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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

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In Kids & Family

In Kids & Family

For new Mrs. Wisconsin, pageants are a family affair


After Rebecca Magestro lost her "baby weight" following the birth of her second child, she decided to move forward with something she had considered for three years.

"I knew it was now or never," says Magestro, 35, who was crowned Mrs. Wisconsin in Wisconsin Dells on Oct. 28.

Magestro competed against 12 other women in swimsuit, evening gown and interview presentations. Unlike other pageants, there was not a talent competition.

"I think they figure being married and having kids takes more than enough talent," says Magestro, who will reign for a year.

Mrs. Wisconsin rules state that applicants must have lived in Wisconsin for six months, be between the ages of 18 and 99, have a spouse and have not posed for nude photos.

Magestro, who now lives in Germantown, grew up in Oconomowoc. She has been married for six years, has two children (ages five and 22 months), holds a full-time job as an account executive for Clear Channel Outdoor and runs a shop in Cedarburg called Zigo Italian Charms.

Magestro's husband is Italian American and the two honeymooned in Italy. Although she is of German, French and Norwegian heritage, Magestro fell in love with Italian jewelry and was inspired to open a shop.

As Mrs. Wisconsin, Magestro will compete for the national title next September in Palm Springs. But first, she will work locally on her platform to reduce domestic abuse. She has already met with the Milwaukee Women's Center and this holiday season plans to involve her whole family in the cause.

The Magestros will work together to gift-wrap Zigo items and donate all proceeds from the gift-wrapping charge to the Task Force of Family Violence.

She says the other women who competed for the title were not what she expected. One was 71 years old.

"They were all really nice," she says. "Not catty, and all very different. We weren't all from the same cookie-cutter mold."

Magestro says she got somewhat of a trick question in the interview portion, because it required her to answer a political question in an apolitical way.

"They asked me what I would do if a 16-year-old girl confided in me that she was pregnant," she says.

"I said I would be very empathetic with her and advise her to talk to someone who could give her nonjudgmental advice," says Magestro, adding with a laugh, "basically, I passed the buck."

She was also asked to describe herself in a single word. "I said compassion. It's what motivates me the most."

Magestro says she's very excited about the national pageant, especially because both she and her family will be flown to Palm Springs.

"Being in a pageant like this requires you to prepare yourself both physically and mentally," she says. "It's been really good for me, and it's also made me an even better wife and mother."

Mrs. Wisconsin's Web site is mrswisconsin.net .

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