By Cassy Fiano-Chesser
Last week, Hannah Neeleman was crowned Mrs. American 2023, representing the state of South Dakota. Yet it’s her answer about what has made her feel the most empowered which has won hearts across the country.
Neeleman is no stranger to going above and beyond — she graduated from Juilliard as a ballerina. She’s no stranger to pageant life, either; she was crowned Miss New York City in 2010 and Mrs. Utah in 2021… while pregnant! She and her husband, Daniel Neeleman, lived in Sao Paolo, Brazil, for a time, where she danced and he worked in business.
Eventually, they launched the massively-successful Ballerina Farm, which sells goods like farm-raised meat, sourdough starters, baked goods, and kitchen supplies. Together, she and her husband have seven children. Neeleman then moved on to competing in Mrs. American, part of the Mrs. America pageant. The winners of both Mrs. America and Mrs. American go on to compete at Mrs. World.
But it was her inspiring and pro-life message that warmed hearts across the country.
On stage, a judge asked Neeleman when she felt most empowered, and her answer was that giving birth to her seven children was the most empowering experience of her life.
“I have felt this feeling seven times now as I bring these sacred souls to the earth,” she said through tears. “After I hold that newborn baby in my arms, the feeling of motherhood and bringing them to the earth is the most empowering feeling I have ever felt.”
Women are frequently made to believe that motherhood will destroy their dreams and aspirations, that having children will put an end to any potential success or happiness. But children don’t have to keep anyone from their dreams or their successes; as Neeleman shows, not only can women accomplish big things as mothers, but they can be empowered by motherhood, too.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and reposted with permission.