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10 Situations Every Contestant Should Avoid

2017 Arizona International Junior Miss titleholders looking stunning at the 2017 International Junior Miss pageant in Nashville, TN. Photo: @ijmazjrteen Instagram.
2017 Arizona International Junior Miss titleholders looking lovely at the 2017 International Junior Miss pageant in Nashville, TN. Photo: @ijmazjrteen Instagram.

No doubt there is a slew of items to check off your to-do list as a pageant contestant. As competitors, we all focus on what needs to be done. Let’s shift gears this week and take a peek at some things that shouldn’t be done while in the midst of competition.

Putting yourself in challenging or awkward situations during pageant week isn’t any fun. Here’s my list of 10 situations to avoid as a contestant. Steer clear of these items to be sure you’re on your A-game for upcoming pageants!

10 Situations Every Contestant Should Avoid

1. Lack a to-do list

I’ve always compartmentalized my pageant preparations into two categories: competition and administrative. While there are many items that need be attended to such as wardrobe, hair and perfecting a walk before you can compete, there’s also a lot of paperwork that goes into preparing. (Read: How To Spring Into Pageant Preparation)

Thus, in order to not fall behind, I have two running to-do lists for these categories. One list of things to do in order to get up on stage and compete, while the other lists things to do that are administrative/paperwork related to turn into the director. Both are equally important and require attention so that you’re not rushing at the last minute. Be sure to use our pageant preparation timeline to stay on track!

2. Ill-preparedness

Being ill-prepared for the pageant is a situation you want to avoid at all costs. Don’t forget to have your paperwork printed and in the correct order, remaining balances to pay the director, proper jewelry and shoes for each outfit, personal belongings, etc. Not having these items organized, especially for check-in, may show the pageant staff that you are not ready to take the job as a titleholder. (Read: How To Prepare For A Pageant (Step By Step))

Along with a solid to-do list, make sure you have a proper pageant packing checklist so that you don’t forget important items at home. Don’t be stuck having to go on stage in the wrong shoes, like I once did! (Read: Pageant Packing Checklist)

Danielle Heiman, International Junior Miss Texas Jr Teen 2017, checked in and ready optionals at the 2017 International Junior Miss pageant. Photo: @ijmtexasjrteen Instagram.
Danielle Heiman, International Junior Miss Texas Jr Teen 2017, checked in and ready for optionals at the 2017 International Junior Miss pageant. Photo: @ijmtexasjrteen Instagram.

3. Tardiness

Do your directors and pageant staff a gigantic favor: don’t be late to events! Especially with multiple age divisions that span many events, if one person is late in each age division, it could set the entire day or even final show off.

Always remember what I consider the golden rule of pageant arrival etiquette: “If you’re on time, you’re late!” My article next week will go more in depth on this topic, so stay tuned! (Read: Why Are Girls Always Late?)

4. Inadequate attire

We all know it is not always about what you wear in pageants, but how you wear it. At the same time, you must make sure that your wardrobe for the pageant has a few solid attributes.

Your wardrobe should be clean, tailored, complement you and, above all, be age-appropriate. The best thing you can do to avoid brining inadequate clothing is to do your research. Ask the directors for their opinions or even better yet, grab the DVD or photos from last year’s competition to see what the winners wore. (Read: How To Plan Your Wardrobe For A National Pageant)

Kirsten Verble, International Junior Miss Tennessee Junior Teen 2017 and Grace Myler, International Junior Miss Upper Midwest Junior Teen 2017 looking amazing for interview at the 2017 International Junior Miss pageant in Nashville. Photo: @_glitter_and_grace Instagram.
Kirsten Verble, International Junior Miss Tennessee Junior Teen 2017 and Grace Myler, International Junior Miss Upper Midwest Junior Teen 2017 looking amazing and ready for interview at the 2017 International Junior Miss pageant. Photo: @_glitter_and_grace Instagram.

