Back in my pre-teen years I used to compete in pageants and I don't regret one bit of my participation. They brought out true inner beauty and self confidence in each of its contestants especially me!
Back in the early 90s the Miss Montana Pageant was held in Great Falls, Montana and since it was in my home town I wanted to enter. A friend of mine is currently Miss Montana and I am so proud of her. Go Tahnee Peppenger. She is quite the entrepreneur as well owning her own rodeo fashion company http://www.pinkspursco.com/.
Without doing pageants I would not have built my self confidence to speak in front of people. My confidence to just walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation. My ability to be open and honest. My ability to sell...and own many different businesses throughout the years.
My mom, being a single parent at the time, told me that if I wanted to keep doing the pageants I had to pay my own way. This meant pay my entrance fees, for all my outfits and basically...everything! Well, this is where I learned to sell, sell, sell! I would do everything I could. Mow lawns, babysit, sell jerky at local bars and restaurants. I didn't get a fancy new ball gown but a beautiful used one from the Goodwill. If I remember correctly, my mom helped me a little with entrance fees but many were paid for because I sold so many ads in the program. It is crazy that if you really want something and it isn't given to you how much you can accomplish and learn from the experience. I really wish more parents nowadays were like my Mom. Make them work for it and they will appreciate it so much more.
Yes, I still have insecurities and I think we all do but being in pageants showed me that everyone is beautiful in their own way. I didn't win the pageant but took away more than I could have ever imagined at the time.
One of my favorite memories was doing my speech on some one I admired. Pretty funny when I really admired President Ronald Reagan. I thought it was pretty cool that an actor could turn President and that I thought he was so handsome. Not as the President but back when he was the "actor".
The Tiny-Miss Auburndale pageant was the first of it's kind for the Auburndale Chamber of Commerce and I think it was very well organized. Congratulations to all the winners and even the contestants themselves. You may not know it now but every time you are up on that stage you build self confidence and skills that you take with you for life. For more information, call the Chamber at 863-967-3400.