Calvert City Woman Vying For Mrs. America Crown
Calvert City’s Kim Robinson, who has represented the commonwealth as Mrs. Kentucky since being crowned on August 22, 2020, is headed to Vegas to compete for Mrs. America. The pageant beginning Friday will determine who represents the country in the Mrs. World competition in Sri Lanka in November.
Robinson said she began competing in pageants during college, in the Miss Kentucky series. She made it to the state level a few times but never nabbed the title. Six years ago, after moving to Calvert City, she decided to re-enter pageant life and compete for Mrs. Kentucky. Five years later, she achieved her goal.
She reflected on growing up with a speech impediment and how it felt to sit down at the school lunch table only to watch her classmates get up and leave, and said it led to feelings of insecurity. But now, Mrs. Kentucky said competing in pageants helped her learn to embrace who she is, who she wants to be, and she’s comfortable in embracing her differences. She said she’s no longer “trying to fit a mold of what [she] thought the typical pageant girl should be.”
“That’s one of the messages, if I would be lucky enough to win Mrs. America, I want to promote. That it's okay to be different. It’s okay to be unique. You don’t have to fit a mold,” she said.
Robinson manages two Snap Fitness locations in Marshall County and her interest in fitness inspired her platform of creating a healthier Kentucky in past Mrs. Kentucky competitions. But last year she decided to approach the pageants with a different goal in mind: creating a more inclusive Kentucky, especially for those with disabilities. She works in partnership, through advocacy, with the National Inclusion Project.
Robinson said her platform, ‘Defying Disabilities,’ aims to include recreation and fitness for all types of abilities and levels. On Thursday nights at the Benton Snap Fitness location, in partnership with the Special Olympics, she hosts ‘Adaptive Fitness’ sessions for people with disabilities. She described the events as a source of friends and recreational activities for people who may usually struggle in social settings, like she did when she was younger.
Robinson said she’s spent quite a bit of time and energy polishing her speaking skills ahead of competition. She hired a professional speech coach, Levi Roseman, conducted mock interviews twice a week and accepted opportunities to speak publicly. She said it’s part of her attempt to embrace becoming “comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
Robinson sought Roseman’s advice and coaching in an effort to better prepare her for pageants, but said what she’s learned has also benefited her everyday life, both professionally and personally. She said she’s learned that how a person speaks, including inflections in the tone of voice, impact how a message is received equally as much as the word choice and connotations.
She’s also had help from her husband, Andrew, in preparing for competition. Robinson laughed as she recalled a video she shared on Facebook in which Andrew attempted to help her apply new magnetic eyelashes. She said although he’s not great with makeup and outfits, he’s supportive in every other way possible. She affectionately calls him, “Mr. Kentucky,” and said he will escort her on stage during the evening gown portion of the upcoming Mrs. America pageant.
Physical preparation for the pageant has been an important consideration as well. Robinson said 25% of her score is calculated based on physical fitness in the swimsuit segment, and it’s helped direct her fitness training. But even outside of pageant season, Robinson is a fitness enthusiast in competitive stair climbing and long distance running.
Robinson said her passion for long distance running began with the high school cross country team. She loves the sport so much that she ran a half marathon during her honeymoon stay in Jamaica, something which has become a tradition of sorts when she travels to new places.
“Any time I travel, I love trying to experience whatever country or city I’m in by trying to find a marathon or a distance race to run in,” she said.
Competitive stair climbing is not as widely known, and she jokingly said she has a “love/hate relationship” with it.
“It is great, but it’s also miserable,” she laughed.
Robinson said she’s grateful that through managing the Snap Fitness locations in Marshall County and her work as Mrs. Kentucky, she has the opportunity to continue changing lives for the better. She said that’s her motivation.
If she wins Mrs. America, Robinson has a three-part plan to expand her platform. The first part consists of partnering more Snap Fitness and Special Olympics throughout the state and country, striving to provide Adaptive Fitness programs across the country. The next section of her plan, when the pandemic regulations allow, involves continuing to speak in schools and community groups as her avenue to share the message of inclusion for all people, regardless of their differences. The third aspect is continuing to advocate for the National Inclusion Project and Special Olympics.