How did you get your start?
I am from a small town in Indiana (with a population of 368) and I knew I wanted to travel the world and I wanted to create a very different life for myself. I set goals and dreams that seemed so far fetched and out of reach that I seemed crazy to the people in my hometown. But it was that crazy dream that my life was meant to have a greater purpose and something more that kept me going. I entered the Teen Indiana pageant but my family had very little money. Growing up a lot of my clothes and even our food came from local church donations. So I had to get creative to be able to afford to compete. I ended up going door to door to ask for donations, $20 here, $20 there, and I also had a car wash. With the funds I raised I was able to enter and pay for a used Bridesmaid dress that I sewed rhinestones on. I competed against girls that had been competing their entire life, girls that spent thousands on wardrobe, and training on how to walk and talk. I just showed up and was myself.
That was all I could be. I ended up winning Teen Indiana and going on to nationals a few months later. I ended up winning nationals, and representing the USA as Miss USA for Top Model of The World in Germany where I finished first runner up on the international stage. I was 17 and competed against women in their mid 20’s that had already been to Miss Universe. My life had changed completely. A year prior, I had never left my hometown or even been on a plane. Then all of a sudden I was traveling around the world with body guards and handling high pressure press interviews about the war in Iraq and I wasn’t even old enough to vote.
You are an international fashion model, actress, activist and pageant queen. What are you most proud of ?
I have to say…all of it. From what I came from to what my life is now…I am very proud of the journey I have made. It took me a long time to realize that the process is what it’s all about anyway. My experiences allow me to have a unique opportunity to help other people, this is why I started my campaign, I Am Possible. There are ups and downs and just because you are on top of the world one day does not mean you will always stay there. The same goes for when you are down. Everything has it’s time and there are always lessons to learn through each experience. I have failed more often than I have succeeded and one thing you must always remember is to never take “no” for an answer. You have to get up and show up everyday. No matter what odds are against you never give up on your dreams. It takes persistence and creativity. And most of all, trust the timing of your own life.
Donald Trump was the owner of the MUO until 2015. What does it feel to have worked with the President of the United States ?
Actually, Donald Trump is not the first President that I have worked with. When I first met him in 2006 and when I worked with him in 2008 he was always very pleasant, kind and professional. In 2008 during the Presidential primaries I also went on tour with Chelsea, Hillary, and Bill Clinton and then campaigned for President Barack Obama. It was an incredible experience to have a personal invitation to the inauguration. I feel fortunate to be part of such a historical event and to work with people who have such a strong influence and responsibility to our country. I believe everyone has a responsibility to do their civic duty by educating themselves on issues that affect our country and our world. It’s important to get involved and to speak up. Especially right now, people more than ever need to get involved.
A day in Brittany Mason’s life…. How does it go from dawn to dusk?
I love to wake up and first begin with some stretching and meditating before I even touch my phone or get out of bed. I hit the gym or do yoga at home or in the hotel room. I also always take my vitamins and drink my green juice. With what I do everyday is different so it is nice to have a routine and starting with mindfulness helps me to begin the day with clear intentions. Sometimes I’m on a photoshoot, doing administrative work like writing invoices or bookings, making calls, and other times I have meetings. Right now my main focus is developing and rebranding Miss Universe Ireland. I am creating an entire new structure, foundation, and perspective of the brand.
You are the director of the Miss Universe Ireland Pageant. What motivated you to apply for this role ?
Yes, I am! I am so excited about it…I am a former titleholder with the Miss Universe Organization myself, so I know how it should be and I understand what type of opportunities can come from the program. Competing in pageants changed my life and created opportunities for me that I may have never had in my little town. Unfortunately Ireland has not always had a presence at Miss Universe and when they have, the young lady has only had 4 to 6 days to prepare for Miss Universe. Outrageous right?! Ireland is a small country with a population of 4 million…but there are 40 million Irish passport holders around the world. For a small island, Ireland has had a huge influence on the world. I am 59% Irish and after living here for a year and I half I have seen the talent. I believe in this country and I want to help them be properly represented on the international stage year after year. I believe there are many women here from small little towns with big dreams just like me. I want to empower them and help give them the opportunities that I had.
What is the one thing you would like to say to young girls who aspire to be Miss Universe Ireland ?
Prepare for the job you want. That means dress for the job you want, understand what the responsibility is for being a titleholder ( because this is a job), and also get to know yourself completely. The key is to be able to know your beliefs and values and being able to clearly and confidently communicate them to the world. This is about being the best version of yourself. Authenticity is what makes someone beautiful. That is the “it” factor that cannot be reproduced. Also what would you do with the crown if you won?
Please visit www.missuniverseireland.eu to apply.
Where do you spend most of your time when you're not working ?
I love spending time with my fluffy little Pomeranian Alfie, my boyfriend Steven, and my friends and family. I love traveling, reading, anything artsy or creative, and watching a really good film or show. But I will say, I love my work and it doesn’t always feel like a “job” because I am so passionate about what I do.
Who's the woman you admire most ?
This is such a difficult question! How can I choose just one? There are so many women that inspire me! Oprah, Malala Yousafzai, Grace Kelly, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce….there are so many. I love how Oprah is open about her struggles and how she channeled her pain into building an empire that truly makes the world a better place. I love Malala’s fearlessness to fight for the education of women and children, I love Grace Kelly’s work as an actress and the way she sacrificed her career to serve a country, she is one of my style icons. Angelina Jolie’s talent and work with the UN, and of course Beyonce’s fierceness…I think it is important to look to other women for support and inspiration. We need to do this for each other, instead of the jealousy and cat fighting. When one woman succeeds, we all do. We need to push each other forward. I want to change the whole “idea” in pageants that women are competing against each other. Truth is you are competing against yourself. Be the best version of you. For Miss Universe Ireland I hope to create a strong community of empowered, intelligent, and inspirational women.
Where do we hope to see you In the next 10 years?
Well in 10 years I hope to have started a family of my own, further my work in entertainment and philanthropy, and to have brought home the first Miss Universe crown for Ireland!
Any message for your fans on Pageants News ?
Thank you so much for those of you who have followed my career all these years! It is so cool to see and some of you have been with me since the very beginning. Your letters of support and encouragement mean so much to me. You feel like family! Also thank you everyone who took the time to read this, I hope from my story you see that it doesn’t matter what odds are against you. No dream is out of reach, so DREAM BIGGER and go for it!!!