For Rebecca Anderson, the fourth time was the charm, as the Oregon City resident was named Miss Oregon 2014 during the finals of the pageant held in Seaside on June 28.
She was the first Clackamas County resident to win the title since Lucy Fleck, a graduate of LaSalle High School, was named Miss Oregon 2005.
The 2009 OCHS graduate and 2013 Portland State University graduate had competed in three previous Miss Oregon pageants, making the top 10 and even the top five, but this time she was named the winner.
The previous night Anderson was named the preliminary swimsuit and talent winner; and then on Saturday she was one of two overall winners in the swimsuit category.
And yet, when her name was called as Miss Oregon 2014, she described herself afterwards as “so surprised.”
What did she do differently in this pageant, as opposed to the three others?
“I was myself; I didn’t try to be anybody else, I was just myself,” she said.
And nowhere was this better exemplified than in her talent performance of “Let it Go,” from “Frozen.”
She chose that number, “because I have been through my fair share of struggles in life, and always feeling like I had to be perfect. This song has become a kind of an anthem for me, and so many others, and I am still working on letting it go,” Anderson said.
Anderson obviously impressed the judges in the earlier rounds of competition, wearing a fuchsia bikini for the swimsuit category and a long, slinky white dress with a glittery midriff for the evening gown part of the pageant.
She was named to the top five, wearing casual black pants and a white top, and then was called to the microphone to answer an impromptu on-stage question.
Anderson was asked: “Why, when 40 percent of American women are heads of households with children, do they earn less than men? Is discrimination the cause?”
She answered, “Yes, there is discrimination, but women need to be more assertive and ask for pay raises. We can’t wait for politicians to do it for us.”
A few minutes later, the top five contestants, wearing their evening gowns, were called back to the stage, and it was announced that Anderson had won the title, and a $10,000 scholarship. She will now go on to compete in the Miss America pageant on Sept. 14, in Atlantic City, N.J. It will be broadcast live on ABC.
Anderson’s mother, Clackamas County Treasurer Shari Anderson, said that she and her husband, Ted, were excited for their daughter.
She added, “Rebecca has worked really hard for this and she will do a great job. She is ready and prepared.”
To learn more about the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program, visit missoregon.org.