2016-11-09 / Features

Local Express

Mackenzie Perpich

Mackenzie Perpich, a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, took the Miss Queens crown this year. Miss Queens, an affiliate of the Miss America Organization, fosters women of character to become role models that today’s society needs. The platform she won on was Hope, Health and Healing, which brings to light the most important steps into succeeding in the fight against eating disorders. She aspires to be a Broadway performer and a Radio City Rockette after heading to compete for Miss New York, and hopefully, Miss America.

QG: What was it like to win your title? How did you feel, for example, when you first were told that you won?

MP: It was definitley a very special moment. I was a little nervous going into the day of competition knowing that this was my last year of eligibility within the Miss America Organization. I was hoping to get the opportunity to compete at state one last time. So I was thrilled to be crowned Miss Queens and blessed to represent such a wonderful borough.

QG: What, if anything, was the easiest thing you had to do in preparation for the Miss Queens pageant? What was the most difficult?

MP: My talent was definitely the easiest! I have been singing since I was a child. Currently, I am pursuing a career in musical theatre. So, naturally, talent is always one of my favorite competition phases. I sang “If I Loved You” from the musical Carousel, which I had recently sang at the National Sweetheart Competition a few weeks prior. The most difficult for me is always On-Stage-Question. You never know what taboo topic you will be asked.

QG: Was it difficult to open up about your eating disorder, even in support of your outreach and prevention program?

MP: I believe one of the ways I was able to come to full recovery with my eating disorder was by making it my platform. I made the decision to no longer let my eating disorder control my life. I want to make a difference in the growing epidemic of eating disorders in this country. It was very hard to do at first because until I started my platform “Hope, Health, and Healing,” I never discussed my eating disorder in a public fashion. I was scared of how this would affect my life and how people would view this part of my journey. I soon realized that I went through this for a reason and maybe that reason was for me to share my personal story to shed light on eating disorder prevention and awareness.

QG: What, if any, advice do you have for young people going through an eating disorder?

MP: The best advice I can give is that everyone’s story is different so there is no general path that a person takes when struggling with an eating disorder. It is a mental disease. I tell them that they are not in this alone and that full recovery is possible. However, that road is a long journey and is different for everyone, but absolutely achievable and so worth it!

QG: What are some of your favorite things to do and/or see in Queens?

MP: There are some amazing restaurants in Queens! I am a big fan of Sugar Freak and Burnside Biscuits. Growing up in the south, I have a soft spot for southern food and both these places make me feel right at home. My friend Kristen, who was Miss Manhattan 2015, introduced me to a place called Queens Comfort. There is a doorman who tells jokes while you wait in line for a table. The longer you wait, the more jokes he tells. It’s so fun!

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