Edi Darnell

Hear Me Roar

EiPhotography by Matt Boyd Photography

Have you been dreaming of wearing a crown since you were a little girl, or is this completely new to you?I mean what little girl doesn’t dream about being a “princess?” However, this is a dream that I happened on, in that, it wasn’t something I knew I wanted until it was right in front of me.

Has your involvement in theatre helped you secure the title of Miss Bluffton Teen?Theatre has always been a safe space for me and gave me the tools to be comfortable in my own shoes, especially when it comes to being on stage in the pageant. My favorite roles are the baker’s wife in Into the Woods at Hilton Head High School, and Eva in Bring It On, also at Hilton Head High School. They’re completely different characters, which that allowed me to show my versatility.

A little birdie told us there is a fitness phase of competition in pageants. Your thoughts? I can’t say fitness was my favorite phase of competition. However, it does help stress the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception/ generalization about girls who participate in beauty pageants, and what are they really like? I think it’s a common stereotype to say that girls in pageants are just a pretty face. The Miss America Organization promotes being well rounded. So these girls have killer interviews, amazing talents and are physically strong. They could give anyone a run for their money.

What does the “weight” of the Miss Bluffton crown mean to you? (and we don’t mean ounces) It’s a lot more than you might think. I feel very humbled and proud to be a representative of my community as my crown acts as a microphone for my platform, “Inclusion Despite Disabilities."

What’s in your pageant “go-bag”? More like pageant “go-bags!” Anything from bobby pins, teeth whitening pens and double sided tape, to a fidget spinner, my pig slippers and Cheez-Its.

Do you ever get stage fright? How do to overcome your fears? Oh totally! I feel stage fright is healthy; it means you really care about something. I just try to turn that stage fright into drive to do my very best.

What was your platform as a contestant? My platform is “Inclusion Despite Disabilities,” which aims at getting rid of the stigma that it’s “difficult” to create a relationship with someone who has a disability. I’m working alongside local organizations like SOAR and Children’s Relief Fund on bringing inclusion to light and speaking out for those who don’t have the opportunity.

You know we’ve got to ask…What’s your take on world peace? Haha, of course! This is what hours with my interview coach has prepared me for. All I can say is there’s really no good answer to this. My thought is if we all put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we could react more appropriately to contentious situations and answer war with peace.

How has this experience changed you? I have learned while it’s great to be motivated by the need to impress those you care about, it’s also great to be motivated simply by wanting to be the best version of yourself.

What did you do immediately following the Miss SC pageant?
I slept and enjoyed no makeup and putting my hair up in a bun for a week. It was the best!

What are you roaring about? The importance of just being yourself and being open-minded! As a teenager sometimes that’s not easy. The pageant taught me to be comfortable and confident with myself. My platform inspires me daily to be open-minded to different forms of communication and to teach that same inspiration to others.