Pageants: Where to start?
Are you considering competing in a Pageant but you aren't sure where to start?
Relax, make yourself at home...you're in the right place.
Are you thinking about competing in a Pageant but you're not sure where to start? I'll be honest, before actually competing in a pageant, the only thing I knew about pageants was what I saw on TV. Maybe you find yourself in the same category as me when I first started of not having a clue that there are actually different "systems" of pageants. And within the different "systems" of pageants, there are different categories.
Let's break it down...
There are dozens of different "systems" within the world of Pageantry. Think of these kind of like Nike, Adidas and Reebok...different branding, different owners, different messaging, but still shoes. So in the world of pageants, there are systems like the "America" system, the "USA" System, the "International" System, the US Universal System, etc etc...(there are dozens of systems besides these three)...they are different systems, yet all pageants.
Now, within each System, there are different categories.
Real Talk again - I had no clue that there were different categories either! Before I competed, all I knew about was Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Universe, since that's what I had seen on TV. I thought that only younger girls in college could compete in a pageant. I was *cough* "way too old" for that since I had turned 29 years old multiple times already ;) But come to find out, there was a category for Married Women who wanted to compete in pageants. Turns out again that there are categories for young girls, teens, college age ladies, married women, there is a MS. category, and even a senior category.
Good news - you can compete in pageants no matter what stage of life you are in!
You probably have an idea of which category you fit into, but now you will need to figure out which system best suits you. There are different benefits to each one so finding the one you want to start with is a good thing to research.
Each system places a different emphasis on different categories - aka - the scoring of the pageant is different, which means you will want to know how each system scores their contestants and if you feel comfortable with what they emphasize within the scoring system. For example, some systems favor interview over swimsuit/fitness, other systems favor talent over evening gown, and other systems favor community service/your cause (or your "platform") over talent, and some systems only include certain parts of the competition (i.e. the Mrs. system that I competed in didn't include a talent portion within the competition and was heavily favored for interview).
Once you get an idea of the different systems and scoring of the competition, be sure that it is available in your area. You will also want to double check any requirements and be sure that they can fit within your schedule. (i.e. some systems require a certain amount of appearances or community service hours or attendance to a workshop, etc).
Once you have found which systems are in your area, you should reach out to the director. The director that is heading up the program can MAKE OR BREAK your experience within Pageantry. Some directors absolutely LOVE what they do and pour their heart and soul into every woman within their system and other directors - well, not so much. It never hurts to reach out to them and ask to grab coffee or a phone or skype call and to see if you feel like they will provide you with what you feel like you need in your journey. Another good thing to consider is, that if you do want to win the title, what are the requirements of the titleholder? Some directors have strict requirements about appearances, social media, branding and recruiting, while other directors have less strict requirements.
Having been in your shoes, I wish I would have had someone share the information that's in this blog post because I had no clue. I just blindly followed a recommendation, didn't know I had an option, and that I had the power to choose what would be best for me and my family. Thankfully (and I'm sure Jesus and some luck had something to do with it as well), when I blindly jumped into the Pageant world, the system I chose was a great fit for me and the directors are a class act.
I hope this blog post helps you feel empowered to know that you have a choice when it comes to choosing which system and organization will be a good fit for you. My hope is that when you are empowered to choose, you will join one that aligns with you and your message and your experience will be AMAZING because the world of Pageantry is truly what you make it!
Cheers beYOUtiful one...keep shining!