It’s not every day that one gets to sit down with a beauty queen and talk about everything from relationships to god and everything in between. Tamara Braxton, AKA Mrs. Georgia Universal, spent a little time with South Atlanta Magazine and shared her story and how she earned the pageant crown in August 2020.
Braxton’s beauty queen journey started long ago. She has been competing in pageants since the sixth grade. Her reason for taking part may surprise you. “I originally got involved with pageants to have something in common with my mom. And then it just became the sport of choice,” Braxton says. She also learned chess to have something in common with her father. “I was just that kind of a kid,” Braxton added.
The happily married mother of two explained the details behind the popular pageant event. According to Braxton, competing for the State title of Mrs. Georgia is like a rigorous job interview that a contestant must endure to win the title. The National crown, which Braxton has already set her sights on in February 2021 in Greeley, Colorado, is more like a traditional pageant with swimsuit, sportswear, evening gown, and interview events.
Besides having beauty and intelligence, the official rules state that contestants must be married, and they must identify a project platform to work towards. Braxton loves the process and particularly identifies with the Mrs aspect of the pageant. “At the end of the day, you are representing marriage. The beauty and bond between husband and wife,” Braxton says. “You have to have some skin in this game,” she jokes.
IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR
In addition to the pageant guidance received from her mother, she also praises her husband for being helpful during the competition. Braxton jokingly labels her husband, Mr. Georgia Universal, as he is a real character but commends him for taking a supportive role in her endeavor. “He started a Facebook group for all the husbands to connect. Who does that?” Braxton says with a twinkle of pride in her eyes. Adding how grateful she is, that he has a general willingness to come along with her and be a part of what she is doing.
Like most pageants, contestants are required to choose a platform. Selecting a project platform is a vital step in the competition process because it raises awareness and money for a cause. It also allows the contestant to create and strive for a solution to a social issue.
Initially, family health and wellness was Braxton’s platform, but she realized there was a bigger picture she was failing to see in her own life. “Self-esteem and self-confidence have always been my area of growth,” Braxton says. With some help from a mentor, she realized the real inner conflict was her confidence and self-esteem issues. So like any strong, self-actualizing woman, she addressed them and put them out there for the world to see.
Braxton’s platform is called Power Mrs. and aims to empower women. “Power Mrs. helps women within their marriage to show up as their most beautiful and authentic self,” Braxton says. Unlike many self-help solutions the world has to offer, Braxton’s message is far from hypocritical. In fact, it’s down to earth and comes from her own struggles with confidence.
Braxton’s warm and outgoing personality is pleasant to be around. She is all smiles with an infectious laugh. She lives a full life outside the pageant circuit. She conducts speaking engagements designed to empower women. She is also a 3rd-grade teacher on top of everything else. Her desire to guide women in their quest for empowerment has transferrable skills to her teaching position. “It’s the same thing. I am standing on a stage and encouraging tiny humans to do better,” Braxton says.
It doesn’t look like Braxton’s journey is ending anytime soon. She plans on competing in future national pageants and continues to connect with her community. So keep an eye out for this rising star in 2021.