Long Island native and beauty pageant veteran Lidia Szczepanowski, learned the value of hard work at a young age from her parents. “My dad...

Long Island native and beauty pageant veteran Lidia Szczepanowski, learned the value of hard work at a young age from her parents. "My dad was a construction worker. So, we were comfortable and they contributed however they could, but I had to work whenever I could. I had to finance my education." She studied International Business at Hofstra University and she was offered an executive position at Estée Lauder but she soon realized she was destined for more. A real-life Elle Woods, this blonde bombshell woke up one day and decided to go law school. Lidia took the LSAT only once and her natural determination earned her an acceptance letter to St. John's University School of Law. "If I had not been accepted I had plans to teach wind surfing for six months at Club Med," she laughed.

Knowing her success was limitless, she decided in 2006 to compete in her very first beauty pageant. "You need to have a platform for beauty pageants and I was already doing my women's safety awareness classes so, I thought wow, what a great chance to have a bigger voice to preach a message that I felt so strongly and passionate about," she continued, "and of course, I could use a little glamour in my life!" A rookie at the time, Szczpanowski won the title of Mrs. New York America out of twenty-five contestants in her first pageant. She went on to win the titles of Mrs. New York International 2009 and Mrs. Corporate America 2013. She was also recently crowned Ms. World Elite 2017. "What's interesting is the fact that most of women compete back to back and it's an important part of their world." Lidia confessed, "I feel guilty to show up and win but it's flattering and I believe it's a testament to my message and confidence." Lidia's goal is to change society's stigma of beauty pageants and said, "I want to break the stereotype in this industry because unless you've been in one yourself you don't know what it takes."

Now Lidia is a top-rated, award winning, litigation attorney with a successful law firm in Melville, NY. Inspired by her passion for philanthropy, she founded the National Organization for Women's Safety Awareness, Inc. (NOWSA). This nonprofit raises awareness about sexual assault and violence against women while offering violence prevention programs and Personal Safety Awareness classes taught by Lidia herself.

Lidia's first book, There's Something Fishy About That Skinny Bitch, will be published in early 2018. This memoir includes bizarre and unique tips to staying skinny without dieting. "People like to criticize and judge me but if I'm in the mood for Doritos, I won't eat the chip but I'll lick off the flavor and feed them to the birds." Lidia's recent projects showcase her drive for entrepreneurship. The beauty queen also has a fashion line, Sculptura™ which is set to launch this year. It was created because of her first profession. "Being an attorney makes me have a busy schedule. I'll have a court appearance in the morning, a fancy luncheon during the day and ending with a cocktail party at night." Her everyday lifestyle made her want to create the perfect little black dress for every "women on the go", with built in secret consoles for padded inserts and the fabric that won't wrinkle. Lidia says Sculptura™ is, "the perfect little back dress for the modern-day woman."

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