SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) — Say hello to the 2023 Heartshine Pageant state of California queens.
Eight women from ages 16 to 60 proudly wear their crowns and state title sashes.
The newly crowned Heartshine Pageant queens are celebrating their new titles and how they will reign and represent the state this year.
“Five African-American wonderful women that were crowned queen and one Latino woman and it was during Black History Month, what are the odds of that?” said Shlanda Breeden, Ms. California state queen.
Mrs. California state queen elite Deirdre Bolden said she’s been taking part in pageants for the past 13 years.
“I have never seen that before to be honest with you in any pageant system,” Bolden said.
Heartshine Pageant was created in the town of Paradise. Co-director Danna Mack-Barnes said the diversity of contestants is significant.
The women said they choose to compete in Heartshine because points are scored based on what they do for their communities, not how they wear their gowns.
“Heartshine is a service-based volunteer pageant. We are more concerned with inner beauty than we are outer beauty,” Bolden said.
Now the women are connected by the crowns they wear and their community service and they hope to inspire all women.
“The mission is always let your heart shine bright, always give back to the community,” Mack-Barnes said.
Miss California state queen teen Michalia Banks said diversity is everywhere.
“Black women can do anything,” she said. “They can go out into the community, they can go out and do pageants and win just like me.”
The national pageant will be held in Sacramento this fall.
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