Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Competing for the Crown

I did something I never thought I would do this last weekend - I participated in a pageant. My experience was not what I expected it would be. Although, I didn't win, I am happy that I participated in a competition that was out of my comfort zone. I wanted to share my experience with the online world and share how it truly is competing for the crown. 

"It is not a beauty pageant. It is a scholarship program."
One of my personal favorite lines from Miss Congeniality. Although this line may have been a joke, there is some truth to it. Beauty pageants aren't really just "beauty pageants anymore. There are many types of pageants. Some focus on community service, culture, or academic achievements. Even the "beauty" pageants have many elements to them that include community service and accomplishments. Pageants also require a lot of work, like a lot. More than you think. So now that we have established that, let's talk about my pageant experience!!! There is A LOT to talk about, so I get it if you can't read this entire blog post. I have so very kindly divided the post into sections so you can read the section that most interests you. 

How Everything Went Wrong
There were so many bumps on the road that it wasn't even funny. I had my interview dress dry cleaned and part of the dress lost it's color. Eeeek! It took me a few months to find the right shoes for each outfit. My spray tan was uneven. On pageant day,  I grabbed my foundation and everything spilled out on my hand. This happened RIGHT BEFORE my private interview. I quickly cleaned my hand and sprinted out. I know that these many not sound like a big deal, but being in pageants is already stressful and these bumps feel more like another mountain to climb. 

Ladies, Now Let's Get in Formation (Pageant Day) 
Pageant day is about three hours of practice before the pageant actives commence. Some pageants are a span of three days, but it really depends on the pageant. There is usually an orientation before that I would highly recommend attending. So after you get through rehearsals, which takes away a lot of pre-performance jitters, my pageant had us get ready for personal interviews. 

Personally, I think it is these private interviews that are the most stressful. You are either on stage with a panel of judges staring at your or you are sitting one one one with a judge! The questions can range from politics to your personal experience. My particular pageant didn't allow political questions, which made the interview a lot less stressful.

Basically, after the interviews. Everything else was a blur. After every segment of the show, you would see all the contestant sprinting down the hallways in heels trying to get ready. 

We Are All Winners!

This is the moment that we were all waiting for. The moment to be crowned. As weird as it was, when my name wasn't announced as one of the winners, I wasn't sad. It was so strange. I expected that I would start crying if I didn't win, but there was no ounce of sadness. I was disappointed for about 3.5 seconds, but the feeling went away so very quickly. It may be because I had given my best and I couldn't truly be disappointed because I had given it my all. When you do your best and had fun along the way, it's hard to be upset or a disappointed in oneself. It's not easy to put yourself out there for judgement, but I did it! So I am proud to have competed in a pageant, even if I wasn't crowned. 

Some Cool Peeps

What I really like about my pageant was the women competing in it. First off, there were so many contestants that were highly accomplished, fashionable and pretty. I ended up becoming friends with some of the other contestants. In my division, there was a body builder, an actress, a journalist, entrepreneurs and more. I knew that it was going to be tough selecting a winner since there were a lot of pretty impressive people. 

And I become friends with a contestant that actually works down the street from me! What are the chances that the contestant sitting next to me works down the street from me in Los Angeles? We were competing in Long Beach so I though that was pretty crazy to see exactly how small the world is. 

She ended up being crowned the winner, and I was truly happy for her. She was such a great person and I could see her being a great titleholder. I am excited to see her at future volunteering events. 

Show Me the Money! (Costs of Pageant)
Pageant cost really add up quickly, even if you operate on a budget. What I noticed right off the bat is how quickly the expenses were adding up. I had just graduated from college so I was looking for a fun side project and pageants seemed like a good way to go. It wasn't until I started preparing for my pageant that I realized how pricey they are (if you haven't done one.) If you are going to do only the basics, you will need an interview outfit, a formal dress, and a bikini or athletic clothing. If you purchase new shoes and new outfits for every single division, this can easily add up to $300. In addition to this, many contestant will often get their nails, hair, make up and spray tan done. You can cut some of these out, but many contestants go all out when competing in order to look there absolute best. 

