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Look beyond the pageant crown

Jake Essman / The Arbiter

There is a girl under that crown, a lady even.  Kacie Ann Bitenzburg was Miss Boise 2012, but there is more to her than that. She is also a Boise State senior English major, an ex-girlfriend, a baptized Christian, a normal human being.

Some people look at Bitzenburg, a young woman always keeping up appearances, as just that: an appearance. Some go so far as to call her fake. Ellie Matthews, sophomore social work major, interviewed Bitzenburg for a class paper and said she decided Bitzenburg is authentic.

“Even though you call somebody fake, they’re real somewhere in their lives and they’re going to be real somewhere down the road,” Matthews said. “When I met her I knew that she was putting on the Miss Boise title and she was going to be very lady-like and very poised and very polite, but I know that she’s also real when she does that.”

While she wore the title with pride, Bitzenburg walked into Starbucks, and no one turned to stare. For a beautiful lady, she blends in here at Boise State. Bitzenburg said she is true to herself, and that’s how she ended up as Miss Boise 2012.

“I was a total goofball in interview,” Bitzenburg said. “I was just kind of saying whatever and just being myself. I wasn’t taking it too seriously and that’s why the judges said they picked me is because I was being genuine and showing them who I really was instead of the girls who were really stiff and proper and really formal about it.”

Bitzenburg acknowledges keeping up an appearance is part of holding the title. She said she once had similar misconceptions about pageant girls being bimbos. Now, having participated in the Miss Boise and Miss Idaho pageants, her views on these events and the Miss America organization have changed.

“Pageant girls get such a bad rep, but really they’re a group of incredibly intelligent and community-minded individuals,” Bitzenburg said. “You always have to worry about how it looks to everyone else and really maintain decorum and always be kind to everyone. That’s something everyone should do no matter what but it’s something that you kind of think a little bit more about, like maybe holding that door for someone even if you’re in a hurry because they might recognize you and you don’t want to make a bad name for yourself and for the Miss America organization.”

As the cliché saying advises: don’t judge a book by its cover. Matthews said she advises everyone to try to get to know Bitzenburg for who she really is.

“I’d say she holds herself together really well,” Matthews said. “I think she’s a great girl and I think more people should get to know her. When you’re in a pageant they give you a certain way you’re supposed to act, like certain ways they’re supposed to act in public, in interviews, they essentially have coaches and so a lot of pageant people have that kind of directive and they keep it. It’s very professional and I respect people who act like that.”

Saturday, Jan. 26, Bitzenburg co-MC-ed the Miss Boise pageant which closed her reign. Though the role was impromptu, Bitzenburg remained sweet and poised, wearing her signature crown and sash. Bitzenburg told stories of an embarrassing interview slip up, her talent of clogging (similar to river dancing) and gave a farewell speech and final walk and wave to her title as the current Miss Boise.

Bitzenburg said she is not sad to pass the crown on, but rather excited for Miss Boise 2013, who will be Miss Boise for the 150th anniversary of Boise as a city.

“I’m a little jealous to be honest,” Bitzenburg said. “I had an awesome year and a lot of different experiences that were just incredible. She is definitely in for a great year and I’m excited for her and she’s a wonderful individual and I just love her to death and I couldn’t be more proud of the person I’m passing my crown to.”

While saying goodbye at the pageant and again in the campus Starbucks, Bitzenburg said this year was the best year of her life, and one of her personal favorite quotes “It’s not about the amount of breaths you take; it’s the number of moments that take your breath away,” became even more real for her.

“This year it’s become more meaningful. It just really resonates with me because I think a lot of people go through life every day and they don’t take full advantage of the number of breaths they have,” Bitzenburg said. “I really wanted to make the most of it living every single day trying to be the absolute best title holder I could be and to make the most of every opportunity I was given. And I really think that made this year really the best year of my life because I paid a lot more attention to making the most of those opportunities.”