Just Life: Dancer Thighs


In the past I have addressed body image and self-confidence. Everybody out there can relate to having concerns, or being self-conscious about their body. The reality is everyone’s idea of beauty, the perfect body and what makes them feel pretty are as different as how the rest of the world perceives them. Healthy looks different on everyone, and this is something I have learned through this journey to Miss USA and as life continues post-Miss USA. My body has changed so much over the past few years and each transition has given me a new gift and a new challenge.

If you follow my writing, you know the story, I was a member of one of the best dance teams in Wisconsin (not completely bias, the team actually has the history to back up the claim) but it was not an easy road to get there. Physically I was not strong or a technically skilled dancer, so I had to work extra hard to find success. Along the way I developed my pride and joy, those dancer thighs. All my dancer friends out there know exactly what I’m talking about, off-season you lift to maintain them and in-season they are the reason you can do all those switch leaps and toe-touches (and they are reason it is crazy difficult to find jeans)! By the time I was done with High School I had beautiful dancer legs that I was so proud of.

When it came time to compete for Miss Wisconsin USA, I had a body I was proud of! Two years after dancing every day and I was still strong and I was healthy. That being said, when it came time to walk the Miss USA stage I had goals in mind and leaning out those dancer muscles was one of those goals. I switched up my exercise routine and changed what I was eating. I asked for tips from fantastic trainers and friends to help me reach my body goals, without compromising my weight or my daily consumption of cheese. I lost inches around my thighs and hips, but I maintained the weight I have had since high school. At Miss USA I had reached my goals for that point in my life, and I felt healthy and happy. Those same thighs I was proud of as a dancer I had become proud of for a whole different reason.

The point of this story is that healthy means something different for everyone, and can mean something different to an individual at different points in their life. Body image is a continuum for most women. The part you love one day can be your worst enemy the next. We think about it, we obsess, we judge ourselves even when no one else likely notices. This process never ends. If you are a dancer, a student, a weight-lifter, a mom, a bikini model the things you are most proud of might not even make sense to the rest of the world. But it isn’t their body to love, it is yours. So love your large muscular thighs, your waist, your hips, those biceps and triceps. LOVE IT ALL. The ability to change and grow with who you are at even given moment is part of the self-acceptance process.  Being body positive should change as much as your body changes.

Embrace not only what god has given to you but what you are able to create through hard-work and commitment, both are equally worth celebrating!

Dream Big,




Just Life: Mean Girls and Middle School

If I could go back and share secrets with my middle school and high school self it would be this simple piece of advice: Don’t worry it all shakes out in the end. 

When I think about the amount of time I spent worrying about what others thought about me, were saying about me and their overall opinions of me, it makes me both sad and angry. Not at those people but primarily at Skylar Witte. What a waste of valuable and precious time! My mother must have told me a million times over a tear-filled pillow that those mean girls who made fun of my squinty eyes or gummy smile didn’t matter and that they were likely jealous or self-conscious about their own lives and their own smiles.  I guess becoming an adult is accepting that my mother was right.

The same holds true for the boys who rejected me, made fun of me on the playground and were overall jerks. I have made amends with those boys and come to realize their motives were often the opposite of what I thought. Boys tend to get a girls attention in the most ridiculous ways possible. Again this discussion was had in my household a million times and I never accepted it until now.

I am now dating the boy who made my life complicated (and sometimes tear-filled) back before either of us knew any better, when we reminisce now we can’t help but laugh. Those early years make for the best stories and even though it was painful at the time it was part of the growing-up process and honestly at least for us, it is the reason we are who we are and we are perfect for each other. It’s like all of that struggle in our relationship made us the two strong individuals we are and we really were just creating our ideal without even realizing it at the time. We had to grow up to realize we made each other crazy because we are so similar.

But the same isn’t necessarily true for those mean girls. I have found that sometimes those mean girls just grow up to be mean women. They still talk behind your back, they are still self-conscious of their own shortcomings and rather than work on improving themselves they find some sort of joy in identifying others flaws. I don’t understand these women. Really I don’t. Instead of crying in my pillow I chose a different path and just don’t associate with these types of people. It is hard. Like everyone, I have gotten caught in the trap and talked poorly about others, but it never made me feel any differently about myself, actually it made me feel awful.  Looking back cutting ties with mean girls is something I will never regret.  I just can’t do it. There is no joy in causing others pain, pure and simple.

I have to believe as we all get older we find those who are most like us and they make-up our circle. I think women who are filled with negativity find others like them and ultimately in the end they will all turn on each other.  Women who are filled with kindness and joy build a stronger more lasting circle.

