For a good portion of my life I danced and was surrounded around women who competed in pageants, specifically the Miss America pageant. Although in the end I never made it to the Miss America stage, instead I competed at Miss USA, I still cherish the life skills learned through competing in pageants. I learned how to accept constructive criticism and honed skills in self-evaluation, all of which are important for continual self-improvement in any field. My naturally introverted personality blossomed into something more of an extrovert. Many people would be surprised to know that I was a flower girl in two weddings and did not make it down either aisle. Or, the times in dance when I would puke my guts out while competing at a dance competition because of my “nerves” or… (ok, you get the picture). My keenness for proper etiquette was heightened because as a titleholder, one must always “be on” since you are representing not only yourself, but also an organization and a state/city. Lastly, let’s not even begin the countless hours spent perfecting the personal interview, on-stage question, and talent portions. One must always be able to think on her feet, speak eloquently and with confidence. My years of dancing prior to my competition days served as preparation for the talent portion, but it is more than simple "talent" that equates to a good talent performance. Not only must the contestant be technically sound in their area of expertise, but they must also be entertaining. Those of you who watch American Idol, Duets, ABDC, etc. should know what I am referring to. They simply have the "wow" factor and captivate the audience while they are performing.
These are a few of the benefits that I personally gained through pageantry, but I do at times ponder about the role of pageants for the 21st century. I first began competing in pageants because well… I was surrounded by it. I then began simply enjoying the competitive nature of the “sport.” As I got older, I realized the impact titleholders have on their community. State and local titleholders are models to young girls and figureheads/representatives to many organizations. If you are interested in competing in pageants, I suggest that you do your research and actually attend a few local/state pageants depending on which system you prefer.
Recently, Lisa Quast, published an article entitled “Find Your Inner Pageant Queen to Excel Your Career” in which she paralleled pageantry to landing and excelling in your career of choice. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her article and found myself nodding many times in agreement. I had always realized that my pageant life transferred to my everyday life, but Lisa did a nice job explaining how pageantry tips can also help you excel in the business/work force, as well. Although I have linked the article, I would like to take a moment to bullet her five points (or tips) for women to excel in obtaining their perfect job:
Tip #1: To ace the interview: Be extremely knowledgeable.
Tip #2: Walk the walk: Stand tall and show your most confident self
Tip #3: Show off your talent: Know your strengths and play them up
Tip #4: Pick the perfect pageant attire: Dress for the job you desire
Tip #5: Smile, smile, smile: Positivity is an incredible tool.
The above-mentioned tips can also be helpful if you are marrying a college and/or professional sporting coaching. For me, these tools really come in handy during the college basketball season in which I personally and mentally prepare myself for (ha, I act like we have been married for 20 years.). The season can be so long and there are so many events to attend which I have personally equated to titleholder appearances. For me personally though, I am completely unknowledgeable about the sport of basketball so I fail every time with Tip #1 so I guess that means that I am extremely good at Tip #3 because I typically talk to the “other” wives about non-athletic topics.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Career Woman Inc and/or Lisa Quast. All opinions are mine.