Beauty Pageants: Insider Edition

To my dearest:

Today, I’m going to share something completely personal with you guys! I’m not sure how many of you know this, but if you read my “ABOUT ME” page, I shared that I’m actually a pageant girl. I’ve done several pageants and they were all memorable experiences, but today I want to share with you all my very first pageant experience. (That’ll come a bit later, let’s get the pageant part out of the way first, shall we?)

Food for thought: what are the first things that come to your mind when you think pageants? I don’t know what you ladies think of pageants, but I think many people have a misconception of what pageants are. Most people will think catty scenes. Perhaps, a bunch of young rich obnoxious pretty girls? Or maybe just some pretty girls who don’t think much of life and want to do something to kill time? Or maybe even some wannabes who want an easy path to fame. Or most may think it’s just a superficial game.

Well think again. Being in several different pageants I can vouch that pageants and pageant girls are not what one may think. Pageants are actually a training ground for transformation from a girl to a lady.

The definition of “girl” is a young female child, often times described as inexperienced.

The definition of “lady” is a woman and often times with superior status or spoken as an honorific — one who is well respected.

Most applicants for pageants will come into it all as a girl and leave the experience as a blossoming lady. That’s the magic of pageants. It’s a platform that helps to build better speech skills, boosts confidence and nurtures talent. In addition, it also allows the individual to establish new friendships and walk away with an unforgettable experience of a life time.

MCBP finals night

My first pageant ever, was Miss Chinese Beauty Pageant. It was formerly Miss New York Chinese, which meant it was only for the New York region. However, my year, it expanded to the whole Chinese community within the U.S., which meant the competition was much more fierce. I went into it all without much thought in my mind. During the time, I wanted to do acting and singing in Hong Kong. And at that time, I haven’t performed in a while, so I figured joining a pageant would allow me to perfect my performance skills. I thought it was a great platform for me to share my talents.

I remember being super nervous, I had to take photos to submit and when I dropped the submission letter into the mailbox, my heart skipped an extra beat! I was so anxious to hear back on whether I made the interview or not. Luckily, I was notified that I made the interview and during the interview process, I was lucky enough to have been selected as a contestant! I still remember the speech given by one of the coordinators the moment I was selected.

He said, “You girls are the lucky hand-picked few! This is not because of the looks you were given, but because of what you possess inside. I see potential inside each and everyone of you girls. You all look so fresh, but after this experience, you will walk away transformed. People think about pageants and just think pretty girls. I’m sure to say, there are many beautiful girls out there, maybe even more beautiful than those of you standing here. But, they lack something that you have — to take that first step!” And then he proceed to welcome us to the pageant family and said we will always be family.

Thinking back, that speech must’ve been memorable for me to remember it until now, because it has been two to three years. There was a lot of time commitment involved, but I walked away with so much more than I thought I could’ve ever gained. Sometimes, things got stressful, but it was all worth it.

Miss Chinese Beauty Pageant provided in depth training to all pageant girls. This included photoshoot sessions, which taught you how to be more confident in front of the camera. They had trainers prepping you on better speech skills and doing runway walks to become more poised. The training really built my perseverance as it really did get tough!

mcbp pageant training
They also had talent competitions as well as professional dance teachers to nurture your talent and build confidence. They also provided a lot of social opportunities for you to meet many influential people within the community to get you more used to speaking and acting more professionally. All of the skills obtained from pageant training can be used in the future in any field of professional work or social setting.

mcbp 2015 talent show
Not to mention, it builds life time friendships in the experience! Most people probably would not believe it, but it’s true. Many people think pageants consists of catty girls. And though a part of that may be true – it is ultimately a competition after all. However, as of any social circle, there is never a hundred percent to everything. There will always be some people that you click with more, and some that you will click with less. That’s how life is.

I won’t deny that there were some dramatic moments in terms of relationships during my year. However, I think that’s a given since it’s a bunch of young people together. Each individual’s personality and maturity level is different after all. However, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In the short months, I think through these relationships, it allows you to learn how to deal with people and your emotions. It allows you to see things in a new perspective and really grow out of your comfort zone.

