Pageant winner Saryna Ritter highlights domestic violence issues

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. Since being selected a pageant girl, Saryna Ritter has used the spotlight to draw attention to domestic violence, as an advocate for other victims. 

"When I was in high school I had a close friend who we found out was getting physically abused at home. Being so scared for her and not knowing what to do...a few friends and I went to the school counselor to seek help for her. A few weeks later I received a letter in the mail about pageants and how you can have a platform. Not knowing what that meant at the time, I needed more information so I called the number. At the end of the conversation I signed up because I wanted to be that voice for my friend and reach out to others in the same situation. I started pageantry and was inspired to start competing to help others."

Saryna will have the opportunity to represent the state of Illinois in the International Ms Pageant on August 24-26, 2018 in New York City. The contest is for women 26-39 and is opened to all nationalities and marital statuses, with or without children. 

Lets know a little more about Saryna's story and her journey to the crown through this interview! 

You won the title of International Ms Illinois, what is the most memorable moment from your reign ?

The most memorable moment is when I was asked to be the International Spokeswoman for Marleigh's Ministry and Marleigh's Angel Gown. Since taking on this great honor I have started a World Mission Tour. So far we have covered several countries and 26 states and counting in only 2 months!

What do you expect to gain by competing in pageantry? 

I expect to meet amazing women...people that inspire me. After 16 years I am always blown away by the women I meet. Every pageant I have ever done has made a huge impact on my life in so many different ways from interview skills to meeting a new role model. 

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Photo by Daniel Duverney

Tell me something about yourself and your work. What do you actually do, and have done in the past?

I work for International Fashion Designer Mac Duggal where I am the Executive Regional Sales Director of the East Coast, in house celebrity stylist, online host for Facebook Live and Instagram Live and fashion merchandiser.


Photo by Dan DuVerney - Hair by Jonathan Abernathy  - Makeup by Triphena Johnson

Before working at Mac Duggal I was the Internet Sales Manager for the largest multi rooftop car dealership in the Midwest.  

You are now a Mac Duggal stylist, what is the most interesting part of your job?

I would say the most interesting part of my my job to be honest....I have the great privilege and opportunity to work women all over the country. 

Did you face any moment of disappointment with yourself during the pageant journey, and how did you overcome it?

My only disappointment was not believing in myself sooner! I overcame it by surrounding myself with positive, uplifting and like minded individuals. 


Photo by Daniel DuVerney
Hair and Makeup by Triphena Johnson Triphena Johnson Makeup Pro

What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day?

DO IT!!!!! My parents always encouraged me to go after our dreams big or small. If you want to try it...take that leap and dive right in. You will learn so much about yourself. The life skills and confidence alone make a tremendous impact not only in day to day life but landing that dream job or getting into the school of your choice. Lets not forget that confidence you gain, overcoming speaking in public and networking you make worldwide!

Who is your ideal beauty queen and why? 

My ideal beauty queen is Sarah Bazey Mrs. International 2012 because she is a women of grace, elegance, determination, fighter, role model, community leader, activist and sincerity. She left a legacy that is still echoed to this day. Sarah is a true beauty inside and out!

sarah bazeys

Thanks to the beautiful Saryna for the interview. Pageants News wishes you all the very best for International Ms pageant.