Bailey feels newly in her element in pageantry, she feels particularly at home in the “Mrs.” division for married women. In this division, she said all of her fellow competitors had children and most had their own business.

“I have found that in the Mrs. division, we all face the same challenges,” she said. “We were able to collaborate, talk and share our experiences.”

Those shared experiences include the juggling act of being a mother and business owner while still needing to take care of oneself.

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“That was really eye opening,” she said.

Bailey attributes the win at her very first pageant to her “stage presence.” She believes that the winning qualities in a pageant queen go beyond those of a competitive body-builder where “they are judging you solely on your physique.”

“Pageantry is very different,” Bailey said. “[The judges] get the opportunity to gauge ‘Is she a good citizen? Does she contribute to society? How does she hold herself?'”

“You don’t have to be the skinniest, prettiest girl on stage,” she added. “They care more about how you carry yourself and how you exude confidence … how you shine through on the stage.”

Bailey described her pageantry stage presence as having “more finesse,” elegance and, of course, a big smile.

“I think I stood out because I felt comfortable. I feel comfortable, confident with myself as a person,” Bailey said.

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Nevertheless, Bailey still described herself as a “goober” when she watched the recording of the competition.

“I crack up when I watch it,” Bailey said.

She said she was “super honored” when she was crowned. And “proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new.”

“I felt in that [crowning] moment pure joy and excitement,” Bailey said.

However, she is not surprised she won.

“I am confident in who I am as a person. I went into [the pageant] with an open mind and an open heart,” she said. “And I did believe that I am worthy of the title. I think that showed up not only in my stage presence, but also the way I conducted myself in my interview. And the way I conduct myself on a day-to-day basis.”

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With nationals looming in the distance, there was little time to bask in the glory.

“As soon as I got my crown, my sash, we did a ton of photos … immediately after that I was able to change out of my gown and it was down to business,” she said. “That’s how [processing the win, moving on to nationals] got extremely real.”

Bailey is headed to the national competition for Mrs. United States in Las Vegas at the beginning of February. Though she is excited to travel out West, it won’t be too much of a vacation, she said.

Simply put, “Vegas? It’s gonna be a lot of work,” she said.

Despite the stress of preparation, Bailey is still excited and proud to have won, especially when young girls approach her and ask her “how does it feel to be a princess?”

And Bailey always uses that opportunity to continue spreading her platform. She said she always asks them “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and responds to their answers with “You can definitely do that. You can be whatever you want to be.”

“[Those moments are] instilling in these young girls from a young age that you can do anything you put your mind to,” Bailey said. “I take that moment to inspire them.”


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