10 Ways Pageants Ruined Me.

Competing in pageants can no doubt change a person. But it’s not always what you think. Pageantry definitely changed who I am. Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 6.12.51 PM 10 Ways Pageants Ruined Me:

1) They totally depleted any desire I had to settle for mediocre. Average. Just ‘okay’. Status quo.

2) They destroyed my shyness and anxiety I had towards interacting with people my own age without constant fear of judgment. That being said…

3) They also screwed up any hopes I ever had of worrying about interviews or addressing adults. Speaking with superiors was already one of my strengths, but now it is a skill I have refined and honed so much that I actually look forward to tough questions and serious discussions.

4) They shut down any fears I had about singing with an audience. I am no Aretha, Carrie, or Celine, but how many people actually conquer that fear in their lifetime? I guarantee a large majority of them are Miss America girls.

5) They ruined my clumsy, awkwardly tall presence and transformed it into a poised and graceful ease.

6) They diminished my physical insecurities. I walked on stage in front of hundreds of people, on multiple occasions, in a bikini. Cellulite, butt glue, spray tan and all. In 5 inch platforms. With my dad watching.

7) They took away my ability to put down other women without a second thought. I can no longer point out their weakness without A) acknowledging my own or B) celebrating their strengths at the same time.

8) They totally messed up my inability to accept that you will not always be the best, the most beautiful, the most talented, or the most put together. Pageants taught me to understand losing is a big part of life, and that you can do anything and everything in your power to make a dream come true and sometimes it still just may not be enough. And that’s okay.

9) They drained any chances I had of missing out on meeting some of the most amazing, encouraging, and inspiring women I’ve ever met.

10) They 100% RUINED any chance I had of not completely owning what I believe, what I say, what I wear, what I do, and who I am.

This is not to say that I don’t believe certain aspects of pageantry can condone negative habits and behaviors, but for the large majority, they don’t. Any activity for young women that encourages them to develop into well rounded, accomplished adults, equipped with the life skills to tackle almost any personal or professional situation life throws their way is alright in my book.

Here’s to living the good life–the glitter life, and always wearing your invisible crown. Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 12.10.12 PM Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 6.15.22 PMScreen shot 2014-09-15 at 6.09.10 PMScreen shot 2014-09-15 at 6.13.53 PM

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15 thoughts on “10 Ways Pageants Ruined Me.

  1. Pageants also had the same effect on me and changed my life significantly as well. 🙂 Glad I’m not the only one, but I could relate to every point.. except I have to learn to face that fear of stage singing solo. I’ve done it before, but for some reason pageant ones I just could not do.

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  2. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Pageants. They made my daughter the self confident person she truly is. She can speak in front of one million people, or just one person. Her poise is unbelievable, and most of all made her proud of her 6 foot height and beauty. How many girls accomplish all this by the age of 16?

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  3. Tammy Walker says:

    I am a pageant director and the above reasons are why I do what I do to organize the Miss Whitley County Fair pageant each year. I want ot help take those fears away from young women in our community and show them they can do and be anything they choose to be.

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  4. Wonderful people have always asked me why I put my daughter into such a self righteous extra curricular activity…I waited till she approached me about pageants and she started at 9…she is now 11 and holds quite a few titles she has grown into a well mannered very well spoken young lady who stands up for what she believes in and uses the pageant system to achieve her goals!!

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  5. Mashgirl says:

    You are so right! Last year for the first time ever I competed in the Mrs. Idaho America pageant and after a crazy, stressful year of losing a child and so forth I needed a pick me up and that is what the pageant did for me. I have never felt better about myself improving who I am for ME. I am competing in the pageant again this year to grow even more and to learn more about myself and the differences I have made and can continue to make. I make sure that I am truly there for my pageant sisters in helping them with opening number, the different walks. I may not receive the Mrs. Idaho America crown this year but I know that I did my very best in making my sisters shine as well as myself and the feel of that “invisible crown” is enough to make a difference in my life. I love helping and serving my friends and family, people in my community, overseas, and my beloved pageant sisters. Pageant does change you forever I chose to have it change me for the better.

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  6. Harmonie says:

    I am so glad I read this…As mother if a daughter (s) who do and have done pageants, I totally agree with you…I use to hate people finding out my daughter did pageants because of the negitive things that would be said or the looks I would get, but it has taught my daughter at such a young age, not to be shy, to love everything about herself (even her crooked teeth) and she knows who she is at 7.5 yrs old and isnt afraid to show it and that is all because of being in pageants..and I am so proud to tell people now that she does them….so thank you for this…

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  7. Sally says:

    I loved your list of reasons that pageants have merit! I know only one pageant girl and she is amazing! I do think your title is misleading but I am stumped as to what would be a better one. I think more people want to slam pageants so you probably get more readers with your chosen title.

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  8. I am South African! says:

    This is such a fantastic article! Everyone has such bad views and ideas of pageants and all they have done for me is allowed me to grow into the lady I am today. I have been able to accept myself, lose graciously and most importantly they have allowed me to meet some inspirational people without being shy!!! Thank you for opening up the eyes of the public to what these pageants do for girls like me!

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  9. Amanda says:

    I am so happy to read this. I am the mother of a glitz girl and since she started pageants her confidence has soared. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for this article.

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  10. Kimberly says:

    I had a daughter that won the title of Miss Southwest Michigan Teen. The experience was wonderful for her. She grew in areas of herself that gave her the confidence that she needed to feel equal. As far as the opinions of the “pageant systems”, I think a lot of the relationships the girls develop is based on the people in charge of the pageant. If they are friends during the pageant preparation, they will be friends after. Also, dealing with other contestants in a positive way helps them in dealing with the public. Sometimes, if it is a negative experience, know that the self esteem issue may have come from earlier experiences in the girl’s life! The “pageant” sometimes gives people something else to blame for the girl’s issues besides the true root of the problem. . All I know is this: The program my daughter competed in consists of people who want the best for all the girls. They have a mentoring program where the girls are paired up by two’s to help and encourage each other. If you have negative responses about your program, try suggesting taking the “competitivness” out and replacing it with Love! Have a mission statement that all your volunteers believe in and remember that their is a higher power, which our program recognizes as God, that has a purpose for us all! Have a great day!

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  11. Loved this entry and I completely agree! Being crowned Miss Plus America 2014 was a wonderful experience! I learned so much on my journey to the crown and I’m still learning lessons as I am in the middle of reign! Thanks for sharing! Muah!

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