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The City Journals

Gabby Hindoian caps year as Miss Riverton

Mar 20, 2019 03:04PM ● By Clinton Haws

Miss Riverton and First Attendant at Riverton City Rodeo parade (Gabby Hindoian/Miss Riverton)

By Clinton Haws | [email protected]

Gabby Hindoian, 18, is winding down her campaign as Miss Riverton. 

As the next pageant approaches, she took some time to reflect on her time and platform. The biggest surprise for Hindoian was all of the events and time that the position required. It is not just being crowned and earning a title. 

“I have loved every minute of my last year,” Hindoian said. “It has been kind of unexpected. I did not understand just the extent of how much work went into doing this. Even though it can get overwhelming, especially in the summer with all of the parades. I couldn’t even say one negative thing about it. 

You are signing up for a year full of commitments and service. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it. With work, school and the engagements that come with being Miss Riverton, it can become a lot.” 

Now a freshman at UVU, her plate is more than full with academics and work. Throw on top of those two priorities, the commitments of Miss Riverton, it can be more than enough to focus on. She won the Miss Riverton title while she was finishing up her senior year at Riverton High School. Studying to graduate with a degree in dance performance, she strives to dance professionally. 

“I want to do it while the window is relatively small and the body is capable for performing,” she said.

For the first-time pageant contestant and winner, the time was well spent. Being Miss Riverton has left a good impression on her personally. Residents in Utah Valley area might be seeing her crowned in their city soon (perhaps Miss Utah Valley University). 

“It was such a good experience,” she said “You meet so many people and learn new things.” 

When asked if Miss Utah is a possibility down the road, she said, “Maybe, if I keep doing it. That is ultimately the goal, right?” Obviously, she has enjoyed the position well enough that she has the desire to do it again. With all community/city pageants, a contestant can only hold the title once. 

Gabby Hindoian in gown and Miss Riverton crown (Michael Scott/Michael Scott Photography)

“When you add in work, school and family, it can become a bit overwhelming,” she said. “A part of me wants to do it again to keep the momentum of it going. I definitely plan on doing it again, although it may be after I finish my time as a student.”  

Then again, she could be preoccupied dancing on tour across the country or globe.

Miss Riverton is studying to graduate with a major in fine arts with an emphasis on dance performance at Utah Valley University. She is finishing up her freshman year. She hopes to dance professionally in a company after she graduates. 

“Dancers’ windows are so small to be able to perform, so I want to perform as long as possible,” she said. “The body is only good enough for so long in the dancing world, usually.” 

The impact of social media

When running for Miss Riverton, Hindoian ran on the platform of the dangers and effects of social media has on our overall health (including our mental and physical health). She advises those that suffer anxiety or begin to struggle with their mental health to not take the position too seriously. The platform was an easy choice; it was inspired personally by her younger brother.

“My original platform was inspired just solely off of him because he struggled a lot with social media, and his self-confidence suffered,” she said. “Originally, I saw him go through it, and that became what I wanted to focus it on, and then I went through it myself. It only grew from there, and it affects everybody. It is not just certain age groups; it affects everybody.” 

Social media was creating anxiety and depression her brother’s life. Since then, he has adjusted and learned to see the warning signs of its negativity. He will delete the app from his phone entirely for months at a time until he is good and ready to get back on it again. The social pressures that come with it can be overwhelming. She recommends to anyone that is dealing with any sort of anxiety or negative repercussions to simply delete it.

“Sometimes, it might seem complicated than that, but honestly take the time and just delete it for a minute,” Hindoian said. “I am so incredibly proud of my little brother. My little brother is 14 years old, and ever since I had this platform to speak from, when he realizes he gets down or upset, he completely deletes his Instagram, and he is off of it for several months until he is ready to get back on it. I am so proud of him for that because I do not even have to tell him. He just does it on his own.”

It’s a great lesson for parents trying to navigate the issues of social media with their children. For some, this might seem impossible, especially for teens.

“So many that are his age are so glued to their phones,” she said. “It almost seems the younger they get, the worse they are with it, so that can be a really hard step to take. Even if it is not just deleting it fully, it is setting a time limit for yourself to be on it. Spend a half-hour or an hour at most a day on it.” 

Hindoian recommends setting a timer or even deleting the app from your phone to focus on the things that matter and have a real impact on your life. Apps such as Facebook and Instagram have a timer in its settings where you can set it for an hour a day. If that time is up, move on to other tasks and things that will lift you up. 

“It is such a huge thing for my age group,” Hindoian said. “For my brother and even me, it was something that was really important…[Social media] is easy to get obsessive with. When you start to compare and suffer negative thoughts and anxiety from it, try to be aware.” 

“Go do other things with the rest of your day that is going to make you feel good,” she said. “Go out with friends and focus on personal interactions rather than social interactions through a phone.” said Hindoian.

She urged parents to not forget that it is in your control and you also provide an example. If your children see you looking at your phone while you interact with them, it sells a picture that your phones and social media might be as or more important as what they are saying. 

“Especially for that 12 to 14 age range, it is much of the time in the parent's control,” she said. “They have to be in charge of that because the kids can’t do it themselves. Work on building interactions in person that have value and lasting meaning.”

Advice for the next Miss Riverton

As her year is winding down as Miss Riverton, Hindoian looks on her experience with a bit of nostalgia. Naturally, without being able to have a small taste of bittersweet as it concludes. She is looking forward to the upcoming pageant to meet all of this year’s contestants. The event takes place April 27 at Riverton City Hall. It is a rite of passage event in more ways than one for her. In uncanny fashion, it is also on her birthday. She not only finishes up her first year of adulthood, but she is handing over her crown as Miss Riverton. If her last year is any indication, she has a lot of incredible endeavors just around the corner.

“I really want the girls and the next Miss Riverton to soak up every single second of this experience” she said. “You meet so many amazing girls and create the strongest friendships.” 

Hindoian said the time over the last year went by quickly. With all of the events and opportunities to serve out there, she wants the next pageant winner to make the most of every moment.

“It is really easy to get overwhelmed and stressed with all of the service and responsibilities thrown your way,” she said. “Even though there is a lot going on, you really need to enjoy every second and not take a minute for granted. It feels like once you are getting crowned, you are adjusting to everything you are doing. Then, the minute you get comfortable and dive into the entirety of the experience, you just get back up and hand over the title to the next girl.”

Hindoian leaves with a lifetime of memories, experiences and relationships that have been created since being crowned. She is inspired by how all of the examples she has witnessed throughout the many service events. She said even if you are not a pageant winner, there are always opportunities and groups to help out others.

“I think it is really amazing,” she said. “Seeing everyone’s eagerness and motivation to help and aid others is really inspiring and uplifting.”