Beauty Pageants build confidence, public speaking skills (testimonial)


Photo used with permission of National American Miss.

The Junior Teen team poses for its portrait in front of Disneyland for their free day in Anaheim on Nov. 21.

Wearing a dress and introducing myself on stage in front of hundreds of people was not something I thought I could ever do. I used to prep myself for roll call whenever I had a substitute teacher, that is how nerve-racking public speaking was for me.

When I was twelve, I got a letter in the mail recommending me to do a pageant. I was not the pageant-perfect girl but wanted to do it because, at the time, any National Qualifiers went to Disneyland. When I first participated in the National American Miss pageant, I did not qualify for nationals but I was not disappointed – I was thankful.

After competing in the pageant, whenever I had a presentation in class I would remember NAM if I could go on stage and speak in front of hundreds of people then I could speak in front of my classmates. My confidence and reassurance in myself with my speaking grew more and more thanks to my experience with the pageant.

Then this year, I got another letter from NAM. I wanted to do it this time to prove that I could qualify for nationals after all my hard work and wanted to prove to myself that I had grown. At the state pageant in July, I won the photogenic category, so I qualified to go to Anaheim, California for nationals.

The national competition was different from state pageant: the girls there were more enthusiastic about pageants than me and wore their makeup and hair even when no competitions were going on. But NAM is not what one would think a pageant would be like. It is not like Toddlers and Tiaras, but is more about building confidence and helping you reach your goals.

With the pageant, of course, there is a formal wear, personal introduction where I went on stage and said my name, and ambition and where I am from. There was also an interview where I met individual judges and do an interview.

For the competition, I do not put on a pageant personality to win. I just stay to true to myself because I want to represent other girls like me who are not volunteering 24/7 and do not have the perfect grades. I want to represent the majority of girls my age that are not the typical pageant persona.

I did the pageant not only just for myself but also to show other girls they can also overcome their fear of public speaking. I am glad I did NAM, because going to nationals during break was better than winning the title.