Two years ago, young Aubrey Laine Armstrong entered a pageant just for fun. She then found herself in Los Angeles, dancing her heart out. Now she’s in Chicago for the 2017 National Miss Amazing Pageant.
Aubrey is a 7th-grade student at Oxford Middle School. Diagnosed with Downs Syndrome, she decided to start competing in the Miss Amazing Pageant, an organization set up for women with disabilities. Performing is something Aubrey loves to do; she enjoys being on stage and having a microphone.
“Aubrey is just a sassy girl that never meets a stranger,” said her mother, Holly Armstrong. “She’s never let her disability hold her back from trying new stuff.”
This year’s National Miss Amazing Pageant is being held in the Windy City itself, Chicago. Aubrey and her mother drove all the way from Oxford to Chicago on Wednesday. After a long day of travel, Thursday was set aside as a tour day, where they could explore the city and visit with one of Aubrey’s old babysitters. Aubrey loves to travel and meet new people.
The pageant officially begins on Friday with interviews with each contestant. The talent portion is Saturday—where Aubrey will again be dancing—and Sunday is for evening wear and crowning Miss Amazing 2017. While there is an official winner of the competition, every contestant is recognized in some way.
When asked about the competition, Aubrey said she’s not nervous at all.
“I’m just really super excited. I like to dance a lot. I love Taylor Swift and Katy Perry,” Aubrey said.
Aubrey first entered a regional competition in Jackson in 2015 and then got to go to nationals in Los Angeles. Aubrey was excited to compete and perform in front of everyone there, especially other women who also had disabilities.
“It was good for us to see how Aubrey was with other girls with disabilities around her age,” Holly said. “She made a lot of friends who she still follows on Instagram.”
This year’s regional competition was in Southaven, Mississippi and Aubrey was the winner.
“Aubrey stole the show with her talent competition,” Holly said. “She loves it. She likes being on stage and performing.”
The Armstrongs moved from Jackson to Oxford a few years ago due to the high-quality education system in Oxford. Holly thought it would be a much more welcoming and healthy community for Aubrey to grow up in. When they told their friends and family that they won the regional pageant, everyone was supportive of their endeavor to go to Chicago.
“Oxford is a wonderful community and they got behind Aubrey,” Holly said. “She’s fun and she’s different; people just kind of gravitate towards her.”
Aubrey plays tennis, is on the Oxford Middle School cheer squad, and loves her dog, Delilah, who is enjoying Chicago with Aubrey and her mother. Two of her goals are to run out on the field with the Ole Miss football team (her favorite player is Shea Patterson) and also to be featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show.
Walter Lyle is the social media editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.