Meet Miss Kentucky, Molly Matney: Hometown Girl
Meet Miss Kentucky, Molly Matney
Those of us who have watched Molly grow up and who know her parents and grandparents, couldn’t be more thrilled to say we know Miss Kentucky!
Molly lives in the same small community I do (Metcalfe County) and before I go any further I just have to tell you that the main reason we are all so happy Molly was chosen is not because she’s beautiful (her beauty is obvious) it’s because of her heart. My grandmother always said true beauty exists on the inside of a person and Molly is truly beautiful inside and out.
I sent Molly a series of questions and appreciate her taking the time to answer them because I know her daily calendar is extremely full. Thanks for doing this Molly and I’m asking all my NanaHood friends to root for you this fall!
Question 1. How did you get started in pageants and at what age?
I did my first pageant when I was eleven called Little Miss Dream Girl. There was a Miss Kentucky contestant from my hometown, Nicole Slinker, who put together this program for girls in Metcalfe County, Kentucky. I don’t really think I even knew what a pageant was, but I wanted to do it with my friends just for fun. I remember putting on layer after layer of this hot pink lipstick because I thought makeup had to be applied at least five times before people would know you had any on. I think I even sprayed glitter in my hair. I am blessed my hair and makeup knowledge have evolved!
2. Tell us about the events leading up to Miss Kentucky. What was your experience like?
I started in the Miss Kentucky Organization when I was eighteen. I entered the Miss Bowling Green pageant in the fall after I graduated high school and didn’t win or place runner-up, then I entered another the same year, Miss Monticello, where I won the title of Miss Wayne County Area. My first year at Miss Kentucky was just magical and perfect and I knew I wanted to come back again the next year. I won the title of Miss Mammoth Cave Area in the fall of my sophomore year of college, which would send me back to Miss Kentucky a second time. Going into Miss Kentucky week the second time was much different from the first. I felt a sense of calmness going into it that was definitely not there the first time. The whole week of Miss Kentucky was kind of a whirlwind for me this year, though. I came out of my interview and cried because I thought I did so poorly, and I just felt very down about it the rest of the week. But on the final day of Miss Kentucky competition, I felt this calmness again and I truly know and believe it was God preparing me for what was about to happen.
3. Tell us about your plans for the upcoming year.
My plans are to just soak this whole experience in. You can get caught up in the nerves or in the stress or in trying to make yourself fit this mold of what others want you to be, and then before you know it, it’s gone and you’re never going to have these moments again. Quite often I’ll find myself with tears in my eyes just soaking up the world and where I am at the moment. It’s just this absolutely wonderful experience that you never, ever want to end.
4. What are your career goals and do you plan to stay in Kentucky?
I don’t know if anyone else feels like this, but I don’t think I have a certain career “goal.” I want to always be growing and pushing myself further, so I don’t really think I’ll ever know what the end goal is. I know I always want to be doing something to help others. I would love to work in the agricultural industry, and with my first job being the spokesperson for the Kentucky Proud label, I am so excited to make my mark in Kentucky agriculture. I definitely plan to stay in Kentucky forever! There’s no place like it.
5. When and where is the next pageant and how do you train for it?
The next pageant is Miss America on September 10th in Atlantic City, New Jersey! That is still crazy to say. There is so much that goes into preparing for something like that. You want to do the absolute best that you possibly can, so hitting the gym, working with a vocal coach, interview prep, eating right, and getting your mind in the proper place are all so important. There are super fun things about preparations like choosing your wardrobe, and then there are serious things like forming your opinion on how to combat terrorism. I have a great support system with my parents, my community, and my board of directors at Miss Kentucky. It’s such a once in a lifetime experience that I know I will never forget.
6. NanaHood is a grandparent blog. Tell us about your grandparents and share what you love best about them.
Grandparents are one of my favorite things about life. I love my own grandparents and I love other people’s grandparents. They can solve any problem you bring before them and they will always tell you it’s going to be just fine. Both my grandfathers, Kenneth (Pappy) and Thomas (Pa), have passed away, but I will always remember them. I was so young when Pappy passed away, but I can remember going to see him in the nursing home when he was very sick. I can really remember my dad being by Pappy’s side a lot and I can remember feeling and sensing just how much my dad loved him. Pa passed away when I was going into the eighth grade, and I will always remember his quiet wisdom he always had.
My grandmothers, Shirley (Mammy) and Lee Ann (Mammaw) are honestly two of my best friends. Mammy has always been what they call a “character.” I can remember being a little girl and sneaking into the room where she kept her Jafra makeup and putting on her bright pink lipstick and hoping she didn’t notice. I know she noticed, but she never said a word. She has always had a strength and positivity about her that I hope I have inherited.
Pictured….Molly and her paternal grandmother, Shirley.
Mammaw is a steady rock in my life. I can’t count the hours I have sat on her couch and told her about boy problems or school problems or just life problems in general. She can give me the best advice I’ll ever hear and she is the most generous person I know. I love my grandparents more than anything, and I cherish every moment and memory I have with them.
Molly on right and maternal grandmother, Lee Ann.
7. I have 4 granddaughters. What do you say to little girls who are interested in being in pageants?
If it is something they want to pursue, I would tell them to please do it! I waited around for years to participate in the Miss Kentucky Organization because I thought I was inadequate. I would say, “Next year I’ll be in the teen pageant because this year I don’t have a dress.” Or, “Next year I’ll be in Miss Kentucky because this year I just don’t know what to sing.” I wasted a lot of valuable time thinking I wasn’t good enough or I wasn’t pretty enough or this or that. But it isn’t about those things. It’s about going out there and showing your heart, showing what you stand for. That’s what people are drawn to. Every pageant, win or lose, is an experience where you grow and you find out more about yourself at each one you do. Seize the moment and trust in your abilities!
8. What’s the best thing so far about being Miss Kentucky?
The love. You feel it growing in your heart, and it pours out every day. I feel so much love from my county, I feel so much love from my parents and grandparents. That foundation gives me the ability to go to all these places around Kentucky and simply show others that love. Whether it’s a little girl who almost knocks you over when she hugs you because she is so excited, or whether it’s a little boy standing on the corner of a parade who has his head down and finally cracks a smile when you wave at him, it’s all about the love. My parents always told me that they only wanted me to go as far along on this journey as what God wanted me to, and I am grateful he chose to place me in this position to spread His love.
Pictured Left to Right…Rhonda Matney, Molly, Avery Matney
Rhonda Matney is Molly’s mom and she says, “I am so blessed to be able to watch Molly along this journey as Miss Kentucky. I pray that people will know her for her good heart, and I am so excited to see the lives she will change.”
Rhonda and Avery are also the proud parents of Molly’s brothers, Logan and Josh. We love all the Matney family and wish we could be there with you to cheer Molly on in the fall! You can bet we will be glued to the television screen and cheering our hearts out!
Professional Photographs by Philips Mitchell
To read more about Miss Kentucky pageant click here.
To read more about Miss America pageant click here.
I love Josh Turner, the country music star, and if you haven’t ever heard his song Hometown Girl, well it reminds me so much of Molly. It’s a great song and fits this post so well I just had to close with it. Enjoy!