Winning contestants get personal


The new Miss Waterbury wants to stand up for most women who aren’t represented in the media.
Laura Christie was selected as the new Miss Greater Waterbury on Sunday night at Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School.
As a new candidate for the Miss Connecticut title, Christie has chosen a “social impact statement” she calls, “Beauty Beyond Size.” After she was crowned, Christie explained, her social impact statement is “where I empower women to be bold, brave, and beautiful.”
“As a woman who is plus-sized herself, I’m really passionate about this movement (of body positivity), and I hope to spread it to my local community,” said Christie, who is from Woodbridge.
This is the first year where the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Organization has not had a swimsuit competition. The change reflects the changes at the Miss America Organization, where swimsuits have been retired and the current emphasis is on the talent and scholarship of the candidates.
Christie said she has been competing for a crown at Miss Connecticut since 2013. But the revisions in the nature of the competition inspired her to try again this year. “I really did think it was important for me to join in this year because of all the changes.”
“I really think it’s important the changes Miss America is making in order to be more inclusive to all women,” said Christie.
Now that she has the Miss Greater Waterbury title, Christie said, “I really am going to try to get out into the greater Waterbury community and just spread my platform, go to as many events as possible, and really make connections with individuals.”
The new Miss Greater Waterbury’s Outstanding Teen Alexandria Maisto, a Wolcott resident, also has a personal story attached to her social impact statement.
Maisto’s social statement is “Listen Up There’s Hope for Hearing.” Maisto, who wears a hearing aid herself, said her social impact statement “shows that no matter if you have a hearing aid or disability you can do it and you can overcome (obstacles).”
“I used to be so self-conscious about (my hearing aid) but getting into this organization has done so much for me,” said Maisto. “I’m so mind-blown about getting this title.”
Autumn Schless, the new Miss Naugatuck Valley’s Outstanding Teen, also chose a social impact statement that reflects her own adversities. “My platform is teen advocacy for food allergies,” said Schless, who is from Simsbury. She, her brother, and her cousins all have food allergies.
“I have to make sure of what I eat every single day,” Schless said. “I don’t share food at lunch… I get a lot of things that are made for food allergies that are so helpful.”
The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant will be held in June 2019 at The Palace Theater in Waterbury.