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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
SHARING MORE SNIPPETS FROM MY EXPERIENCE:
For reference, I am 5 feet 2 inches. I typically wear XS/S or 0-4 for apparel and 6.5-7.5 for shoes.