Quick news flash if you are reading this and didn’t know… I used to be a beauty queen! However, once a member of the sparkly hat club, always a member. With pageant season in full swing, and my coaching/consulting starting back up, the questions always start: Why DO women compete in pageantry? Is it outdated? Is it sexist? What’s the point?? Let’s discuss!


First, you have to understand that not all pageants are created equal, for good reason! Each pageant system (aka the organization) operates differently and has their own strengths and weaknesses. We won’t discuss those as each has benefits for any woman who chooses that system to compete in. Some women even compete across systems or grow from one to another.

Those who compete do so for different reasons, and in my experience, few are there just to win the crown. Of course, all women want to win, or else why put forth so much effort (and let me tell you, there is a LOT of effort in being on stage)? From women who want the crown to further their education (some systems give scholarships y’all!), those who want to gain access to the modeling/talent/entertainment industries, or even those who want to get out of their comfort zone and try something new… there’s a place for all.

“But wait, aren’t pageants super sexist and just… dumb? I mean, who even cares about beauty queens.” Oh let me come at you for that!! But really, you’ll be asked that, and even by some of your closest friends and loved ones, even if they mean well. Pageantry is likely your hobby, passion, or more. It takes a certain level of commitment. When you win and become a titleholder (local, state, national or international), it’s a lot of community involvement and volunteerism. You now represent the organization and what they stand for as well as what’s written across your sash (GO KANSAS!). If that doesn’t interest you, get out now. Yes, of course there is a glamorous side!! Prizes, photoshoots, red carpet appearances, modeling gigs, etc. etc. etc., but it’s also work. You’re working to better yourself and your community during your reign. So ignore the haters, you do you boo boo.

Making community service look glam! Hard hats and all ;)

So… how do you win that sparkly hat? Pageantry, like any other type of competition, is something you have to approach as just that, a competition. You are going up against other women who will likely have prepared and practiced in all areas of the competition. Know the areas of your system’s competition!! What type of interview process are you in for? Will you have a swimsuit portion? Will you need to have a talent prepared? Is there a rapid fire 20 Questions game??? (JK, there isn’t.) These are must have pieces of information so definitely do your research.

If you system has a swimsuit competition, you will want to prepare weeks or even months in advance. Pageantry swimsuit competitions are more about overall health and fitness than “skinny girls parading in swimsuits and heels”… yes, I heard that term in my reign! {cue scowl face} You 100% CAN’T crash diet and expect to pull it off. You’ll be weak, tired and not yourself. It will show to the judges! You’ll need to have a fitness and nutrition plan tailored to your body and also become comfortable walking and posing in a swimsuit, while knowing how to best highlight your features. Side note, spray tans help! And yes, this is the portion of a pageant where “butt glue” is necessary. No wedgies ladies, no judge or audience member wants to see that.

Butt glue, spray tans and 6 inch heels!

Most systems have an evening gown portion, it’s quite standard and another item you will want to tackle in advance. You want a gown which color and fit highlights your best attributes, but also makes YOU feel like a queen, it truly can help! Keep in mind, not all gowns are created equal, and it’s an area of competition which can break the budget, but it doesn’t need to. You can win the crown in a gown without dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars. Do what makes you comfortable within the recommended style guidelines of the system. Also, practice walking in your gown and heels, a lot!! You get one shot at an evening gown preliminary, be aware of how the gown flows and have it altered so that you can comfortably walk in it. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous the gown is, if you trip or it’s falling off you, judges will take note.

Just smile and wave… 🐧

Another HUGE area of competition is the interview. You wouldn’t wing it in a job interview… and that’s what this is! You’re interviewing for a job, albeit one that has a sparkly party hat in the daily duties. Know what your system stands for, what the major charitable organization which it partners with is, what you have to offer them and why should you be chosen for the job. Interview preparation is something that you can’t take lightly. Judges in most systems will ask any question they deem necessary, from current events to popular culture, know your stuff! Interview is a huge portion of your score in any system and a huge telltale sign of a true titleholder. It’s also a wardrobe you need to carefully consider as it’ll be the chance you get to impress the judges up close, so no distracting mannerisms OR outfit choices!

“But… what if I don’t win?” Every competition is different, every panel of judges is different, every woman brings a different level of personal competition on any given day, and only ONE woman can win that crown at that time. If you don’t win right out of the gate, it doesn’t mean you never will. If you want it, work for it! Every winner was once a beginner until they tried.

All that being said… if you’re not scared away, what can you gain from pageantry?? Plenty! You will absolutely grow in confidence (public speaking skills galore!), make wonderful new friends who understand the same challenges (think of it like a sorority) and even achieve something that only few do, that title and crown. Just make sure you have fun along the way, snap lots of selfies and let the memories sink in.

If you’re interested in more information on pageantry, certain systems, or how to compete, feel free to leave me a comment or contact me for coaching options. And let the best woman win!

Xoxo, Meeghan

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