I’m sure plenty of pageant girls can relate to this blog, as I’m sure we’ve all been bullied or had some hurtful words said to us at some point. It’s sad a lot of people are still uninformed when it comes to pageantry, and continue to make assumptions that aren’t true.
I feel like I’m constantly seeing things on social media when Miss USA or Miss America is on, or even when I post pageant pictures after a busy weekend. Things that either people post as statuses, or that I receive as messages. I’ve seen things like;
-”why do girls think they need fancy dresses and spray tans to know they’re beautiful?”
-”girls that do pageants are dumb as rocks”
-”I don’t need a stage or runway to be confident and neither do you”
-”you just strut around in a swimsuit because you want attention”
-”so you do pageants, that makes you a bitch right?”
I could go on and on but it’s pretty much the same idea.
Here’s my personal response to the pageant hate; I compete because it’s fun and it’s a hobby. I enjoy traveling around the state and meeting new people (I can’t say enough how many AMAZING people I’ve met through competing). This isn’t any different than when I played softball, or any other sport for that matter. It doesn’t have anything to do with wanting to show off, or that I have to “prove myself” or “prove to anyone that I’m pretty.” Yes, pageants are judged, but so is figure skating or gymnastics. We’re not judged based on how we look, we’re judged on our overall total package and how we carry/present ourselves. Pageantry is my sport, I train like an athlete, and it’s what I enjoy doing. Plain and simple. So just because I post a picture or video from a pageant does not mean I’m trying to get attention; I’m proud of what I do and how hard I’ve worked. Athletes post pictures of their sports accomplishments; how is me posting pictures/videos any different? I know that I don’t need the runway or a dress to know I’m a confident person, but I choose this sport because I enjoy it. Every sport has its benefits, and pageantry just so happens to be the one I chose.
Going now to the physical aspect; there is a huge difference between being skinny, and being fit. When I first started competing, I was skinny, but not fit. However, I’ve worked my butt off, literally, for two years to transform my body. I’ve lost 20+ pounds, went down four dress sizes, and feel amazing. But yet I’m still getting negativity for it; every time I post a transformation picture on Instagram, I almost instantly get someone commenting “oh you’re already so skinny” or “why are you working out so much?” or my personal favorite; “go
eat a burger.” Just in case anyone was wondering: telling someone they’re too skinny is just as discriminating as telling someone they’re fat. We all need to take a step back and realize that we’re all human and we come in all shapes and sizes, and discrimination is discrimination, no matter what shape or size it’s towards.
I find it funny when people say that pageant girls are dumb. They watch one televised pageant, see one girl make a mistake, and assume it’s that way for everyone. Personally I’m always defending the girls making mistakes, because really, if I was asked a random question in front of millions, I would be a little nervous too. I’m lucky that pageants have given me amazing public speaking skills, and every time I go into an actual job interview, I’m told I interview very well. But back to pageant girls being unintelligent. Here are some examples to prove otherwise; a lot of girls I compete with are on the news or have very successful jobs, a lot have graduated college with honors, and my personal favorite is my friend Sarah going on Who Wants to be A Millionaire and winning 100k. Do you still agree with pageant girls being dumb now? Because I sure don’t.
So, why does the hate happen? Friends that have seen me compete can attest to the fact going to see a pageant live is quite an experience (a positive one!). if you don’t know anything about pageantry except for what you’ve seen on TV, I can guarantee you’re very misinformed on the sport. Please, before you make assumptions, ask. I love being asked about my sport and everything it entails. Most people are shocked it’s not like Toddlers and Tiaras (no go-go juice for me…) and are very interested once I start explaining things. Contrary to popular belief, pageant girls aren’t catty, (perfect example being last weekend when my friend Sarah finally won a Miss America local title and I started bawling because I was so happy for her) so we won’t be mad or upset if you ask for clarification for something regarding the sport. I’ll finish with a teaching analogy; it’s frustrating when government officials try and talk about teaching when they’ve never stepped foot in a classroom. It’s the same thing with pageants; people who know absolutely nothing about pageants are dissing it when they have no idea what they’re talking about. Please reconsider your words before you diss my sport. It has done nothing but help me, and I’m sure it will continue to do so for years to come.