Beauty pageants get a bad rap. Critics are all over the news talking about swimsuits and how damaging a pageant is to the self esteem of girls everywhere. Of course none of these experts are actually in a pageant, and the contestants are always voicing opposite opinions. I donít think they are damaging to anyone, in fact, they may be helping a lot of girls out there.
I used to enjoy pageants on television, especially the one with the talent competition. (Miss America has talents, Miss USA does not.) Sure some were cheesy, but most were fun. The dresses and outfits were great, too. I havenít seen as many pageants lately because I started to think they were kind of silly. I mean, a bunch of girls walking around on stage in a swimsuit and heels? Whatís the point of that?
But I found out what the point is from a new friend of mine who was once close to being Miss Texas Ė money. Itís not like Survivor money that is driven by pure greed, this is good money, scholarship money. Pageants give out tons of scholarship
money at every level of competition. Of course Miss America will have plenty of other things like fame, a new car, cool clothes and a crown, but she will also have a huge amount of money to pay for college. And what girl doesnít need that?
Iíll be the first to admit that pageants havenít always been about scholarships. But they have always been pretty pure in purpose. A pageant isnít about making anyone feel bad, they are about celebrating young women from all over the world who have worked hard to take care of themselves and who are seeking the spotlight for one reason or another.
Just listen to some of the commentary the girls make during the interviews. It is rare to find one who just wants to be pretty and famous (these days, at least.) Most of these girls want a platform for a cause that is close to their heart and to help others. Past winners have helped society in countless ways.
Now, a baby pageant with a bunch on infants doesnít have much to do with dedication and hard work. But most local pageants do. Beauty pageants arenít just about traditional beauty. They are about interviews, style, talent, speaking skills, and poise. Being athletic
and having nice features isnít enough.
If you start in the pageant circuit, you donít have to shoot for the world (or universe.) You can compete locally and start stashing away a few hundred here and there for your future. Even if youíve completely shunned pageants in the past, you might seriously consider looking into some around your town to see what they offer, what the requirements are and if the rewards are worth it.
Youíre already spending time working on your style. Learning to speak well to an audience and stand tall and proud may not win you money every time, but they are skills you can take to the bank now and for the rest of your life.