BLUEFIELD, Va. —Imagine that you have spent the better part of your life preparing for a moment like this, the lights shine in your face, you hold the hand of the girl next to you, time slows as they say your name and cheers erupt. This was the experience of Rachel Stacy when she was crowned Miss Glam World 2019 in Cochin, India on April 27.
Stacy grew up in Bluefield, Va., attended Graham High School and graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University after studying psychology, human nutrition and exercise health promotion. Her family still lives in Bluefield, Va. while she has relocated to Atlanta, Ga. to pursue her dreams of acting and modeling.
Stacy was inspired to start competing in pageants after attending the Miss Virginia USA pageant in 2006. Her cousin, Amber Copley was competing in the pageant and Stacy said she was enamored by the event.
“I did not start competing until 2013, and I competed in USA pageants for eight years until my eligibility ran out,” Stacy said. “I tell people I do not regret anything about it because I won a whole lot more than from a title. All of the opportunities I have received from pageantry I became who I am today.”
Stacy’s agent was on the judging panel of one of those pageants and signed her after judging her performance, “My agent now was on the judging panel and he liked me so much he signed me that week so I attribute a lot of my success to that,” she said.
Stacy has competed internationally twice and has now won a title. She said she loves where she is from, but that wants her success to be an inspiration to others.
Stacy’s first time competing internationally was in China in 2016. She received top ten photogenic in that competition. She director asked her to compete in Miss Glam World 2019 in February, with just a month and a half to prepare.
That preparation involved exercising in a gym twice per day and “buckling down” on her diet to make sure she was getting the nutrition she needed. In addition, she added that she struggled to get enough sleep daily because of her job as an actor, it is difficult to get enough sleep on set.
However, Stacy said she was honored to be able to represent the United States twice internationally. In just a few weeks, she was able to prepare for Miss Glam World 2019. This competition, in contrast to others, was focused mostly on skills.
Stacy said everyone had to wear the same color scheme for each event, a white evening dress, a red cocktail dress and a national costume. Each delegate is asked to wear a costume that best represents their country.
“It is basically a costume that best represents your country,” Stacy said. “The costume I chose for the USA, obviously because the United States is known for as an entertainment giant, I chose a Captain America costume and the shield I wore was actually from the set, it was one of 50.”
The national costume was a huge hit and the crowd went wild as soon as she walked on stage. While Stacy did admit that wearing leather in the heat of India was a bit uncomfortable.
The pageant itself was based on the runway and modeling skills of its contestants. Stacy said the contestants had to have the credibility to qualify. She is a professional model who has walked in New York Fashion week a few times.
“This pageant is more modeling runway based skills, it is not your typical beauty pageant it was more each one of these girls there are models in their own country,” Stacy said. “They would put us on uneven ground, weird shoes, underwater, in the air, suspended, they put you through the wringer and see if you can physically and mentally handle what the fashion industry throws at you.”
Stacy competed against professional level cheerleaders and a few Olympians. During the ten-day competition, Stacy won Miss Catwalk and Miss Beautiful Smile in addition to her title as the winner of Miss Glam World out of 36 contestants. The finale was held in Cochin, Kerala in India.
Stacy was shocked to be crowned the winner.
“I was standing there in the lineup and I remember I had Miss Cameroon on the right and I was death gripping her hand,” Stacy said. “They had already announced the third runner up and we all thought Miss India had the crown because she knew the style of modeling and all of the judges.”
The “MC” of the event asked the crowd who they thought won and they started chanting “USA, USA” and Stacy thought they were just being nice until they announced her name.
“It finally dawned on me that she said my name and I had that frozen deer in the headlight look,” Stacy said. “For people who know me, they know how difficult it is to make me speechless. I was shocked and they put this absolutely stunning crown on my head.”
Stacy said she would describe herself as a pageant queen, actor and model. She started out her acting career in Knoxville, Tenn. on a lot of crime shows.
“I did a lot of the murder reenactment shows, and when I exhausted that market I went to Atlanta, Ga. and didn’t want to go back to LA without more credibility on my resume,” Stacy said. “I have been on Magever, Vampire Diaries, Stranger Things and The Walking Dead. I have had a lot of experience and I hope to use this title to elevate me to another level.”
— Contact Emily Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @BDTrice