Is the third time a charm? Victoria Maiden, reigning Miss Greater Richmond, hopes so. Come June, the 21-year-old Richmond native and University of Virginia student will compete against dozens of other young women for the title of Miss Virginia. Style Weekly spoke with her in-between classes at the University of Virginia.
Style: The last time we spoke, it was 2010 and you were 19 and competing in your first Miss Virginia pageant. How are you approaching the pageant now that you're 21 and this is your third attempt at the crown?
Maiden: The first two times I went to the Miss Virginia pageant, I didn't know what in the world I was getting into. I was a little naive. I just wanted to make friends. I just wanted to have fun. The second time, I was looking for a placement in the top 10, but I didn't get it. This year is definitely different. This year, I'm not really striving for a specific placement. I'm going in with an entirely different mindset.
But do you enjoy the competitive aspect of it?
There are a lot of competitive individuals at pageants. But I don't do it to win so much as … I want to embody those points of the crown: style, success, service and scholarship.
Whether or not you win, what's the thing you won't miss about preparing for the pageant?
I would love to each french fries. I would love to drink sodas. When I'm pageant dieting, it's definitely something that I miss [laughs]. But there's no better motivation than having people supporting you who are loving and supportive. Because you do need that extra motivation if you've been discouraged before. Whether it's my time to be Miss Virginia or it's not my time, I think this will make me a better person. And this is my third time, so I think it's kind of a Cinderella story.