Katheryn (Katy) Clatterbaugh of Mooresville had her first experience being in a pageant in 2018 when she competed for Mrs. NC America. On Aug. 3, she was crowned Transcontinental® Mrs. USA Universe 2019at The Henry County Performing Arts Center in McDonough, Ga.
Clatterbaugh shared that the director of the Mrs. NC America pageant approached her about it. A professional photographer, she thought he was looking for someone to photograph the event, but it was instead to compete in it.
“I prayed about it and felt called to step out of my comfort zone,” she said.
As a child, she was no stranger to the stage. She performed ballet, but she said her great fear was speaking in front of crowds. Clatterbaugh talked with her husband, Chad, about competing, and they felt it would be a great example for their 5-year-old son, Camden.
Katy placed first runner-up in the Mrs. NC America pageant.
“That’s a tough spot,” she said, “because you come so close to winning. But I walked off the stage exhilarated and very proud of what I had done. I came off the stage with my head high and showed our son how to lose gracefully.”
At the Transcontinental® Mrs. USA Universe 2019 pageant, a release noted that all of the delegates were treated to a fun-filled week of sights, Atlanta area attractions, VIP receptions, dining at award-winning restaurants and community involvement that included an ice-cream social with children and staff of A Friend’s House, a home for children in crisis - an organization dedicated to meeting the emotional and physical needs of children in crisis.
At this annual, international event, Transcontinental Pageants plays host to delegates from all over the world who compete in national and international title divisions. Each individual delegate’s overall score comes from the areas of state (or country) costume, evening gown and forum presentation.
Clatterbaugh’s forum is Taking a Stand Against Domestic Violence (STAND). When she was young, she said she was in a domestic violence relationship with a boyfriend and her mission is to put programs in the schools and colleges and share what a healthy relationship is and what it is not. Clatterbaugh also wants to relay warning signs so that women know that domestic violence isn’t just physical, but it can also be financial and emotional.
“We need to break the stigma that it’s not just physical,” she stressed. “That can change lots of lives.”
Clatterbaugh is partnering with the Jamie Kimble Foundation and its eNOough campaign to raise funds to get the programs in the schools. She wants to introduce the programs locally and raise money for grants.
She is also a national spokeswoman for “The Pledge Campaign” – a domestic violence awareness campaign, with a focus on preventing violence to women, children, men and animals. A release noted that The Pledge Campaign” was founded by Transcontinental Pageants Director (and Mrs. Universe Ltd. 2014) Sabrina Pinion.
The campaign encourages men to take a stand against domestic violence, Clatterbaugh said. It also helps break the stigma, teaching women how to stand up for themselves, and it teaches children about good relationships and how to treat others with kindness.
Many think that pageants are all about beauty, Clatterbaugh said, but they’re not. There is hard work involved and, “like anything in life, the more you prepare, the more you get from it. Time put in equals results,” she stressed.
Clatterbaugh said that she walked away from the pageant with more confidence and was proud of what was done and the experience.
During the pageant process, Clatterbaugh shared that she met “some strong women who have endured unimaginable pain. When you hear their stories, you are inspired by their strength.
“Everyone has a story, stories of courage, overcoming,” she continued. “We need to focus on their story and overcoming, not our differences, but our commonality.”
Clatterbaugh said that if her story “inspires someone to step out of their comfort zone and get out of a situation,” her job is done. “I want to shed light on something bigger than self and show you are not alone. So many can surround and support you. Continue to push through” she stressed.
Clatterbaugh will go on to represent the U.S. at the 2019 Mrs. Universe Ltd. Pageant to be held Dec.22-Jan. 1 in Guangzhou, China. While there, she will have the opportunity to tour the country and participate in some type of community service.
A release stated that in addition to being a wife and mother, Clatterbaugh is the owner of Katheryn Jeanne Photography, an award-winning, international wedding photography business. In addition to photographing her clients, she also provides education and mentorships to both new and veteran entrepreneurs alike. As a leader in the wedding industry, she continues to empower the creative economy to rise together. She believes we are only as strong as the communities that surround us, and with a strong community, we can change the world.