My Beauty Pageant Experience

By Mia, age 16, North Carolina
Sweet Advice Featured Columnist

My first beauty pageant was Little Miss Ashe. I was 12 years old and had no idea what to expect. My mother and I only guessed about how to do things. While other girls wore prom style dresses I wore my Sunday best. My talent was unprepared and a spur of the moment decision. As I sung "Amazing Grace" a capella, girls with 2-5 years experience in dance or singing lessons just cascaded across the stage in a stunning array of talent. I couldn't believe how much hard work they put into just one day. All the practice ... it was amazing.

My first stage appearance was completely terrifying and stupendous. I was never more nervous in my life; it was completely exhilarating. Every girl there had learned the pageant walk, talk, and appearance. Me ... well, lets just say I was completely oblivious. Everything they had spent years perfecting I was attempting to do in a day. Some girls were a big help and were very sweet; they gave me tips and helped me pick up a few things. Others I knew didn't like me and only wanted me to fail.

The whole experience is something I would encourage every girl to try. Most everyone there was very sweet and welcoming into the "pageant family" or "pageant girls". Every mom is your mom, especially "pageant moms". Everyone helps everyone. I placed 5th runner up in the Junior Miss Ashe County division.

Instead of stopping there I continued, and a year later my mom and I convinced my little sister Monni to compete, so it became "the girl thing" in our household. With the support of our brother Matthew and dad George, my mom was always there in the back, doing make-up and fixing our hair. She was helping dress us and sometimes helping other girls with their make-up and preparations.

The experience alone is as exciting as the benefits. Some pageants offer scholarships as a prize, and also shopping sprees or modeling contracts. I continued on to various other pageants in hopes of becoming better and gradually moving up in terms of titles. By age 15, I'd held the titles for Junior Miss Summer Fun Queen, Young Miss Elite Miss of the Carolinas, Junior Miss Greater Miss Blue Ridge, North Carolina Royal Court, Cinderella Teen Miss, Elite Miss Ashe County Lifetime Ambassador, Elite Miss Grayson County Lifetime Ambassador, and Elite Miss American Pride Lifetime Ambassador.

Every title you win holds new, fun responsibilities. My favorite is representing the title, which you can do at community events, parades, or whenever asked.

If you decide to compete, here are a few of my tips:

♥ Don't be nervous.

♥ Have as much fun as possible!

♥ Smile, Smile and Smile!

♥ Don't overdo the make-up - most of the time natural is better.

♥ Make sure you can walk in the shoes you're going to be wearing before the pageant.

♥ Practice makes perfect!

♥ Make sure clothes fit neatly and tastefully (conservatively).

♥ Good sportsmanship is always a plus!

♥ Be yourself! No one else can be you, so why try to be someone else?

♥ Walk with good posture. Don't slouch!

♥ Makeup guidelines vary from pageant to pageant. In my own experience, smoky eye is always a favorite in girls 14+.

♥ Blush is optional. Rarely have I seen lipstick.

♥ Most hair is a down loose curl, with limited hair spray, so as not to disturb the natural bounce and body of your hair as you walk.

♥ If competing in the photogenic category, when you're having pictures made for the pageant, don't place your hands in your face because judges don't see your face as they would like to. It deducts about 2-3 points in a 10 point score.

♥ Make sure you make eye contact with the judges. My thing is to look at the middle of the judges' table so it appears as though I'm looking each of the judges in the eye.

♥ Turn your chin with your shoulder as you turn until you're at a complete stop.

♥ Don't hold your arms stiffly to your sides; make sure they have a natural flow.

♥ Being uptight is one of the hardest things to overcome.

Good luck!!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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