Making travel arrangements for your pageant
by: James Spencer
The most difficult aspect of participating in beauty pageants today isn't even the stress from the competition, but organizing travel arrangements for your family. Parents need to take off work and single parents often must travel with all of their children. It can be trying to your little miss pageant queen hopeful even more so if mommy or daddy dearest are getting even more stressed at all of the money they'll be forking our for hotel rooms, food, and travel expenses to and from the pageant location, let alone any fees for pageant entry, pageant coaches, pageant gowns, the list could be endless, or should I say priceless. All for the smile of our little girl when she walks across a stage at her first beauty pageant. Let me do my best to offer some tips for the road, and how to save a few extra dollars which may make things at least a little easier if you princess isn't crowned pageant queen.
Travel by plane, train, or automobile
The choice is yours, and it really depends on how many people you're traveling with and how far you're going. If you can handle the drive and the pageant is less than a day's drive away, you might be better off. However, if the drive would take a longer time, and if you will have noisy, disruptive children keeping your company, it might save you money to hire a trusted babysitter and just fly yourself and your pageant queen out to your desired location. The downside about flying is the cost which will vary, but more importantly, the problem is lost luggage. Imagine you arrive to the city your pageant is in and your airline loses your luggage. That means all of your beauty supplies, and the beautiful pageant gowns and dresses that you bought before you left. If you travel by airplane, I suggest shopping when you arrive. If you do decide to go that route, definatley look ahead of time at which shops will carry pageant gowns and dresses that are nearby, you don't want to drop more money on an extra taxi ride. A train is a less popular alternative and I wouldn't recommend it to some people for a few reasons, but if you have a lot of children and a long drive, it may be worth it. The train would be cheaper than flying, and the kids could have some room to play around a little bit and keep them occupied.
Pack a lot of food
I know, it's a pain to prepare so much for traveling, but you will be grateful that you did. Traveling to a pageant can be stressful, and stress leads to people eating more. When you include all the energy that you'll be burning running around to keep track of everything, you will be starving. Fast food is a quick solution for everyone, but there are 3 major problems with it. First, it is unhealthy. We don't want to be promoting unhealthy eating while we are at a beauty pageant. Second, it is expensive. Five dollars per person can add up quick at meal times. Third, it is just rude to be eating a greasy burger in front of a potentional beauty pageant winner when you know that they don't want to think about eating that delicious cheeseburger. If you shop and store food that is not perishable, or keep a cooler handy if you're driving, you can pack almost a week's worth of food. Not only that, but if done properly, you could save up to 70% of what you would have paid to a fast food company.
Walking across a stage in a swimsuit in heels is not exactly the easiest thing to do-that's why you have to make it look easy. While judges are looking for overall fitness, poise and grace are of utmost importance. Walk smoothly and carefully, just as you would in evening gown competition, but show a sense of well-being in your face. Your eyes and your smile are very important elements in this competition because they say you have confidence and can face any situation! And, that's what judges want in a title holder. Choose shoes in tan, beige or clear with a heel that will make your legs look longer. When tanning, use caution. Tanning beds can be dangerous, so you may want to opt for a self-tanner to give you that glow you're after. Use common sense when selecting a shade. A redhead with pale skin probably wouldn't look very natural with a dark tan. Right?!
Contestants seem to think that white gowns always win. That is simply not true. You should pick a gown that best complements you skin tone and overall physique. Practice walking in heels before you leave the shop so you'll have an idea of how the dress feels when you're in motion! Ask the store associate about tailoring for length. There is almost nothing worse than a gown that is too short or too long. Styles are changing-the pageant gown is becoming more versatile-less restricted. Contestants are no longer expected to wear only sleek, traditional, fitted gowns. You may opt for a free flowing skirt with a wrap or neckpiece. Try on many different styles, but select the one you feel most comfortable with-after all, the judges are not only looking for elegance, but the confident girl behind the gown as well.
Enhance your best features-don't cover them up! Don't over-do concealers, especially creams, because they can cake and flake after applying your powder. Apply your foundation first, then your concealer on areas that need a little extra help. Accent pale skin and dark hair with deep shades of red and brown tones on lips with browns, grays and charcoals on lids. But always be sure to match your cheeks and lips with your outfit. Blonde hair and darker skin look best with neutral shades of browns, pinks and peach. Light brown hair can wear either depending on skin tone. Skin tone is very important when choosing a foundation. Match the color with your jawbone and blend in upward strokes. Contour just under your cheek bones, along jaw line (lightly!), in temples, and if you wish, on sides of the nose to make it appear smaller. Don't overdo blush as you don't want to look like a clown. For eyes, highlight with a light color just under the brows to bring them out. Remember, dark colors make a feature look smaller while lighter shades open and highlight. An eyelash curler does wonders for opening up small eyes. If you're daring, you might try false eyelashes and match them with your natural lash color. Follow with brown or black mascara and your eyes will be sure to leap out on stage. Remember, above all, to blend, blend, blend.
When being asked questions, honesty, sincerity and simplicity are the key. Don't give answers that simply indicate you agree or disagree with a subject. Rather, expand on your answer and explain why you agree or disagree with the issue. Most importantly, be firm in your answer. Judges look for contestants who are confident and comfortable with their opinions.
A good answer should have 4 parts. 1) Count to three before answering 2) Have a lead in sentence, like, "I honestly believe that..." 3) Answer the question 4) Summarization, "So overall I believe that "X" is the reason that...."
Sample Pageant Questions:
Who is your role model and why?
What qualities do you feel a good role model should possess?
What do you feel is the most challenging issue facing teenagers today?
Why do you want to become Miss "______" ?
Why did you enter this pageant?
What are your future plans?
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
What are your plans for education after you complete high school?
What are three words that describe you best?
What is your favorite color and how do you feel when you wear it?
What are some things you did to prepare for this pageant?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Do you have a favorite sport?
What can people do to help the homeless?
If you could meet anyone in the world (living or not) who would it be any what would you say to them?
What is your most prized possession?
Who is your favorite actor or actress?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What can we do to stop gang violence?
How would you try to improve racial relations among people?
If you could live anyone else's life, who would it be and why?
If you were elected President of the United States what would be the first thing you would do?
If you had only one wish, what would it be and why?
if your pageant title was threatened because you had gained weight, how would you feel and what would you do?
If you could give $50,0000 to any charity in the world, which one would it be and why?
If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it?
What does the word "loyal" mean to you?
These are only a sampling of questions you might encounter during an interview. Remember to practice in front of family and friends for your special event!! Remember to always smile!!