Miss Baja California represents two countries

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Miss Baja California represents two countries

Daniel Piedra

Daniel Piedra

Daniel Piedra

by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Assistant Mundo Azteca Editor

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Nancy Moeller had one thing on her mind the day of the crowning for Miss Baja California 2016.

She didn’t want to put on her evening gown.

Pageant officials asked the contestants to bring an extra dress because only the winner would keep the dress they provided.

“I had my dress and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to put it on,” Moeller, a journalism senior at San Diego State said.

Moeller didn’t have to put on her dress. Instead, she was crowned Miss Baja California 2016.

She said she felt relaxed during the pageant and it was the energy from the crowd that got her excited.

“It was something so beautiful, I wasn’t nervous and I made eye contact with all the judges,” Moeller said.

As a last minute decision, Moeller decided to apply a day before the pageant’s application period ended.

Since Moeller had never competed in this pageant before, she never imagined that she would win.

Ever since she was young she watched the Mexican televised beauty pageant with her family, wishing that one day she would compete and possibly win.

“All the glamour about the show is what got my attention,” Moeller said.

But she said winning a beauty pageant is more than just glamour. She said it is also a lot of hard work and requires knowledge of global issues.

Moeller had two weeks to prepare for the pageant so she crammed hours of studying global topics, politics and Mexican literature. 

“It was all about reading, practicing my runway walk and practicing responses for any questions they might ask,” Moeller said.

She decided to isolate herself from friends and family so she could focus on the pageant, with the exception of her younger sister Denise Moeller.

“She separated from our family and she told me that I was the only who she felt most comfortable with,” Denise said.

Denise said her family never expected her sister to be selected for the pageant, but in their eyes that alone meant she had already won.

Sara Vargas, Nancy Moeller’s friend, said she had a feeling that she would win when she saw her on stage alongside the other contestants. 

“I felt that she was going to win and I told her dad, I think Nancy is going to win,” Vargas said.

Moeller’s family attended the pageant and brought a cutout of her face to show their support.

Moeller said she was excited to be in the top four, but also recognized that the other contestants were sad. 

“I told them you’re young and you still have so many opportunities, look at me this is my last time qualifying,” Moeller said.

The pageant’s cut off age is 24 and Moeller is 23.

Once in the top two, Moeller knew she had won when the other girl was named as the runner up.

“My little sister was screaming like crazy and I was thinking finally all that screaming growing up paid off,” Moeller said.

Moeller will travel to Mexico as the Baja California representative to compete for the crown of Miss Mexico in January.

She will be in a reality television show that will follow her process through the Miss Mexico pageant.

If she were to win Miss Mexico she would move on to compete for Miss Universe.

She had to miss the first week of classes at SDSU for pageant training.

Moeller said her teachers were understanding and excited to learn that she had won the pageant.

Moeller plans on graduating from SDSU in December, so the pageant will not interfere with her studies.

She said she is excited for the networking oportunities the pageant will offer through broadcasting classes and the reality show.

Moeller hopes to pursue a career where she can work in entertainment news. 

Denise said she admires her sister because she works hard on meeting her goals and she does not give up.

There was some criticism around Moeller’s win because she was not born in Mexico, Denise said.

“We are Mexican in our blood,” Denise said. “It is an honor for her to be a Mexican-American representative.”

Nancy is from San Diego but she grew up on both sides of the border, commuting to visit family in Mexico on the weekends.

Moeller said she has a love for both countries and she is proud to be representing both.

“I am the girl of the border,” Moeller said. “I grew up on both sides and nothing is going to change that.”

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