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Pageat Interview Queen

Not All Beauty Pageants Are Alike—Find the Ones That Fit Best for You

It’s easy to look at a stage full of tall, slender beauty pageant contestants and wonder how you’d measure up. Or you might think that the fun of pageant experience isn’t available to you because you don’t look like them.

While some semblance of beauty is, as you’d guess, a typical feature of a successful beauty pageant contestant, it’s important to remember that there are many forms of beauty. That can be easy to forget if you limit your thinking to just the biggest, televised, or most well-known pageants.

Don’t be like those outside the pageant world, who often think all pageants are the same. Those are the same folks who innocently confuse Miss America with Miss USA, etc. Think broader and research different pageants to find the best fit for you.

There are many, many pageants to allow for participation from those in all walks of life and with all interests. There are pageants for petites, for plus sizes, for the heavily-tattooed, for the differently-abled, for certain ethnic heritages, for different age groups, for the married, for professionals, etc. There is Miss Rodeo America, Miss Wheelchair America, Miss Black USA, Miss Plus America, Miss America Latina, Miss Belleza Latina, Miss Deaf America, Miss Petite North America, Miss Corporate America, Miss Indian Nations, and so many more.

And while there may be overlapping categories—that is, there may be pageant evening gown or some sort of swimsuit or fitness-wear category—they also can have highly unique judging categories and pageant scoring systems. 

For instance, Miss Navajo has included a traditional-to-their culture talent (like Navajo drumming, singing, dancing, or story-telling), a traditional skill (like spinning wool, weaving a rug, making jewelry or pottery), in addition to a modern talent (more like most of us are accustomed to like non-Navajo singing, dancing, playing an instrument and so on) and a modern skill (like sewing or involvement in science or community-related projects, etc.).

Miss Navajo contestants also need to demonstrate knowledge of the Navajo language and culture (in a 45-minute interview!), and compete in butchering a sheep and making fry bread. Clearly this is a tough pageant! They take honoring their culture seriously and Miss Navajo is a competition that can lead to international exposure.  Beauty is a part of it, and defined more broadly.

So if you don’t feel like you fit the image of a major system, or want to practice your skill at other pageants first, then enter a different pageant that is more tailored to you. Pageants are great for personal and professional development—especially if you approach it with the intent of learning and practicing skills that will transfer to other arenas of life.

And especially if there is a personal interview component to the pageant, as that’s where one can’t help but grow if we just pay attention. And we can grow that much more if a contestant seriously prepares for interview as learning to consider your audience in your replies, as well as good listening and communication skills, clearly come into play in many other arenas of life.

So start doing some pageant research now. Even if you are doing fine in the system you are in, you might find some interesting alternatives to pursue now or at different times in your life. I offer question to keep in mind as you look for quality pageants (they are not all created equal), and more as you consider pageant involvement, in Pageant Interviewing Success: The Collected Series. Check it out to help you shine your brightest.


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