I will admit it, right now my circle is small but it is filled with the best people I know and I am finding my way with the right kind of friendship and a great support network. My favorite girls are those who find the beauty in others and loudly express it, and they don’t wait until she turns around to say something snarky, they mean it.My roommate and I tell each other how beautiful and amazing the other is several times a day, I am not joking we tell each other we are cute so often sometimes we laugh at ourselves. (I mean have you seen her she is stunning)

A small part of me still wants to call out every single mean girl who ever did me wrong and tell them my gummy smile and expressive ‘smiling’ eyes are the key to all the great things that have been happening to me, but it won’t matter they will still find a reason to hate, they will still find a reason to be jealous and they likely won’t change their catty ways.

A simple message I have come to take to heart these days was a virtue of my late Nana, that she passed on to my mom and I hope to pass on to my children someday; ALWAYS TAKE THE HIGH ROAD. No good comes of talking poorly about those who talk poorly of you. So instead I will just have to live with the reality that I’m living a pretty dynamite life with some really awesome, kind and caring people and eventually those mean girls and their evil circle will come back and bite them in the butt. It always does.

So if I could go back I would tell that awkward 13-year-old girl, don’t worry it shakes out in the end. Eventually you get the friends, the boy and the life you dreamed of, so don’t cry over people who will someday become irrelevant, they will have to fight their own battles and most of them won’t be pleasant. Take pity on their ways because people who work so hard day in and day out to bring others down have a truly miserable existence. When your mamma says, “Be the bigger person!” believe her because she knows.

Dream Big, Skylar




Just Life: Balancing Act

Daily, people ask me “how do you do it? Balance school work, modeling, and life in general”. In all honesty, sometimes I don’t. There are days when there are just not enough seconds in the day to get done what I have to get done. There are some days when I run out of time and collapse in a heap, doesn’t everyone have those days. But here are some tips I have for staying on track and having a happy and healthy life.

  1. It’s okay to say “no”. There are often times when I get fantastic opportunities and I have to say no due to prior commitments, or too much school-work. And that is okay, it is not possible (unfortunately), to do it all. And as they say “never bite off more than you can chew”.
  2. Prioritize. Figure out what it is that is important to you and always put that first. For me, it is my education. When it comes to scheduling my work life and social life, it always is planned around my class schedule and the amount of time I need to get my school work done. Sometime’s it’s difficult to decide what choice to make when opportunities present themselves, but if you have priorities set in place you are able to make the choice that is going to feel better in your gut in the long run.
  3. Fuel your body and fuel your mind. I used to struggle, with all the traveling I do, with caffeine. I couldn’t survive a day without one, two, or three Diet Cokes. Traveling also caused a lot of stops for quick and easy food, I fell into the trap of convenience foods. I quickly realized that this isn’t the way to keep going and make effective use of my time. In order to be able to take on the world each morning, it is important that you fuel your body. I cut caffeine and switched to water, my favorite miracle worker. And with the help of my trainer, the Winning Edge, I learned quick and easy foods that wouldn’t leave me feeling greasy and bogged down (smoothies are a personal favorite).
  4. Smile and enjoy the ride. This year, I have learned that God truly does have a plan, and when one door closes another one opens. Sometimes life doesn’t go according to the plan I have, it takes a whole new direction and when it does you just have to roll with it. It is so very important when balancing life to understand that there is no way to plan everything perfectly, it’s just unreasonable. You have to be willing to adjust
  5.  Surround yourself with love and support. I just wrote an entire post which will be my next blog about this. But in high school, it’s so difficult to find people who build you up and do not tear you down. I always struggled to separate myself from the negative people and embrace the positive people. The older I get, the more I realize how much positive and supportive people can impact your life. The biggest thing that gets me through each busy day is the support of the people around me: friends, family and strangers. I couldn’t do what I love to do if it weren’t for the constant love and support I receive. When I feel like giving up, I don’t because I have a whole team of people behind me who are there to keep me moving.

Set goals whether they be daily, monthly or long term. I have shared a lot that my goals right at the moment are to be a successful student, loving friend, daughter, sister and girlfriend and go as far as I can as a Midwest model and actress. This seems like a lot but some days my list is a simply as 1)call mom and dad 2)skype boyfriend 3)workout 4)study for two hours 5)respond to work emails 6)remember to eat 7)breathe and 8)sleep

Those are great days, most of the time there are approximately 27 other items on the list and they involve driving across state lines several times. But that is all part of the delicate balance that is my life. At least I know when I collapse I have dozens of people who help lift me back up again.

Dream Big, Skylar


Skylar 13