5. Create drama

I believe it was Thumper in Disney’s Bambi who said it best: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

Please don’t talk negatively about the pageant, other contestants or any other topic for that matter. Emotions and adrenaline run high during competition week. Drama fueled by that can only can create bad situations. Leave it at home, ladies! (Read: The Best Way To Deal With Pageant Drama)

6. Inappropriate social media

You just never know where the judges may be looking. Make sure your social media is clean and appropriate for all audiences. My general rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t want a teacher, boss or perspective employer to see it, think twice before posting.

Posts should be positive, wholesome, age-appropriate and reflect you positively. The nice thing about social media is that it allows you the opportunity to position yourself in a light you want to be seen. Take advantage of that! (Read: A Pageant Girl’s Guide To Social Media)

2017 Miss Minnesota Latina pageant contestants working hard to get pageant ready! Photo: @missmnlatina Instagram.
2017 Miss Minnesota Latina pageant contestants working hard together to get pageant ready! Photo: @missmnlatina Instagram.

7. Forget nourishment

Fainting or dehydrating from lack of proper nutrition or water during pageant week is definitely a situation you want to avoid. We all know how busy it gets while competing, so make sure you are well-prepared.

Look at your schedule ahead of time to determine what meals, if any, that the pageant provides. Pack nutritious snacks, water bottles and perhaps a few pre-made sandwiches in a cooler if you don’t want to be stuck eating (and waiting for) expensive hotel food. (Read: What To Eat On Pageant Day)

8. Avoid speaking up

Don’t be afraid to talk to a director if something is going wrong during pageant week. Just exercise some common sense to determine what is futile and what is a true concern.

Your director’s job is to make the event fun and enjoyable for everyone. If for some reason that’s not the case, speak up and stress your concerns in a professional manner.

Stormi Sanders, USA National Miss California Teen 2017 and Elle Pasternik, USA National Miss Jr. Teen California 2017 traveling together to the 2017 USA National Miss pageant. Photo: @unm_jrteenca Instagram.
Stormi Sanders, USA National Miss California Teen 2017 and Elle Pasternik, USA National Miss Jr. Teen California 2017 traveling together to the 2017 USA National Miss pageant. Photo: @unm_jrteenca Instagram.

9. Compromise safety

Never sacrifice your safety in the attempts to win a crown. Never travel alone, especially if driving a long distance. It’s best to find a fellow contestant to travel with, as you can even share in expenses!

“As a titleholder, contestant, director and coach, I never feel comfortable traveling by myself,” said Andrea Perreault of Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful Pageant Coaching and the currently reigning Mrs. American Woman of Service 2017. “I encourage my girls to always travel with a buddy if their family isn’t able to travel. You never know what could happen!”

“Always be aware of your surroundings,” Perreault said.

This includes both when traveling and at the pageant. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, say something. People or things that look out of place may truly not belong. Trust your instincts enough to know when to speak up.

The newly crowned American Women of Service 2017 National Titleholders looking amazing for the 4th of July. Photo: Andrea Perreault
The newly crowned American Women of Service 2017 National Titleholders looking amazing for the 4th of July. Photo: Andrea Perreault

10. Sell out

The number one situation I want you to avoid as a pageant contestant is selling out. Never for one second should you compromise your values, morals or the things you believe in to win a crown.

Always be true to yourself as a contestant and the judges will see that inner light. There’s not one specific mold in a pageant girl that they are looking for, but rather someone who can speak with the courage of conviction and represent the system with maturity and poise. (Read: How To Answer Hard Pageant Interview Questions)

Going Forward

As you can see, there are quite a few things to avoid as your prepare to capture the crown. No doubt your list of things to do for an upcoming pageant is overwhelming. It’s also equally important to make sure you are thinking about situations that you can avoid so you’re sure to be on top of your game during pageant week.

We have no doubt that you can do it! If you’re feeling a little nervous or need expert advice, make sure to connect with one of Pageant Planet’s experienced coaches or VIP memberships to give you that leading edge.

Good luck!

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