Pageant participants aim to pursue their crowns with poise, grace, and pithy answers to interview questions, not a neurological movement disorder.
However, dystonia, which can make muscles contract uncontrollably, causing involuntarily, abnormal, twisting, or repetitive movements, didn’t give Blaire Messmann much choice.
(ABOVE: Blaire Messmann reacts as she won what she describes as her “dream job” — Miss Teen Texas. Courtesy photos)
Her symptoms kicked in in 2014, affecting her leg and essentially giving the eventual 2018 Miss Teen Texas what she described as a club foot.
“I am proud to be a part of a system that encourages and empowers women.” -Blaire Messmann
“For a solid year, I was unable to walk without a brace, much less do the things that I love life dancing or pageantry,” she said. “But with the help of the amazing doctors at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, I was able to find a treatment that works for me so I can do things that I truly love.”
Messmann, who won the United States of America Teen Texas pageant this past fall in Garland, talked to the newspaper a few weeks before heading to Las Vegas to compete nationally in mid-February.
“It is so amazing to me that just a couple of years ago I could not even wear regular shoes, yet today I am on a drill team and, in two weeks, I will be wearing heels and modeling on a national stage.”
Since age 11 she has participated in pageants, where she appreciates the comradery with strong, supportive, inspiring women.
“I am proud to be a part of a system that encourages and empowers women,” Messman said.
Outside of the pageant world, the Highland Park resident stays involved with the youth group at Preston Road Church of Christ and attends Parish Episcopal School, where she is a sophomore.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, dancing, theater, and listening to country music, especially Blake Shelton.
She plans to pursue a career as a pediatric surgeon, focusing on facial malformations.”
As Miss Teen Texas she aims to draw attention to causes import to her such as dystonia research and awareness.
The disorder can affect one muscle, a muscle group, or the entire body, depending on the individual’s dopamine production in the brain.
“Dystonia is the third largest movement disorder in the world, affecting 250,000 people in the United States, although nobody knows about it,” Messmann said. “There are people in this country that have it so much worse than me, and I would like to use my title to spread awareness for the people that may not have the opportunity to share their story.”