Ali Clair of China, Maine, was crowned Miss Maine 2013 on Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Samoset Resort and Spa in Rockport. Below are the answers Clair, a 2011 University of Maine graduate, provided to questions asked in her contestant profile:
Why did you enter the pageant?
Since competing at Miss Maine USA last year and placing 3rd runner-up, my life has changed significantly. The competition opened up the opportunity to form lasting relationships with other contestants and contacts with incredible people, which assisted in securing an amazing job, and I gained self-confidence. I can only imagine how wonderful and exciting a year as a titleholder would be and am here again this year to become the next Miss Maine USA 2013. I love and respect the USA system, I enjoy talking to people about my incredibly positive experience and encourage other young women to challenge and better themselves by competing. As the 2013 title holder, I will work to promote the USA program to the young women of Maine while helping them build confidence and awareness of the countless options they have available to them.
What do you feel is the most difficult challenge facing women today?
This is a question that I feel differs depending on where a woman is in her life. Currently, for me, I believe that the “glass ceiling” analogy of the work environment is a daunting challenge. As a young woman in the workplace, I have the daily challenge of overcoming the perception of beauty versus brains. As a pageant girl who worked hard to graduate cum laude from UMaine, made the Dean’s List and became a member of an academic honors society, I hope to be a positive reinforcement that young women can have it all: brains, beauty and a fair and equal salary.
What personal accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
I was raised to value education and leading a healthy lifestyle, so for me, my personal accomplishments are how I fulfill those two parts of my life. I believe leading a healthy lifestyle is an accomplishment with all the junk food and poor nutritional choices we have available. I eat a clean healthy diet and love to promote fitness. I am a certified fitness instructor and dance teacher. I love teaching young children, and helping them understand that being active is fun! Another accomplishment I am proud of was in college when I was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta. This was an incredible feat for me, as the society tracks your academic achievements. In turn, when they believe you are ready, they invite you to become a member. This was an important and proud goal that I succeeded in.
What are some of your favorite activities?
I love fashion, fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle. Nothing is more exciting than trying a new recipe with a healthy alternative to sugar or butter! Volunteering is also tremendously important to me.
Do you currently support and charities? If yes, which ones?
I regularly volunteer for Special Olympics and Tri for a Cure.
If you could be on the cover of any magazine, which one would it be? Why?
As a health and fitness enthusiast, I would love to someday be on the cover of Self or Women’s Health magazine. I am currently researching a masters program in the health and fitness management field, as I would love to open a full circle women’s fitness center — a place for women to focus on improving their physical and mental health, while being surrounded by supportive, confident women.
An earlier version of this story requires correction. The Miss Maine 2013 pageant took place Sunday, Jan. 27, not Jan. 28. The photo originally included with this story was of Delaney Seavey of Saco, Miss Maine Teen USA 2013, not Ali Clair. In addition, the Samoset Resort is in Rockport, not Rockland.