When a girl, teen or woman decides to enter a beauty pageant, there will always be someone in her life who will make statements about the negative effects that competing in a pageant will have on her self-image.The conversation gets even more heated when a mother puts her baby, toddler or young child into a beauty pageant.
Usually, the negative statements will come from people whose only exposure to the world of beauty pageants is what they've seen on TV shows like Toddlers and Tiaras or read in the tabloids. Believe me, I know the positive effects of pageantry, and at times, I will shake my head in disbelief at the behavior I see captured by the cameras.
The thing you have to understand about the media is that it's a business. In order to stay in business, a profit must be made. To make money, people need to watch the shows, or buy the magazines. Advertisers will only invest their money where the masses are watching and the ratings are high. Drama is what captures the attention of the viewing public; so the media is going to feature the outrageous, extreme actions of the few dramatic participants that will keep their audience wanting more.
To make the assumption that all pageants will have a negative effect on a woman's self-image and self-esteem isn't accurate. The 80/20 principle applies to the world of beauty pageants as well, meaning 80% of the drama comes from 20% of the participants. So if you're in a pageant with 10 contestants, there will be 2 people who will create the drama. But let me ask you, which contestants are people going to focus most of their attention on? The 2 contestants who are stirring the pot, of course. It's like a car accident. You know you're supposed to stay focused on the road in front of you, but you can't help looking as you drive by.
Parents ultimately decide if a minor participates in a beauty pageant. And just because the child expresses a desire to do a pageant, doesn't necessarily mean they should at that time.
Children and teens physically develop at different rates. This has a huge impact on a young girl's self-esteem and self-image. Parents need to be mindful of this transitional phase in a girl's life. Listen to what your child is saying before, during and after competitions. If you hear or see any of the warning signs listed below, seriously consider pulling your child from pageants until they are physically and emotionally ready for a competitive environment.
If you're a woman and you hear your inner voice saying or feeling any of the following warning signs, the same goes for you. There may be unfinished business in your life that needs to be dealt with before you compete so your experience will be a positive, healthy boost to your self-esteem.
- I'm not good enough because I didn't win.
- I need to beat the other women because you're either a winner or a loser.
- They don't like me because I wasn't chosen as the best.
- I'm a loser and worthless because I didn't win.
- I'm ugly because the judges didn't pick me.
- What did I do wrong? Why didn't they like me?
- There's something wrong with me.
There's something wrong with me. Basing your self-image and self-esteem on the subjective feedback and approval from a panel of strangers is not healthy. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to the other contestants, stalking them on Facebook to learn everything about them, or doing pageant after pageant chasing the crown, that's a pretty good sign there's something else going on.
If the only time a girl or woman hears the words "you are beautiful", "I love you", or "I am so proud of you" is when she's wearing makeup, nicely dressed, physically fit, or when she wins the title, the potential for pageants having a negative impact on her self-image is great.
You need be honest with yourself. What do you want from the beauty pageant experience? For women, there's nothing wrong with a pageant competition to recharge your battery, or to experience a glamorous, fun event. The last time you may have dressed up in formal attire was your prom or wedding. It's very positive to take some time for yourself to enjoy the company of other accomplished women and celebrate you. However, if there is a little voice inside telling you that "capturing this crown will finally prove I'm beautiful"; or " I'll finally be someone important as Miss/Mrs__", rethink competing at this time.
Participating in a beauty pageant will build self-esteem and self-image if used as a tool to polish the complete healthy person that you already are. Pageants open career doors, provide an opportunity for community service, develop confidence and communication skills, and are fun. A professional, experienced pageant coach can help keep you on track. I can't stress enough the importance of surrounding yourself with people who make you feel better about who you are when you're with them.
If however, you're using beauty pageants as a way to try to fill an empty hole or prove to someone that you're good enough, that's a danger zone and I would recommend you working with a certified Life Coach to work through some unsolved life issues before competing.
I just happen to be both a professional experienced pageant coach and a certified Life Coach. If you are preparing for a pageant, and want to fully experience positive pageantry, contact me today.
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In life, we use different opportunities to develop skills and qualities within ourselves. Every opportunity is a different tool. Just like I would never use a hammer to cut a piece of wood, or a saw to pound in a nail, pageants are just one type of tool that can be used to build a contestant's confidence, speaking skills, and self-image. It's not the right tool for every girl or woman.
The building up or tearing down of your self-esteem and self-image takes place in all areas of your life: business, sports, dance, academics, beauty, cheerleading, service etc. The activities themselves are neither bad nor good. Instead, it's your attitude while participating in the activity that will produce either positive or negative effects in your life. You just need to find the right development tool for you.
The ability to answer questions about you, your purpose, current events, and controversial topics in a clear way is an important life skill that everyone can benefit from. The more you practice, the better you will get. These handy interview cards are a great way to practice with a partner or use by yourself to get you thinking about the topic.
The Beginning 10 Questions are the staple interview questions everyone must know the answers in an interview situation. Then each month you will receive a new card in the mail with fresh questions.
Now preparing for your interview is easy and for a limited time FREE.
Time to warm up for the summer pageant season and at the same time raise money for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Teays Valley West Middle School,
200 Grove Run Road |Commercial Point, OH 43116
20% of all registration fees will be donated to the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life event taking place the same day on the track.
AWARDS and PRIZES
Each queen will receive a certificate for $100 off the fees to the national Pure American Girl pageant, June 3-5, 2011 in Gallipolis, Ohio.
Each contestant will receive a certificate for $50 off the fees to the national Pure American Girl Pageant, June 3-5, 2011 in Gallipolis, Ohio.
Each queen will receive a certificate for $200 off the fees to the Ohio American Coed pageant, August 19-21, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.
Each contestant will receive a certificate for $100 off the fees to the Ohio American Coed pageant, August 19-21, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.
Each contestant will receive a gift bag, tiara and sash for participating.
More prizes being added by the day. Click on the link to learn all the details to participate in this pageant. Feel free to pass it on to your friends.
Rhonda Shappert is an expert pageant coach, an iPEC Certified Professional Coach, an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and a member of the International Coach Federation. She created Winning Through Pageantry® to partner with pageant contestants and their support people to provide complete pageant preparation, achieve winning results in life through pageantry, and to Succeed From The Inside Out®. She has over 30 years experience in the pageantry world as a contestant, judge, emcee, staff member, mother of daughters who compete, Mrs. Ohio America 2005, and has held multiple titles at the local, state and national levels.
Rhonda graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Musical Theater from The Ohio State University and has performed on stage in 15 countries on the Asian, European and American continents. This mother of three home educates their children and has been married 22 years to her husband Stephen, is the former mayor of her community, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Virtual Academy.For more information on Rhonda, visit www.WinningThroughPageantry.com .