I get a lot of emails from young women who are about to compete in some pageant or another, and request my advise despite this disastrous pageant moment. Let me just quickly preface, I haven’t competed in pageants since I was a little girl. I did it because I wanted to prove to myself I had the courage to get up on that stage, no matter what. And to my surprise, I won a few.
There’s a lot of pageants out there and a lot of scams. These are the top-notch pageants for young women: Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, Miss America, and America’s Junior Miss. Anything else is probably as scam or not worth your time and money.
Here’s what I’ve learned about winning a pageant:
- Be nice. TO EVERYONE, but don’t fake it.You never know what you say or do might get back to the judges. Be nice to everyone; especially to the chaperons, choreographers and anyone in charge.AND , YES… be nice to your competition. Don’t be fake about it, just keep your mouth shut if you’re not sure what to say. Winning isn’t a popularity contest.
- Workout – a lot. (But, please don’t become Nicole Riche.)I believe being active it is the true secret to winning. Give yourself a minimum of five months to get in your routine. If feel confident in your swimsuit, you’ll feel great in your gown and have one less thing to think about in interview. Just do your best to be fit but don’t let it go to your head. It’s about your lifestyle, not dieting or starving yourself last minute.
- Get an interview coachA pageant interview coach might be a bit pricey, but it’s totally worth it. After these sessions you’ll be able to nail any job interview. Be sure to stay up on current events, and know basic American History.
- Get a custom gown.Weather you make it yourself, or if you have the bucks to pay for one; this is a fantastic secret. My mom and I made my dress for Miss Missouri Teen USA, and maybe it wasn’t the best fit but I had a great story and a memory to share forever with my mom. And guess what? I won evening gown and the title. Even if you can’t afford to buy what you want, you can embellish it or create one from scratch (imagination willing.)
- Don’t compare yourself.You’ll make yourself crazy if you look at every other girl’s assets. Focus on your strengths, not what you wish you were.
- Have an opinion. (Or pretend to)I had to learn this the hard way. If you are lucky enough to get an “on-stage” question or interview, just say something… even if you’re not sure what the question is about. How you say something is sometimes more important that what you say. When answering it’s not about being right or trying to say what you think people want to hear, it’s just saying what you belive in. Also, if you can answer your question with humor you will score HUGE!