Spring Campaign for DRIFT/Channels clothing & TOR Jewelry
Miss. Charleston Int. 2015 was my first pageant. I have never experienced pageants before and before this, never expressed an interest in participating in one. Then, one day a friend who was competing in it convinced me to do it and let me tell you...it was one of the best/worst experiences of my life. Now before I begin I want to make it clear I am in no way dissing pageants or the ladies who are apart of them. Who knows, maybe I just had a bad experience or maybe they are just not for people like me...
Anyways, after my friend talked me into doing this by saying stuff like "oh come on Taryn, just do it. It is so fun!" or "You're always looking to try different things, it will be a good experience!". And yes, it was a great experience in some ways and surprisingly I did do amazing. After obtaining the title of Miss Charleston Int. it was finally time for the real deal, Miss South Carolina Int.
Let me just start off my saying the work that goes into these damn things is unreal. Don't get me wrong, I know all about hard work and am willing to put in the effort to accomplish the task set before me but parading around in a crown, sash, skin tight dresses, and 6 in. stilettos isn't my idea of fun. Raising money, buying sequin covered dresses, and putting on a pound of makeup was miserable for me. Sure, I met some great girls but truly the whole thing is so damn fake. How is a woman thats parading around in a bikini, wearing false eyelashes so long you can hardly blink, and talking about some BS world peace dream a representation of real women? Answer: IT'S NOT.
The day before the pageant all the girls loaded onto a bus to go 'volunteer' at a children's museum and let me tell you, that ride alone made me want to jump out the window. You know that super annoying high pitch 'tehehehe' laugh girls do? Yeah well times that by 20, and don't even get me started on the damn selfie sticks. Anyways, we get to the museum and if any of ya'll have ever been to one of these places you know it is not a 'museum' at all, the name is very misleading. Imagine a Burger King play room on steroids and you might START to get the idea. So we all waltz into this place wearing wearing 6" heels and these damn tiaras, not to mention a bunch of ass tight dresses and these people expect us to actually play with screeching for the next three hours. Now, I love kids and will totally get into a fierce game of hide and go seek but how did they expect us to do this in these ridiculous get up, all while trying to looking pretty for the damn photographer walking around snapping pictures of us to be reviewed by the judges. That is what I'm talking about people, half the girls ignored the kids until the camera man came by and then their inner Mother Teresa came out. I knew at that moment I would never participate in another one of these dog and pony shows again and we haven't even gotten to the actual pageant yet...
When the next morning came, I had to be up at the ass crack of dawn back at the hotel to ride that damn bus with all those 'tehehehe' girls to the place where the pageant was going to be held that evening. Again, I truly am NOT dissing pageants nor the girls in them. I really did meet a few very sweet ones and I know great things can come out of them. I'm just saying, they aren't for me. Following hours of rehearsal and preparations it was time for the real deal. As I watched girls prance across the stage in flowing gowns, swim suits, and all the other various outfits, I just couldn't understand how this represents women, a state, and the supposed platform each one of these competitors held? Especially since I am extremely passionate about my platform, violence against women, and still to this day work hands on with different organizations fitting this terrible plague. The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth.
Like I said earlier, I did do well despite my utter distaste for the whole beauty queen concept. Placing in the top ten I was proud of myself and am glad I had that once in a life experience. But that is exactly what it was, a ONCE in a life experience.
I have to say being in this Darius Rucker music video is definitely in the top ten best experiences of my life. Sure it was a 15+ hour day but I truly had a blast every second of it. The fact I finally got to meet Darius Rucker, a fellow Charlestonian and singer I grew up watching preform (literally Hootie and the Blowfish would come to my elementary school), was absolutely unbelievable. Besides the fact that I got to hang out with Darius and the band all day while shooting this video, I met one of my best friends (guy straight getting it on the right of Darius^^ and who's back I'm on in the pic below). It was a total coincidence Greg happened to go to College of Charleston and lived down the street from me, considering the other models were from New York. During the video we got to dance with Darius and jump on stage during a live concert, pretty darn fun if you ask me ya'll! Yeee-haaww! (I will never say that again, I promise).
I was unable to do CFW 2016 due to traveling for other shoots but here are a few snap shots from last year! I love supporting local stores and emerging designers by participating in Charleston Fashion Week. It is always a fun few days, getting to hang with my friends and play dress-up.
After some serious scandals were uncovered from the pageant world, SOUTH Magazine asked me and my dear friend, Kaylin who represented Columbia in the Miss South Carolina pageant, to do a spread in the magazine. Check out the full story/spread in South Magazine June/July Issue 2015. It was a blast though getting to spend the day with Kaylin and sharing this story with everyone! Here are a few images and behind the scenes pics from the shoot!
Photographer: Travis Teate