By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Andrea John, a seven-year-old from Red Bank, competed last year in the National American Miss competition, an annual pageant for girls and young women, and was disappointed to place tenth overall. Her mother, Anisha, said she had her eyes set on coming back this year and taking away the crown.
“She was determined to be queen, so we entered again,” she said, “and now she’s queen.”
For her age group, Andrea’s officially a “princess queen,” but nonetheless, she’ll compete against some 48 other princess queens next month for the national title in Anaheim, Calif.
From the National American Miss website, in response to the question, “is this a beauty contest?”:
Definitely not! You are scored 30% on your Personal Introduction, 30% on Formal Wear Poise and Appearance, 30% on Communications Skills in an Interview, and 10% on Participating in a Community Involvement Project on Pageant Weekend.
Andrea’s project is an effort to rally support with a food drive that will benefit Lunch Break, the Red Bank soup kitchen.
In casual conversation, Andrea is coy, and defaults to a smile when she thinks about an answer to a question. But when she breaks into the opening line she plans to use at the competition, a character emerges reminiscent of Shirley Temple.
Andrea, a second grade student at Red Bank Primary School, said she considers her entry in the national competition a great moment in her life so far.
“I’m proud to represent Red Bank,” she said. “I want to show everybody I’m one of the queens of the state, and because I want to out everybody and show them my work.”
She’ll have her shot over Thanksgiving break. Besides her work with Lunch Break, Andrea said she isn’t doing much to prepare for the competition. She’s an honor roll student, so there are other priorities between now and the trip to California.
“I think I’ll hang out a little bit,” Andrea said, “pick up the mail, do my job.”