Crowning Achievement



Angela D. Middleton

When most people think of beauty pageants, they conjure images of tall, slender women walking gracefully around on stage in tiny bikinis. They have big hair, perfect makeup and bright smiles. When asked questions about the economy or current events, they refer to vague notions of world peace.

Angela D. Middleton is turning this notion of the typical beauty queen on its head. As the winner of the South Carolina Plus America Pageant, she’s helping girls see that women of all races, shapes and sizes can achieve their dreams.

When the Okatie resident signed up to compete in the South Carolina Plus America Pageant, she had no idea what she was getting into. It was her first beauty pageant — friends who were entering talked her into it.

“I expected pageantry to be fun and exciting,” Middleton said. “I didn’t know how challenging it would be. You have to prepare not only physically, but also have to be knowledgeable of what’s going on in the world itself, not just your community. I did not know how hard it was until I experienced pageant boot camp in February. I worked out muscles in my leg that hadn’t been worked out since marching band in high school.”

In pageant boot camp, she learned how to walk, how to present herself, how to answer the on-stage question, as well as what type of clothing and colors worked best for her.

At the South Carolina pageant on April 21, all that hard work paid off. She not only won the Mrs. Division, for married women, but also won the Supreme Queen title for the highest scores in all areas.

And now, she’s headed to the national competition.

The Miss Plus America national’s pageant will take place at The Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel on July 24-28. There, Middleton will compete for the national title. She will be judged on her evening gown, elegant pant wear, and how she answers her on-stage question.

“I feel totally overwhelmed,” Middleton said. “This is my first run through pageantry. It takes a lot of women years to get to this point before they will see nationals, so it is an honor. But I am definitely overwhelmed.”

Angela D Middleton2But she has fans behind her: Her husband, Kendrick, is her biggest supporter. Middleton is also mom to son Kyler, who just finished his sophomore year of high school.

If she wins the national competition, Middleton will represent the entire pageant. She will travel around the country also representing South Carolina and her platform, education on human trafficking. And even if she doesn’t win, she’ll continue to work in the local community, speaking to schools, classes, groups and other organizations about human trafficking.

“My platform is teach one, reach a million — educating the community about human trafficking,” Middleton said. “That’s a topic that people don’t talk about that often. When you talk about sex trafficking, people get a little nervous, but it’s something that needs to be discussed because it’s happening in our area.”

Middleton used to be in the education field, working as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. She has an undergraduate degree in political science, a master’s degree in business, and another master’s degree in education secondary administration. It’s the degree she’s working on now, though, that is her dream: She’s a student at Savannah Law School.  

“I’ve always wanted to be an attorney,” Middleton said. “Teaching found me – I did not find teaching. But I was determined to still pursue my dream to become an attorney. Five years ago, I lost my mom to lung cancer and one of the last things she said to me in her final days was, ‘Do not let your dream die. You know what I’m talking about.’ And all I talked about was being an attorney, so I promised her that I wouldn’t.”