A contestant's first pageant is almost always their most memorable. From the rush of walking on stage for the first time, to the friends you make that will last you a lifetime, there is a reason that so many first-timers get bit by the “pageant bug” in that very first competition. If you are preparing for your debut in the pageant world, you have an exciting journey ahead of you.
While a contestant’s first pageant is exciting, the preparation for the competition can be overwhelming for someone unfamiliar with what to expect when check-in arrives. If your first pageant is coming up, the following tips are essential for every first time pageant contestant preparing to leave their mark on the pageant community.
Six Winning Tips for First Time Pageant Contestants
There is a common misconception in the pageant world that claims that a contestant winning their first pageant is not possible. While it is true that pageantry takes hard work, perseverance, and often several years of dedication to wear the crown, it is not impossible for a contestant to win their first pageant if they are well prepared. Remember, the queen herself, Olivia Culpo, won her first pageant ever when she competed for the title of Miss Rhode Island USA.
The following tips will help any first time contestant set themselves up for success:
1. Get All the Information
Former Miss Florida, Taylor Tyson, once said that the most prepared and organized contestants often do better in the competition than those who are not. Gathering all the information available to you regarding the pageant is crucial to helping you prepare. Many pageants will provide contestants with a contestant packet or booklet full of the following information:
Brief pageant history
Areas of competition and how they are scored
The date and location of the competition
A list of any paperwork needed and the deadlines they must be submitted by
You should read through your contestant packet in its entirety and do not be afraid to do your own research as well. Reach out to former titleholders or contestants, read the full history and mission statement of the organization on their website, and try to find recordings of past years' competitions.
2. Check That Your Strengths Match the Required Areas of Competition
When I competed in the Miss America Organization, talent was a huge part of my overall score. While I was not a horrible singer, I was pretty subpar which made it difficult to me to advance any further than a local title. It is important that you choose a pageant that has areas of competition that best match your skill set.
3. Create a Budget
Pageantry is an expensive sport. From entry fees, to wardrobe, hair and makeup artists, travel expenses, and everything in between, your walley may be feeling pretty light if you are not careful. Creating a budget based on everything you need, emphasis on need, will help you avoid impulse buys while also allowing you to properly save up for the entire cost of the pageant. Another bonus tip is to shop for your pageant wardrobe second hand. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint by shopping sustainably, you will also be helping your wallet.
4. Keep Yourself Accountable
If you want to succeed in pageantry, practicing can make all the difference. Make a plan for how often and for how long you plan to practice the different areas of competition leading up to the pageant. Stick to your plan and keep yourself accountable and watch as you get better and better.
5. Own Your Confidence
Contrary to popular belief, pageants are not all about beauty. In fact, the most important characteristic a titleholder can possess is confidence. A confident titleholder is a titleholder who has the ability to inspire others which is what pageants are all about. Even though this may be your first pageant, be confident in yourself and what you bring to the table.
6. Enjoy the Journey
Pageants go by in the blink of an eye. Remember that there is so much more to gain from pageants than a crown or trophy. While only one contestant will leave with the title, do not let the stress of competing ruin the experience for you. Enjoy the process of preparing for the pageant, meeting new friends, and experiencing self-growth!
If you are preparing for your first pageant, Beauty Queens Galore is a meca for pageant resources with the goal of preparing contestants to be their best selves when they finally hit the stage. We look forward to helping you along your journey to your first pageant and every one after!