What they don't tell you about Pageantry...
So many people think they know about Pageantry. Now, don't get me wrong...I'm not claiming to be an expert and will always be learning new things, but throughout my journey in pageants, I've learned a thing or two.
I've learned all about butt glue and hairspray, contouring, curling, heels and dresses. I've learned about lashes and lipstick, and posing for the camera and being on stage.
But what they don't tell you about pageantry is that there is so much more than meets the eye. It's deeper than what society sees on the surface...and only pageant girls know what I'm talking about. I'm hoping that this post brings light to a few things that people don't necessarily see or talk about in hopes that judgements and stereotypes can begin to go away and people can start to see how beautiful of a platform this industry is when it comes to amplifying a person's message.
What they don't tell you is that when you compete in pageantry, you will face some of life's greatest fears. Did you know that, above death, public speaking is the number one fear? Well guess what girlfriend, you get to do it.
What they don't tell you is that you will be surrounded (for the most part) by other amazing and supportive women who are really here to lift each other up. Of course, there will always be "the mean girl" who's mission is the crown and only the crown. But for the most part, the women competing are there to make friendships, get involved in their community, and make a difference. The crown, if they do win, becomes the cherry on top.
What they don't tell you is that sometimes your friends won't understand. When I won my first pageant, I had some friends, who once I won, began to talk crap, gossip, and spread horrible rumors about me. And it hurt. Have you ever heard of the "crabs in a bucket" mentality? Well, when you put a bunch of crabs in a pot or a bucket, there will be a crab that tries to climb out and the other crabs will pull it back down into the bucket. So, you may experience some "crab-mentality" people in your life. They won't understand why you are competing, and below their gossip and hurtful words is really a person who is insecure and afraid that you will move on without them. Here's a secret darling...if you have "friends" that do this to you, as much as it may hurt, love them from afar. If they eventually come around, great. If not, always love them from afar and trust that the time that they were in your life was for a reason and that you have evolved and surrounded yourself with new friends who can support you and cheer you on - like real friends do.
What they don't tell you is that your biggest competition is the woman you look at in the mirror everyday. It's not the other women that will be on stage next to you, contrary to popular belief. It is the internal voices that convince you to sleep in instead of workout and eat healthy. It is the inner-critic that tells you you aren't good enough or pretty enough or smart enough or strong enough. It is the voice in your head that tells you you are an impostor and don't belong in a pageant, that your message isn't relevant and that you don't matter. It's the little darts that have been thrown at our hearts as little girls that told us we were bossy, intimidating or stuck up. Or maybe you, like me, were the punch line in the blonde jokes. The biggest competition we face is who we were yesterday and the only way to beat it is to grow, a little bit more each day, into the woman that God created you to be.
What they don't tell you is that it will be one of the best experiences of your life. You will learn, you will grow, and you will have a blast doing it! (as long as you embrace the process).
So cheers to you, beYOUtiful one. You are brave enough, strong enough, beautiful enough, and smart enough. You are worthy of standing on that stage, shouting your life's message from the platform that could very well be the catalyst that amplify's your life's mission. So congratulations...you are competing in a Pageant.