mcbp 2015 dinner social
I feel like Miss Chinese Beauty Pageant, though short, became a big part of my life. And earning the title of Miss Congeniality taught me a lot about relationships. Overall, the experience allowed me to see my true self and what I possessed more clearly. It also paved way for many other life changing experiences that followed. Even till today, I take pride in having participated in this pageant. I also finally understood what the coordinators meant when they welcomed me into the pageant family. It really is a family!  At the end of the day, winning or losing was not the most important after all.  It was what I got out of the whole experience. I learned that pageants are not about the superficial surface or anything materialistic. It’s about your own personal growth and getting to know yourself more through the process. Heck. If I ever had a daughter, I’d definitely have her join pageants when she comes of age because it’s such an awesome training ground!

mcbp 2015 finals night
Oh and lastly! The misconception about pageant girls? That is just a stereotype. Most pageant girls if you ever meet one, will probably be one of the smartest and most talented girls you can possibly meet. They’ll probably also have many ambitions, has a good head on her shoulders, friendly, and great to work with!

mcbp 2015 trip bus ride
Did my sharing change your mind about pageants? Have you ever considered joining a pageant but hesitated? Well if you’re age 17-25 and of at least 50% Chinese descent, you may be eligible to join this year’s Miss Chinese Beauty Pageant and experience a summer in New York! You can read all eligibility requirements here. This pageant is open to all females in the United States! You can view the registration form here. Deadline is May 31, 2017, so don’t hesitate and take action now if you want to participate in this life changing experience!

PS: This post was not sponsored in any sort of way. I just love my pageant family and wanted to share my experience to other young ladies! I know a lot of people may wonder about this. If you girls are interested, I can do some more posts about my pageant experience in the future!

PPS: To my lovely pageant sisters if you’re reading this. I love you all so so so much. You guys mean so much to me. I’m sorry if I haven’t kept in touch. I’ve been so busy dealing with career changes and my quarter life crisis! (That — and being half way across the globe half the time.) You girls are definitely on my mind and I definitely want to catch up soon with you ladies. Miss you all!

Thanks everyone for tuning in to my special share post!


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Sincerely Ophelia
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  1. May 22, 2017 / 12:50 AM

    My cousin ran for Miss Tennessee. I saw how much hard work and dedication it took from everything such as knowing current events to being diligent in her non-profit work. I was impressed. It’s not merely s “beauty” contest.

    • May 22, 2017 / 1:26 AM

      Wow! Glad you understand! Awesome job for your cousin!!! It must’ve been a journey for her as well!

  2. May 22, 2017 / 1:13 AM

    Wow. You’re so pretty. Is there a video of you on your talent competition?

    • May 22, 2017 / 1:25 AM

      Thank you so much! Unfortunately, I don’t think so. If I ever can find it, I’ll definitely share!

  3. May 22, 2017 / 1:36 AM

    beauty pageant brings in beautiful ladies. Good snapshots & congratulations to the winner in advance..:)

  4. May 22, 2017 / 5:47 AM

    it is true that when I think for pageants it probably is not the best representation. I automatically think of Honey Boo Boo, But reading your post made me want to do one.

  5. May 22, 2017 / 6:00 AM

    I always knew it was a lot of hard work to be in pageants. but I didn’t know just how much. Thanks for the behind the scenes look.

  6. May 22, 2017 / 7:39 AM

    Such beautiful images, thank you so much for sharing the whole process involved in the pageant!

  7. Karyn Locke
    May 22, 2017 / 8:07 AM

    I’ve always found the pageant world so fascinating. Thank you for sharing your tales of your pageant days – they looked super fun!

  8. May 22, 2017 / 8:26 AM

    I knew pageant girls had to put a lot of time and effort into it but didn’t know just how much. I think it’s great that it helps girls with skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.

  9. May 22, 2017 / 8:40 AM

    Sounds like an great event. Beautiful photos!

  10. May 22, 2017 / 8:48 AM

    It does feel like a lot of work. I am not sure I am for it or against it to be honest.

  11. May 22, 2017 / 11:04 AM

    I LOVE beauty pageants! When I was much much much younger, a beauty pageant queen once visited our school. She was so beautiful and elegant and poised and had the brightest smile ever. I was mesmerized. I admire all beauty pageant contestants. They have courage and determination and work really hard, and your right , they always remain such elegant ladies.

  12. May 22, 2017 / 12:02 PM

    Pageants are such hard work! I definitely commend the girls who have the time and patients to compete in these!

  13. May 22, 2017 / 2:21 PM

    Congrats on getting the title of miss congeniality and it is great that they gave you so much training. I know there are a lot of pageant queens on RPDR but in the mainstream world I always thought it was quite catty. Glad you dispelled those rumors though x

  14. Amber
    May 22, 2017 / 3:21 PM

    I think pageants when you’re older is a good thing. But when tiny kids are caked with make up and asked to dance in provocative manners, that’s when it’s scary for me. Everyone looks amazing in these photos!

