Bailey Tatro advocates intuitive eating in her bid for the title of Miss Massachusetts; she competes tonight
Bailey Tatro advocates intuitive eating in her bid for the title of Miss Massachusetts; she competes tonight

WILBRAHAM — For only the third year, Wilbraham native Bailey Tatro will compete tonight in a preliminary competition for the title of Miss Massachusetts, the title of Miss America.

Tatro’s fight for the title not only includes the presentation of her dancing talent, but also an initiative for healthy nutrition that is intended to strengthen the self-image of young girls.

“Social media is often the beginning of a deterioration in self-image, body and personality,” said Tatro. “Intuitive eating brings a little more calm to that area and shows that you can eat the way you need to eat if that works for you and makes you feel good.”

The 2024 Miss Massachusetts Scholarship Pageant will be held tonight at 7 p.m. at the Hanover Theater in Worcester, with the finals taking place Saturday at the same time.

Tatro, the current titleholder of Miss Blackstone Valley, will compete along with 24 other young women from across the state, including Boston, Cape Cod, Western Massachusetts and Pioneer Valley.

Bailey Tatro, Miss Blackstone Valley of Springfield, will compete for the Miss Massachusetts crown. (Don Treeger / The Republican)

As an advocate for education, Miss America Opportunity will also award the next Miss Massachusetts a $15,000 scholarship.

Dolores Rabuffo, executive director of the Miss Massachusetts Organization, said the program is pleased to be able to help curb the rising costs of a college education.

If Tatro is chosen as Miss Massachusetts, she hopes to help the organization raise and award more scholarships for young women.

“I truly believe the need for scholarships for women in Massachusetts is great and growing,” Tatro said. “I would be happy to participate and make sure women are aware of the opportunity to receive these scholarships.”

In addition to education, Miss America’s mission is to provide young women with better personal and professional opportunities. Titleholders are also heavily involved in volunteer work and as mentors.

In her role as Miss Blackstone Valley, in addition to her volunteer work, Tatro has used social media to connect more broadly with the community. This is one of the main ways Tatro spreads the word about her nonprofit initiative.

Tatro’s initiative, called “Intuitive Eating: Finding Inner Peace,” is very close to her heart. The initiative promotes mindfulness and encourages people to engage in anything that gives them a holistic sense of health.

“Intuitive eating is a mindfulness practice that brings you more in tune with your body,” Tatro said. “I’m working on sharing the 10 steps of intuitive eating with people so they can learn to be a little more mindful in their practice and hopefully feel a little more comfortable in their own body.”

Motivated by past struggles with nutrition, Tatro educates others on what they can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Her initiative and presence have now inspired Tatro to learn more about philanthropic work. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nonprofit management and philanthropy at Bay Path University.

“I think when I joined the Miss America organization … and learned a little bit more about my goals, that definitely led me to the graduate program that I started,” Tatro said. “Especially because I didn’t know that you could even study that.”

Tatro wants to encourage young women to be aware of the sisterhood and career opportunities that Miss America offers. Given the chance to further pursue her passion for nutrition and nutritional needs, she hopes others can do the same.

Those interested in attending the 2024 Miss Massachusetts Pageant can purchase their tickets online through TicketCenter.

By Aurora