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What I learned from pageants
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Many of you know already (if you’ve been around for over three years now), I’ve had a three-year bout competing in beauty pageants from the years 15 to 18 of my life. I’ve done local, regional national pageants under various pageant systems. I’ve spent the most time competing in the USA system, the controversial USA system. My most memorable moment competing in the USA system was when I placed up as the last two for the Connecticut Teen 2013 title and then I lost.

Me in blue!

Me in blue!

I won in 85-90% of the pageants that I competed in for those three years so this loss was very interesting to me. But at the end of the day, I am where I am today because I lost – I learned how to lose. Losing is never fun and it’s very easy to become a sore loser and a trending topic on the pageant forums; and those forums are evil. They are just like those Formspring.me and anonymous sites that haunted us throughout middle school/high school.

Just by following along current pageants each year, I always envision to see how my life would be if I did win that pageant and had competed in Nationals in the Bahamas.. then come back to CT to continue my life. But, God had a different path for me and as hard as it was walking off that stage that day, I am grinning from ear to ear just looking at how my life developed after that loss. I’ve been able to hustle hustle hustle hard for the last two years after that pageant to now be called NYC’s Fashion Intern with luxury brands like Prada, Valentino, Christian Louboutin, and now Fendi under my belt. God seriously had a different path for me… I don’t think I would ever accomplish that much or any of it if I had taken a year off to serve as the titleholder. Kendall had done a phenomenal job with this reign and it was her year.

After spending time competing in pageantry, I don’t regret any minute of it! The only thing that I hated about pageantry was the drama and cattiness that lived up to the stereotypes of pageantry but I stayed cleared of all that throughout my time. Also, those high price tags for evening gowns and swimsuits were kinda crazy, but I made it work. That blue dress that I am wearing has been victim to outfit repeating at other pageants that I have won at – I considered it my good luck charm! This dress was only $75 and had fit me perfectly after I bought it off of the website PageantResale.com so I did not have to do alterations.

Walking away from pageantry has left me with strong interview/communication skills, the poise and talent of walking in 6 inch heels, an incredible skill and passion for makeup and fashion and the work ethic to shake the fashion industry. This was the biggest loss during my pageant career yet it really shaped my drive when it comes to interning in fashion. I’ve learned to work hard before every interview and not to put so much heart into it – because if I ever got a “no” from an employer, I would turn that around and work even harder for the next interview. This passion and newfound drive has helped me win over employers at some of my favorite fashion houses.

Would you ever recommend someone to compete in pageants?

Yes – no matter what age, too! I always get cravings to compete again after watching pageant friends compete in pageants from time to time. I may even compete in Miss New York USA someday. I think the biggest thing that I would have to focus on to do that is just move on from being that innocent teenager on stage to be that powerful, successful women amongst a sea of women who command attention. Pageantry has really shaped my life and especially being a teen competitor was so impactful. I spent hundreds of hours practicing interview questions to honing in on current events, these skills that I have developed have been so useful.