I have been in the pageant circuit since the age of 10. And I am completely tired of hearing people say “Oh, you are a ~pageant girl~.” Like is that supposed to be an insult? It is almost like people are disgusted with the idea of girls competing in pageants when in all actuality we are striving to make a difference. So here is a handful of completely idiotic thoughts about pageant girls that are 100% inaccurate.
1) We are NOT all 6ft, size 0, with perfect skin and luxurious long locks
In fact, we are all unique. Personally speaking, I am a HEALTHY size 4-6 with freckles and acne just like any other teenager. I struggle with self-image just as much as the next person and I couldn’t tell you the number of hair extensions I have laying around my house because (surprise) my hair actually is not down to the middle of my back!
2) So like Toddlers and Tiaras?
NO!! The types of pageants that I choose to compete in are Scholarship pageants, meaning that if I were to win, I can further my education. The only similarity between what I choose to compete in and Toddlers and Tiaras is the fact that I do actually have “go-go juice” and I live off of candy during pageant weekend.
3) All the girls are self-centered
THIS IS A HUGE LIE. If anything, girls who compete in pageants are the most giving and selfless people I know. Every girl has something called a platform, which is basically where they raise money or awareness for a charity, cause, or issue within their community or even the world. If I could say one thing about a pageant girl, is that she has the biggest servants heart. She is always looking for ways to give back, love others, and show passion for things she believes in.
4) “Pageant girls are so DUMB”
Okay, honestly this one just confuses me…. Have you EVER watched the onstage question portion of competition? We are asked harder questions than most people in our government probably even consider. We are also competing for scholarship money, I am just going to stop that one here.
5)”Pageant girls have NO ambition”
I have met women and competed with women who aspire to be doctors, lawyers, CEOs, business owners, athletes, Professors, you name it. I’m sure a pageant girl is doing it. From a very young age, we are asked what are your future plans and goals, we have our stuff together.
6) You are out to get one another
This one is an urban legend. No, I have NEVER witnessed a girl ruin another contestants dress with lipstick or break her heel. What I have seen is girls zip each other's dresses, help pin in hair pieces, calm each other down before an interview, and be there as a cheerleader when they are competing WITH not AGAINST each other.
7) My personal favorite: “Pageants teach you nothing, you can not make a career out of that”
I am here to tell you, if it would not have been for pageants I would still be shy and insecure. I would have NEVER imagined myself as a state titleholder, or talking to thousands of people about my platform. I never would have learned how to write a resume at the age of 12, conduct an interview, answer questions about politics, current events, and/or world wide news, write a business plan, think much about my future, or aspire to be Miss America.
So I hope one day people realize just how amazing it is to compete and associate themselves with pageants instead of sticking up their nose and questioning why I choose to compete.
I compete because I am surrounding myself with like minded women with goals and aspirations, women who are strong leaders. I also am learning how to be a role model and how to hopefully change the life of just one person.
A very proud pageant girl.