The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 8, 2013

Local mother to represent Enid in state beauty pageant

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid resident Cali Lebrija will be competing in her first beauty pageant at age 36.

Lebrija is Mrs. Enid, and will compete in the Mrs. Oklahoma pageant Feb. 23 at the Scottish Rite Temple in Guthrie. Lebrija said it was something she has been interested in for some time, and just decided to do it. There are no local pageants, so she sent an application and a photo of herself to the pageant director and was named Mrs. Enid.

“I don’t know if anyone else applied or not. I think I was the only one,” Lebrija said.

Lebrija entered the pageant for several reasons. She is the mother of four girls, and her husband has a daughter and two boys, so there are seven children in the family. Her oldest daughter is 14.

“Young girls pick themselves apart when they look in the mirror,” Lebrija said. “I told my oldest daughter, ‘I’m no one perfect, but if I can get in front of a bunch of people and be confident, you can, too.’”

She also wants to bring attention to blended families and the need for support groups for them. Lebrija said there are no resources for people with blended families, and family members often do not know what to expect.

For that reason, she and her husband sought counseling after their marriage five years ago just to discuss what could happen with a blended family. She has started a Facebook page referring to support groups and plans to start one in her home.

Another reason for entering the Mrs. Oklahoma pageant is that as people get older and have kids, there is no reason to let themselves go.

“You can still be beautiful,” she said.

Lebrija said she had confidence issues when she was a young, although she was a pretty confident woman most of her life. At 36, she no longer has confidence issues, because she has learned how to judge herself.

“In my 30s, I woke up a little bit,” she said. “I always had confidence; my mom taught me that. I don’t compare myself with others.

“The thing that changed me is my 30s: I feel like I’m in the prime of my life. It’s like a light going off.”

Lebrija said beautiful women are hard on themselves and hard on other women.

The pageant includes three categories. The interview is 50 percent of her score, and evening gown and swimsuit each are  another 25 percent.

Lebrija said there should be more women from Enid who enter next year.

“There are a lot of beautiful married women in Enid,” she said.

She has told her daughters not to compare themselves with other women, because “There’s always someone prettier, more intelligent, more money.”

Lebrija’s family has been supportive about the pageant. She called her husband at work and told him, and he congratulated her.

“My husband has been amazing, the kids have been amazing,” she said. “My mom is flying in from Utah, and my grandmother, who was runner up to Miss Oregon ...”

If Lebrija wins the Mrs. Oklahoma pageant, she will be a contestant in the Mrs. America pageant in August. That pageant will be nationally televised.