Skinny, tall, blonde, oh, and of course loved the color pink were just the first beauty pageant thoughts that came to mind. If you told me last year I would be competing in beauty pageants I would’ve laughed at you, hard. I mean come on, we all know how beauty pageants go; just watch an episode of “Toddlers and Tiaras” and you’ll get the picture, right? WRONG. I’m here to break these stereotypes through my personal experience with competing in beauty pageants.
Number 1 “Physical Appearance”: First off let me just say I LOVED the fact that not everyone was ripped, cut and toned. We’re women, different women. Each of the contestants had something unique to her style and frame. The few pageants I’ve competed in it was emphasized not so much on body weight or size but how confident you are. #workitgirl no matter what!
Number 2 “Intelligence”: The organization I compete through is a scholarship program. To easily answer your burning question “Aren’t pageant women dumb?”NO, pageant women are not dumb, quite the opposite actually. We, as contestants are required a platform. Our platform represents a specific change we want to see in our existence whether thats through charity, organizations or group work the list goes on. All of the women I’ve competed with have put in a lot of time, energy and dedication towards making a change with their platforms.
Number 3 “Wealth”: I am not going to lie this is a stereotype I believed to be true. The winner of the competition only wins because of how much money she has. Nope! I was wrong, again. Before we can compete we have to raise a minimum amount of money that is given to children’s miracle network. No one is handing over any money to anyone. If there is any bribing going on it would be hard to manage.
Number 4 “Talent”: “Doesn’t everyone sing?”. I was pleasantly surprised there were only a few singers amongst a group of twenty young women. The first pageant I competed in there were talents I had never seen before such as speed painting, ventriloquism and comedy sketches. Another wonderful reminder of how unique we all are.
Number 5 “Cookie Cutter Image”: This is my favorite stereotype because of how funny it really is. “All pageant girls are carbon copies of each other. They sit there and look pretty”. I know I am being redundant but every woman was so different in her own way. There was red hair, blonde hair, black hair, brunette hair, purple hair and one had a nice touch of blue. We are by no means carbon copies of each other.
Since competing in beauty pageants I have gained life skills that I take with me beyond the stage. My confidence has risen greatly. I hold my head high and am proud to be who I am. It has taught me communication skills and most importantly I’ve made a dozen new friends. It is truly a sisterhood. We all help each other because at the end of the night whomever gets crowned we know it will go to a deserving, bright, beautiful young woman who is ready to make a difference.