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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kent State chapter.

I did my first pageant when I was either six or seven, neither I nor my mom can recall my exact age. It was a Little Miss Princess Pageant for my city. I may not be able to recall my exact age but, I can still remember the dress I wore and what aspects of the pageant made me the most nervous.

If you are wondering, my dress was white with blue and yellow flowers; however, I am sure that you are more curious about what aspects made me more nervous than others. Whether it was walking on stage or being in front of a crowd. Since I did dance when I was about three, a large crowd did not frighten me much. It was actually the question that made me the most nervous.

The question was “If you were a superhero, what would your power be?” I could not think of anything as at the time I had no interest in being a superhero. We had practice the day before the pageant so after the practice in which I had a hard time answering the question, my parents took me and my sister to get ice cream.

After ice cream, my parents had my sister and I practice answering the question. Now since it has been well over ten years since the pageant, I, unfortunately, can not remember my answer to the question but the practice in my opinion did help me. It helped me become more confident in answering questions in front of a large crowd.

Unfortunately, I did not win the pageant; however, I did not really mind that much at least in the long run. I will see that competing in a pageant that young helped me become more confident and outgoing. This is due to the fact that all of the older contestants were outgoing and friendly. When I was six or seven years old I wanted to be just like them.

Since my first pageant experience was a good one, I would compete in a pageant again when I was 15. I competed in the Miss Italia Ohio Pageant. For those interested in hearing some juicy pageant story, in order to compete in the pageant contestants have to be at least 16 years old. Since I was not 16, I had to lie about my age which involved saying my birthday was towards the end of October which it is not.

Similar to the Little Miss Princess Pageant, we had a practice round prior to the pageant the only difference was that it was during the meeting for the pageant which was a few weeks before it. During the meeting, we answered some questions that could possibly be our question for the pageant.

For context, each contestant chooses from a bowl a question so no one is able to know what their question will be. During the meeting, my question was “What is your favorite Italian dessert?” My grandma makes a ton of different cookies and I was unable to recall the name of my favorite one at the moment. What I did was describe the cookie as the woman in charge of the pageant tried to guess what I was referring to.

As you can imagine, this was embarrassing as I essentially bombed the practice question. This prompted my mom to ask me a series of practice questions up until the day of the pageant. If you are wondering, yes, this seriously annoyed me.

On the day of the pageant, I got extremely lucky as my question was “Who is one of your role models?” For this, I answered with my grandfather as me and him have similar personality traits such as our stubbornness. Once I started answering the question, the answer just flowed naturally.

Like the Little Miss Princess Pageant, I did not win Miss Italia Ohio; however, I did not mind the loss too much as just being there was good enough. Before the pageant began most of us contestants started to bond with each other so the pageant itself felt more like a sleepover rather than a pageant. It also helped that everyone was so supportive and encouraging of each other regardless of the fact that we were all competing for the same crown.

If you were to ask me if it is worth it to compete in a pageant, I would say yes as in my opinion pageants can be a rewarding experience. As they allow you to come out of your shell so that you become more confident in yourself. Plus the pageant environment can be good as it often features girls supporting girls.

Adriana Gasiewski

Kent State '26

Adriana Gasiewski is sophomore Journalism major with a minors in Italian and English. Besides being the Philanthropy and Community Events Coordinator and on the editorial team for Her Campus, she is also a cultural and diversity beat reporter for KentWired. Some of her favorite things to do besides writing include reading, drawing and listening to music.