  15. Such an insightful post. I had few guesses on the backstage of a beauty pageant but would have never imagined all of these. So much work. xx corinne

  16. May 22, 2017 / 8:17 PM

    I have no doubt that there are some amazing girls who are there participating at the pageants. I don’t think I have a concern in general that someone would participate in one. I would just be nervous as a parent having my daughter be in one. That’s great that you have come from there and made some lifetime friends from that time in your life.

  17. May 22, 2017 / 9:27 PM

    I know pageants entails a lot of effort, work and discipline. Never knew you are one. Good luck on your journey.

  18. Claudia Krusch
    May 22, 2017 / 10:18 PM

    These are great photos. There is so much hard work that goes into being in a pageant.

  19. May 22, 2017 / 11:42 PM

    What a cool experience! I’ve never gotten to do any pageants, but I’m really happy that you got a lot more out of them than most would see from the outside.

  20. May 23, 2017 / 12:00 AM

    These are awesome photos! I am glad that you feel loved and cared about and are able to cultivate many friendships in the pageant community. And that you learned a lot of life lessons there too.

  21. May 23, 2017 / 12:27 AM

    Wow there is a lot that goes into something that looks so magically effortless! <3 You are gorgeous! So happy you get to share your passions on stage 🙂

  22. May 23, 2017 / 2:10 AM

    That is so cool that you were part of pageants. It sounds like such an incredible experience and really helps you grow! Thanks for sharing this!


  23. Rosey Everyday
    May 23, 2017 / 4:59 AM

    Great to know more about you. Hope you have fun when you do pageants. It was great to learn more about you.

  24. May 23, 2017 / 12:23 PM

    This seems like such a lot of hard work! This is certainly an interesting look at pageants.

  25. Elizabeth O.
    May 23, 2017 / 12:51 PM

    Wow! That’s really cool. I didn’t know that you join pageants. I like that you shared this experience with us. I think girls who join pageants are very confident and smart. I love that you said that it’s the perfect training ground because it is, it builds up your confidence!

  26. May 23, 2017 / 3:44 PM

    I can imagine Pageants being hard work. Thanks for sharing this experience with us.

  27. May 23, 2017 / 4:07 PM

    Wow this is so interesting peaking into a world I’ve never been able to look into!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    xx, rebecca

  28. May 23, 2017 / 4:30 PM

    That is wonderful. I heard pageants can be very hard but very fulfilling. Best of luckto you !!.

  29. blogthirtyminusone
    May 23, 2017 / 10:06 PM

    Beauty pageants seem like a lot of work, you must learn so much. The photos and your words are proof of this. It’s goes beyond beauty to talent.

  30. Megan
    May 23, 2017 / 11:28 PM

    This sounds like it was such a wonderful learning experience for you! That’s awesome you got Miss Congeniality

  31. May 24, 2017 / 2:32 PM

    I am one of those women who have always had preconceived notions about pageants, either fostered when I was younger or through environmental judgements – I am not sure. Either way, this has opened my eyes a bit, enough that I am willing and eager to learn more. I have two young daughters, one of which has already expressed an interest in such things. If this can actually be a positive and enriching experience for her, then I may have to start doing my research and having some serious conversations. Thank you for sharing this.

  32. May 24, 2017 / 3:01 PM

    This looks and sounds like it was such a great experience!! Congrats on the award that you got! That’s an awesome one to win!

  33. May 25, 2017 / 4:28 AM

    wow what an amazing experience you’ve had. Experiences such as this definitely leave lasting impressions on our lives.

  34. May 25, 2017 / 6:42 AM

    I never did anything with beauty pageants when I was younger, but I had a couple friends who did – it was so much work! I think that it must have been an amazing experience.

  35. Dimito Michiyo
    May 25, 2017 / 7:41 AM

    No one will truly understand until they personally experience it girl!

    Great POST and you have amazing STYLE too

    Just followed you on BLOGLOVIN
    See you there!

    Dimito Michiyo

  36. May 25, 2017 / 9:27 AM

    This was an interesting read, we dont really have pageants over here in the UK but I think they look like fun 🙂

  37. May 25, 2017 / 11:06 AM

    We don’t have beauty pageants in the UK, however this was a nice read

  38. May 26, 2017 / 4:07 AM

    That should be a unique experience in your life 🙂 Looks fun but busy

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