MS Congeniality – Jaimee Dorris

People from other states sometimes ask me how Mississippi has ended up with so many authors, athletes, musicians and entertainers. And on first glance, it does seem like there is something in the water or the food or the mud in this State that makes native Mississippians different somehow. But as a native Mississippian, I think I have a unique take on what makes us different and I believe I’m as qualified as the next Mississippian to offer my thoughts on the subject.

You see, Mississippi mommas and daddies have for generations been raising their children to be bold and adventurous, to find their special place in the world by embracing what makes them different. This method of child rearing produces children who are not bashful, wallflowers or quiet.

I think part of it stems from the fact so many people who aren’t from Mississippi look down on Mississippi folks and culture and therefore, we know the only people who will toot our horn is ourselves. That was kind of why I started in the first place. Just between you and me, I didn’t really create this website to promote Mississippi to outsiders as much as I wanted to remind people who were born and raised here that we are a special kind of people and we have a lot to be proud of around here.

As it turns out, I’m not the only person out there trying to celebrate the Mississippi people, places and things that make life here so quirky and wonderful. And speaking of quirky, I’m about to introduce you to one of most interesting self-appointed Mississippi Ambassadors I’ve run across so far while editing

Her name is Jaimee Dorris but you can just call her MS Congeniality! (But, don’t ever, ever call her bashful!)

According to her website (, she is the owner of a web design studio in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi a wife, ex-wife, mother, stepmother, sister, daughter, friend, and pet-owner. She describes herself this way:

I have a degree in broadcast news, a flair for theatrics, an affinity towards greater self-awareness, and an obsession with dresses. My hair is natural – dirty blonde with silver streaks. I abhor waste, thoughtlessness, and inefficiency.  I dance the tango, rap hiphop, wear bright red lipstick, and love riding my bike. No day is complete without a cold brew coffee from the Cat Island Coffee Shop.

In 2016, she competed for the title of Mrs. Mississippi America just because and even though she’d never been in a pageant before, she won the title of Mrs. Congeniality Mississippi. So, in case you were wondering, she technically didn’t come by the name “MS Congeniality” without some bona fides.

I became aware of Jaimee when she sent me an email via this website to tell me how much she appreciated and enjoyed the work we do here, but after looking at some of the work she is doing with her web show, MS Congeniality with Jaimee Dorris, I wrote her back and asked her to let me feature her and her show on our website as one of those things we think makes Mississippi great. I asked Jaimee to write a few things about herself, her work and her thoughts about Mississippi, so I could incorporate her thoughts into this post. And while I waited, I checked out her site a couple more times to try and figure her out.

I find Jaimee to be one of those people who have IT, if you know what I mean. Just watch her videos for MS Congeniality or any of the other videos at her YouTube Channel. Whether scripted or unscripted, she’s just fun to watch, and I think I know at least a couple of reasons for this:

  1. Jaimee is fearless. Whether she is singing a rap song or dancing to a song only she can hear, she couldn’t care less who is watching or how good or bad she is doing whatever she is doing. She seems to convey the message that it doesn’t really matter whether you are doing something good or bad, it matters more that you are doing something at all and that the doing of that thing makes you happy. In other words, happiness is found in the journey not the destination.
  2. Jaimee is a great conversationalist. I’ve been doing talk radio as a hobby for over 20 years now and I can tell you that the secret to success in talk radio is being able to carry on a conversation with anyone and Jaimee has this talent in spades. Just watch her videos. It doesn’t matter if it is a five year old kid or a world weary adult, Jaimee can draw out the person she is talking to and get them to reveal glimpses of their inner selves to her audience. Sometimes she can elicit joy and sometimes its pain, but in either case it is done with grace and compassion.
  3. Jaimee is unashamedly high on Mississippi. Her work was initially focused on South Mississippi and in particular the Gulf Coast but based on her comments she is just as excited about the prospect to get to interview Mississippians from all parts of the State. She and I both believe that Mississippi is one of the best kept secrets in the United States and we both believe it will only get better if we stand up and tell the great story of our beloved home State.

As I said, I asked Jaimee to send me some information about herself for this article and after reading it, I decided I should just let her speak for herself:

Mississippi is full of beautiful places and beautiful people. And that’s exactly what the online series, MS Congeniality, is all about. The show was birthed out of the desire to give the world a glimpse of how cool Mississippi really is. We are more than farmers and plantation owners. We’re business owners, artists, and trend setters. The MS Con team has been interviewing people all over the state who are defying Mississippi stereotypes. And the people we’ve discovered throughout the first 22 webisodes of MS Congeniality have shocked and surprised even us!

Our show is called MS Congeniality, not just because I won the title in the Mrs. Mississippi America pageant, but because Mississippi wins the title too. We’re the state with the most personality.. the most quirks! And we certainly don’t fit your classic standard of beauty, although we’ll sure make you laugh.

We don’t only want to entertain the audience with fun and games and interesting people. Our goal is to help make Mississippi better in the process. We’re partnering with local environmental causes and organizations to donate a portion of our proceeds. We are super passionate about taking care of the wonderful place we get to call home.

Over the next year we’re traveling across the state, from the coast to the delta. It’s season 2 of the show. We’re on the lookout for Mississippi’s best, brightest, silliest, and realest people. In five years, I hope the show can have a nationwide audience, creating a stir and making Mississippians proud to be from here.

Most people waste a lot of time looking at cat videos on the internet (which by the way, if the cats ever figure out we are laughing at them, there will definitely be hell to pay, I’m just saying), but here’s a thought: perhaps your time could be better spent checking out some of the people from around Mississippi who make this one of the most wonderful and magical places to live in the world. And, I guarantee you won’t find a more interesting host to introduce you to these people than Jaimee Dorris aka MS Congeniality!

Truth is, Jaimee’s momma and daddy did not raise her to be bashful or a wallflower or quiet. They raised her to embrace her special-ness and either share it with the world, or conquer the world with it.

I’m not really sure which and I’m not really sure it matters.


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