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The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

BHSS student or pageant queen? Elly Axsom is both.

BHSS+student+or+pageant+queen%3F+Elly+Axsom+is+both.

BHSS junior, Elly Axsom, won the local pageant title, Miss Collegiate South’s Outstanding Teen 2023. Because of this new held title, Axsom will be moving onto the Miss Indiana Outstanding Teen competition, where if they can secure a win, they will move on to Miss America’s Outstanding Teen. 

Axsom has wanted to compete in the pageant world since they were in the fourth grade, when her sister first started competing on the circuit. This win has become a full circle moment for Axsom, who’s older sister, Emily Axsom, also won this title when she was Elly’s age. 

As a pageant title holder, Axsom will be completing a year of service until she crowns a new Miss Collegiate South’s Outstanding Teen next January. Her platform for their year of service is called “How the Arts Can Heal,” which is all about teaching kids about the positive impact art, music, theatre, and performing can have on one’s mental health. 

“One of my biggest goals is to create a program in the curriculum for K-6 students to be able to have the opportunity to be involved in the arts in school because I know that I didn’t have the opportunity to get involved when I was growing up,” Axsom said. They want to make serious changes for the youth of our community by talking to different important people about her service platform.

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Axsom expressed her feelings for the pageant organization, “I’m really grateful that I was introduced to the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization at such a young age, just because it has changed my life in so many ways. Whether that be because of the people I met or because of the scholarship money that I won, I am forever grateful.”

They want people to understand that the pageant industry is actually way more inclusive than people tend to think. “It’s honestly my favorite week of the year,” she said. A lot of people think that the industry is similar to the TV show Toddlers and Tiaras, but on the contrary, it is actually very chill. The girls that compete at Miss Indiana often form very close bonds during the competition week and some will stay in communication for years following the pageant.

“The biggest thing pageants have taught me is to not judge others. I feel like people probably think that the pageant world is so cut throat, and that we all hate each other. But in reality that is so far from the truth, and these are some of the most wonderful people that I have ever met,” stated Axsom. 

She talked about the impact that being in this type of leadership position can have in one’s life. “Having a crown, people will listen and people will look at you, and that’s kind of game changing when you want to get your point across, but people will also judge you for having a crown.”

They shared that it can be frustrating when people think they know what you are like just for competing in pageants. Overall, Axsom is hoping to create changes in our community, and is grateful that she has the platform to do that.

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Ashton Crosley, Editor, Ad Manager, Social Media Manager
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