You have to remember that this isn't including the entry free (ranges between $100-$350 for city pageants), required ticket sales and ad placements in the brochure. Plus you would have to include any personal trainers, pageant coaches or nutritionist that you hire to get in shape for the pageant. 

Like I said, there is a way to be in a pageant without pouring a lot of money into it. Many contestants will use there own clothing, do their own make up and hair, learn about how to prepare for a pageant via YouTube, etc. My pageant experience was a great experience and I think that everyone should try experience once in their life. 

Got Confidence?
Being in a pageant teaches you so very much. It's cliche but true, everyone that participate in a pageant is a winner. My sister likes to tease me that I participated in a pageant, but it took a lot of guts to get up on stage in my gym wear and strut like I was a high fashion model as well as answer questions on stage. What a pageant teaches you is how to be confident in who you are. Whenever I see the gorgeous and intelligent Miss USA pageant contestants on TV, I always think that they are so confident. Being in a pageant will teach you to like yourself, because you have to show others that you are happy with who you are! 

If you have ever participated in a pageant, I would love to hear your experience. Please leave any tips or experiences below. I genuinely want to hear all about your pageant journey. If you have any other questions on competing in pageants, PLEASE email me or leave a comment below. 


  1. So fun! Congrats on all your success! xo Jana | www.janastyleblog.com

  2. Love your post dear ♥
    If you want check out my blog.I write about fashion,beauty and lifestyle.Maybe we can follow each other and be great blogger friends !


  3. You are STUNNING!!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    xo | Cindy Elena

  4. Wow! This all sounds like such a crazy process! You look so poised and elegant doing so! I cannot believe what happened to your dress!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

  5. I love your attitude in this post. It sounds like it was a wonderful experience and that you learned a lot which is key. You look so beautiful in these looks!


  6. How fabulous Natalie!!!

  7. Congrats on doing your first pageant! I compete in pageants, too, and the cost can be ridiculous, but it's a great way to make friends :)

  8. You looked gorgeous (as usual) at the beauty pageant, and that red lace dress you wore is beautiful! The black two piece outfit you were wearing in the last three photos is beautiful too. Its great that you were able to get past those bumps in the road. I loved watching the movie "Miss Congeniality" with Sandra Bullock.
    I hadn't thought about how expensive it would be to be a contestant before reading this post.
    I'm sure you were by far the most beautiful contestant participating, but it's nice that the person who won was nice too.


  9. Congrats! I've never thought about competing in a pageant before

  10. Congrats!! You look so stylish! Adore your top!!
    Mónica Sors

  11. I think it's great that you did it even with bumps in the road. You look beautiful.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment. Yes! I was going crazy.

  12. What a wholesome experience and I love that you shared this with us because it shows that there is so much more to pageants than what meets the eye!


    1. Yes! That is exactly what I wanted to convey. I am excited to compete again in the future.

  13. I loved all of your outfits in this pegnant it is so unique and ps you looked really good on stage.

  14. What an amazing experience! thanks for sharing

    xo Jamie


  15. You look so pretty, love your gown

  16. What an interesting post, it sounds like a really fun time!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

  17. Wow, I never would have thought that so much time and energy goes into pageants.

    Sounds like a lovely experience to have and you looked beautiful throughout even though some things might have gone better.

    PS: Red is definitely your colour! xx


  18. You look beautiful, lady! It sounds like such a positive experience, and how cool that you met someone who works so close. It really is a small world!

    Kathryn • simplykk.com

  19. Congratulations! Even though you didn't officially win, you are still a winner as you did something out of your comfort zone.

    Her Style Hive

  20. What an amazing experience!!! Laughing at the opener of this post!! "It's a scholarship fund!"

    With Love & Style,
    ♥ Amber

  21. Congrats! It takes alot for someone to actually compete.
    xoxo, Sinclair Mateus

  22. you look so beautiful hun. i have high respect for women who do compete coz it takes not just beauty, but a whole lot of guts and determination as well. so kudos for giving it a go. the experience in itself is rewarding for sure.
    kisses from the sandpit ❤︎

  23. Oooh this was an interesting post to read. I actually don't know much about beauty pageants but that's great that you participated and had a good experience.


  24. Congrats for stepping out of your comfort zone ;) I think participating in a pageant gives you insight and its truly a learning experience.

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