My Crown Doesn't Define Me

I have been competing in pageants since I was 12 years old. My parents were very hesitant at first being I was so young and very shy, but I convinced them to let me give it a try.

I was very intimidated because all these girls who were the ideal “pageant girl” surrounded me. They had a great wardrobe, perfect hair and a bright white smile. I will admit, I was judging them. 

An hour later, these same girls I was judging were making me laugh and we had conversations about burgers and floats (my two favorite things in the world). These girls were so amazing and I had a great time that weekend.

The misconception that “pageants girls” compete for a pretty crown and sash are so wrong. Our competition is just an extended job interview. We are competing for a job to represent an organization that we believe in. Whether it’s at a local, state, national, or even international level, whoever is crowned, is the spokeswoman and face of the organization.

I won my first title at 14. Yes I cried and yes I was happy to finally have a crown of my own, but what followed pageant night was so much more than just a crown on my head. I met local councilmembers, networked at events in my community and made so many great friends. Not many people can say they met the governor of Florida at 14 and have a five-minute conversation with him. 

 

 

As my face and name became more known in the community, I was being introduced to more people than I can remember. I met the superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools and he was able to help me my senior year of high school with recommendation letters for college. I would have never been able to get that opportunity if I wasn’t a “pageant girl.”

Going to events are fun, but my passion is our next generation. I use my crown as a microphone for my platform, which helps low-income students with brand new school uniforms. I can try to fundraise all I can on my own, but the truth is, people listen when you walk into a room with a crown.

Being able to say I am Miss [insert title here] draws people in. It’s a conversation starter and something I am most proud of. I work so hard every time I compete; I only have a few moments to share with five strangers why I feel I am the best representative.

The biggest thing I learned at 18 was college is expensive and no matter how hard you work, you may need some more financial help. Because I am a “pageant girl” I have been able to receive thousands of dollars in scholarship. The money I won helped completely pay for my first two years of college. I am so thankful to pageants for allowing me to continue my education without the burden of so many student loans.

Pageants also give me the opportunity to perform again. In high school, I would perform with my schools dance team and studio all the time. Once you’re in college, you don’t have the opportunity to do so unless it’s professionally. I love being able to show an audience the dance training I have had. I have so much fun on stage and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Girls I have met throughout my years competing have gone to work for ESPN, become government officials, and even business owners. They used the skills they have gained from competing to peruse their wildest dreams. They have attended Ivy League schools and received a doctorates degree. I am proud to be a “pageant girl” because under all the gilts and glamour is a girl who will make a difference in the world.

P.S. We do want world peace. 

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