Beauty pageants have been around for over a century and as years go by, they not only become more popular, but more controversial. Some of the most popular pageants you may have heard of or even seen are Miss USA, Miss America, and Miss Teen USA. Due to the popularity and exposure of these pageants, many people think that they are the only pageants around when in fact, there are countless opportunities in various systems for women of all backgrounds and ages to become titleholders.
If you would’ve asked my opinion on pageants two years ago, I probably would’ve given you a generic answer about how they’re “superficial” or not inclusive of all women. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school, when I competed in a pageant for the first time, that I learned not to “judge a book by its cover.” Since competing for the first time in 2017, I have competed twice. Not only because I have fun modeling on stage, but because I was intrigued by the growth and opportunity that pageants could give me as they have done the same for so many others.
All pageant systems are different, but through the systems, I have participated in, I’ve competed in interview, runway, evening gown, talent, and casual wear. Through competitions, I’ve been able to grow my confidence on stage and my overall confidence as an individual. Pageant interviews have allowed me to think hard about the people I want to inspire, and the type of community outreach I want to do. Competing in on-stage competitions has given me a new love for modeling that I never knew I had, and the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and try new things!
Overall, as I continue to compete in pageants, I am growing into a fierce and confident woman who does not accept limits to the things that she can do. I am continuously inspired by the women holding titles that I dream of owning one day, such as, Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019. Through my everchanging growth in pageants, I plan to inspire people to step out of their comfort zone and try something that could ultimately help them grow, the same way, so many women in pageantry have inspired me. No matter what it is you are holding yourself back from doing, whether it be art, pageantry, or even a new club, take a step out of your comfort zone and see where it takes you. Trying new things can teach you more about yourself every day and ultimately help you become the best version of yourself. YOU are powerful, and you are capable of conquering new things with confidence.
“Do something uncomfortable today by stepping out of your box. You don’t have to settle for who you are – you get to create who you want to become.” – Howard Walstein