I recently caught up with Miss Pensacola USA, Heidi Jo Medina, at the Pensacola Para Con, who was working the show for the second year in a row. When she’s not participating in beauty pageants or playing roller derby as a jammer for the Pensacola Roller Gurlz, she’s keeping busy by working the convention floor. Read on to find out what she’s secretly geeking out to!
How long ago was your Miss Pensacola beauty pagent?
– “Actually, I’m Miss Pensacola 2013. Pageants are kind of weird. You’re named the year you give up your title. Actually, there’s a new Miss Pensacola, but I always help Ericka Boussarhane with Para Con. She brings me back and I help everything go smoothly.”
Since you just passed your title to someone else, what keeps you busy these days?
– “I do modeling but I also just finished my degree. I have a teaching degree from the University of West Florida. I’m a full-time nanny and I do Mrs. pageants now, because I got married two weeks before giving up my title. I’ve been in the USA system for two years and the director loves me. I won Miss Congeniality at this past Miss Florida USA, so he let me do my last walk and give away the title. Usually, if you’re pregnant or you got married, you can’t wear the sash anymore, but he still lets me, because he likes me.”
What are some of your duties at Pensacola Para Con?
– “I MC whenever she wants me to. I go find characters, when she needs them up on stage. I’m her run-to girl, any time she needs an errand or to call someone whenever there’s an emergency.”
What are you looking forward to at this year’s show?
– “I’m in a Dr. Who group, it’s the Who’s Who of Pensacola. One of our leaders, per say, is in a band that’s going to perform soon. Actually, there’s a group here from New Orleans. They’re actually really big and they travel. They did Time Fest in New Orleans and they’re putting on a party for the 50th Anniversary coming up in November.”
What are some of your hobbies or interests that can be found at this convention?
– “Dr. Who, I actually do roller derby and my team’s here, I’m into Star Wars and really, I like the food. They have fair food here. I like chicken on a stick and a big Bloomin’ Onion.”
Tell me a little about being a roller girl.
– “Like I said, I help Erica, so I actually brought them on to help volunteer. They set up a table so they can pass out fliers, which say when our bouts are and kind of explain what roller derby is and we have our merchandise for sale.”
Are you going out there, beating people up?
– “Yeah. My name, in roller derby, is BA Babydoll. I’m a jammer. That means I’m the person they’re hitting and knocking out of the rink. My girls are helping to protect me. They’re trying to knock the other jammer out. We actually have our three-year birthday party coming up on the beach. There’s going to be roller girls from all over, from New Orleans, Alabama and Mississippi. They’re going to help celebrate and we’re actually going to have a scrimmage. It’s not just our team against another team. Our players are mixed on teams with other players. Then we’re going to have a big White Party at Seville, because Seville always does big parties for the roller girls.”
How can you do both roller derby and beauty pageants simultaneously?
– “I have had to do things with bruises, but that’s the power of makeup. It can cover it up. I still do pageants with bikini contests where I had a huge bruise on my butt, and it was really bad. We actually wear fishnets and people think it’s the culture or for fashion. No, it’s so you don’t get rink rash when you get thrown out of the rink or skid on the floor. That’s what surprises people. I’m little, I do pageants, I kind of had to prove myself, but I’m actually really strong and tough on the rink. People don’t take it easy on me, but they don’t expect anything from me and then I come out swinging.”
What are you currently geeking out to?
– “This is, like, super nerdy. I just went onto Pinterest the other night and was so embarrassed, because I’ve been geeking out to Dr. Who and Harry Potter, but then medieval LARPing things. (laughs). I am geeking out on BBC’s Merlin. I remembered it came out a couple of years ago and I wanted to watch it, but I don’t watch TV a lot. So, it came on Netflix and now I’m Netflixing out to it. That’s why I started into medieval things, because I got into it. I think that’s what led into the LARPing.”
Will you be attending any other upcoming conventions?
– “I’m looking at going to Pensacon, which is going to be in Pensacola this coming year, but I really want to go to Comic-Con in LA. I worked in LA before. I would like to be a model for them one day, but I don’t think I’m tall enough. Me and my friend, we’re really into nerdy things together, we have a friend-erversary every year and we have a bucket list, together, that our husbands wouldn’t do with us. That’s on our bucket list: to go to Comic-Con together. Next year would be nice.”