For Jay resident Whitney Farley, this past week has been a dream.
Farley, who won the Miss Huckleberry title in 2019, was representing her title at the 2019 Miss Oklahoma Pageant in Tulsa at the Hard Rock Casino on Tuesday through Saturday, June 4 - 8.
“I think if I could describe it, it would be ‘incredible’. It was incredible,” said Farley. “The best part for me was either the free food or the laughs. We laughed a lot, but the free food was good too.”
Farley, who is a vocal music education major at the University of Central Oklahoma, performed the song ‘Chi Bel Sogno Di Doretta’ by Giacomo Puccini as her talent. Her performance earned her the Rookie Talent Preliminary Award on Wednesday, June 5.
“I was in shock. I wasn’t expecting to take away a talent award, but I’m incredibly grateful for it. Even if I hadn’t, I would have been totally okay because it was the best performance I’ve given,” said Farley.
The song choice wasn’t her own, but her vocal professor at UCO’s.
“At first I was afraid of the song because of how high it is. But then I fell in love with it and it’s one of the best pieces I had learned at school. It showed my capability, it showed my range and it showed what I can do with my voice as far as singing goes,” said Farley.
For her platform, Farley chose ‘Speaking out Against Bullying’, because of her own experience with the issue. Farley adds that a teacher saved her life when she reached out during a bullying situation.
“In my platform I’ve always encouraged people to speak out against bullying, whether it’s happening to you personally or happening to someone you know or even a stranger. While physical scars may appear, emotional scars run so much deeper. It’s hard to speak out against bullying, because you don’t want to get involved and you don’t want to get involved and it’s an uncomfortable situation for most. But it’s very important that you speak out because speaking out against bullying and putting an end to bullying can save lives,” said Farley.
To those interested in the pageant world, Farley says it is not all about the glitz.
“It’s not just about putting on a dress and fixing your hair, putting on makeup or looking pretty. It’s not about that. [The Miss Oklahoma] Organization builds strong independent women who can take care of themselves and better themselves and the world and we need more women like that. I think that it’s important that we keep this pageant alive because we need more women like that,” said Farley.
Farley has recently been named to UCO’s Dean’s Honor Roll.
“It feels good. I’ve worked hard these past couple of years and these past couple of semesters to keep my grades up and just finish school and I’m almost done. I graduate in December,” said Farley.
Farley does have plans to return to the pageant in 2020.
“I am planning on going back, I’m going to keep competing because I would not be the person I am without this organization,” said Farley. “I haven’t stopped smiling since I got there. I’m home and I’m smiling like a goof because of the amazing experience that I had. One thing I will say is that this organization is giving me experiences that I would have never gotten with anything else.”
Farley adds that several of her Miss Oklahoma friends have told her that the first year is not even the best.
“I’ve been told by several of my friends [at the pageant] that the first year experience is nothing like the experience you receive if you go back. I think it changed me for the better,” said Farley.