Over 353.1K Daily Active Readers

Let Us Find You a Pageant to Enter

Pageant Planet Responds to “What Pageant Should You Compete in Based on Your Dress Size?”

Yesterday, Pageant Planet created and published an article, “What Pageant Should You Compete in Based on Your Dress Size?” that caused quite a bit of controversy within the pageant community. We wanted to take a moment to address the controversy and explain the article.

The intent of the article

Most of the controversy surrounding the article was the idea that this article’s purpose was to tell pageant contestants that they cannot be successful in certain pageant systems based on what size dress they wear. This idea paints a picture of tearing women down based on their looks instead of helping women of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, etc. be successful in pageantry no matter what their appearance is.

The intent behind the article is, in reality, much different than that idea.

Frequently, Pageant Planet receives heartbreaking stories of girls who compete in systems and are told that they’re “too big” or their body doesn’t fit the type of girl the system is looking for. The common thread among these stories is that each girl wished she knew this before investing her time, money and energy preparing for a pageant that wasn’t a good fit for her. One example of this was mentioned in the comment section on FaceBook after we posted the article…

FB Comment 1
On our Facebook post of this article, many women shared their experiences as plus size women in pageantry. Many of whom appreciated the blunt honesty in the article because of negative experiences and wasted time and money on systems that were not willing to accept them for who they are.

FB Comment 2
Unfortunately, this disappointment comes from many young women all too frequently in the pageant industry.

This article served as a way of notifying girls that despite some pageants claiming to be welcoming to all body types, one look at former winners tells a different story.

Does this mean girls should avoid competing in certain systems because they don’t look like past winners? Absolutely not. It does, however, mean that girls deserve to be informed before investing their money and time into a program that may not be willing to invest back in them.

Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, also saw the article and has some comments she wanted to share. Check out what she had to say here:

Starting the conversation

Ultimately, the pageant industry as a whole is not where it should be in terms of body inclusivity. This article was meant to give our readers a realistic view of the landscape of pageantry as it stands today, not how it should be or stay.

We do apologize to anyone who may have felt discouraged by the article that was posted and we want to assure you that was not our intent. We hope instead that this article will serve as a starting point for a conversation surrounding inclusivity and body positivity in pageantry. The climate currently in place will continue to stand as is unless we, as a community, demand change from pageant systems and pageant directors who do not value diversity.

We try to post articles that progress the industry forward as much as possible. In the past we have posted articles like, “How to be Comfortable with YOUR Body” and “How Pageantry Has Changed to be More Than Just Outer Beauty.” Over the years, we have tried to focus on aspects of pageantry like community service, academics and being a well-rounded titleholder alongside traditional pageant preparation.

We will continue to post these positive articles and hope to stand with you all while this industry continues to shift, change and develop into a more inclusive and relevant industry for all.

Which dress do you like better?

7 thoughts on “Pageant Planet Responds to “What Pageant Should You Compete in Based on Your Dress Size?”

  1. I actually very much appreciated this article! It was very real and I am here for it! I’m not a plus sized girl by any real measure, but in MAO I have been treated as though I am. I am a curvy dress size 5/6, which is not only NOT plus, but is still smaller than the average American woman. My comments sheet from one of my early interviews my first time competing in MAO was flooded with “Needs to lose weight before swimsuit” or “needs to hit the gym”, even though the interview is supposed to be about the substance of the woman and her platform! I was so upset. I’m a very confident woman, but I remember sobbing after getting my comments back. MAO (and pageants in general) is struggling to show that they are as inclusive as they claim. Pageantry has a long way to go in the body positivity arena. If I felt constantly berated for my size at a 6, I can hardly imagine what its like to be plus and in “mainstream” pageantry.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. Hopefully, judges read this and start to judge solely on a systems scoring criteria only.

      1. Hello,
        Thank you for your statement. I understand where you are coming from now and I believe you don’t know why it was so hurtful. As a plus size contestant in MAOT, it was one of the hardest thing to come to realize that I may never be crowned based on this harsh reality, but openly accepting that statistic is wrong . Pageant Planet is where I went to go to learn if pageants would work for me and your body positive articles made me want to compete, but I know if I read this article before I competed or watched that video by former that Miss America it would have crushed my spirits entirely. The reason I compete in MAOT rather than a “plus size” pageant competition is because of the help you can get out to the community from that system, so saying if I want to get crowned I should go to one of those systems, is very condencending. You have this major pageant media platform to make a dynamic change throughout the pageant community, but you chose to write this and just from a newcomers perspective discourage them for competing in a major system. I understand that this article wasn’t supposed to be taken with such a negative connotation, but it does to newcomers, so I believe it should be removed or edited and replaced with an article stating how you feel about the size discrimination in “mainstream pagentry”. I believe an article like that could make a difference in the pageant community and to future contestants and to pageant judges to understand how this pattern of size discrimination has ruined these systems by getting rid of high quality women with amazing ideas that lack the size “required” to win. As well as a new article, you can start using your status in the pageant community to contact these large systems and get them to add a letter in their judges packet to start looking for the most beautiful, talented, and intelligent woman, and not just look at them as a number on the back of their dress. Thank you for you response and I would enjoy continuing this conversation.

    2. I had a similar experience in Mrs. Texas America. The judges scored between 1 and 3 for being a size 6 at 5’4″. I had injured my neck in preparation for the oageant and was devestated to see the scores and comments. I hope that you found a pageant home that accepts you as you. ❤

  2. If the title had not said “Should” then the emphasis may have seemed like less of an imperative endorsement; instead, it could have been “potential reasons to consider”.

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I personally appreciate the honesty of both articles, I have been asked by many to compete, but in all honesty I am not comfortable getting on stage and being a size 12/14. I wholeheartedly wish that there was just pageants and that each competitor was equally judge, but that’s not realistic. There are “plus size” pageants out there, but no one seems to consider that they are just as discriminating. I have also seen those pageants that have judge based on ethnicity. EVERY pageant systems has a type, even those that are more inclusive of size and figure, typically you will see the same “type” of girl win year after year. Now don’t think I am one of those that hate pageants, I am a true believer in pageants and all they have to offer in growth and development, so much so that I actually write about it. I also don’t think that you should compete just to WIN. You should compete to make mistakes, to grow, to encourage others and compete because you just love competing. My daughter competes, she is 5 and my hope for her is that she learns how to be confident without being arrogant, she learns life skills such as interviewing and public speaking, most importantly that she learns to follow her heart and do what she loves no matter what. Pageantry will evolve just like everything else, prejudices will always exist, we are human and imperfect and the first step to change is accepting the reality. Thank You for starting the conversation, even if it’s a difficult conversation it’s one that is truly needed!

    1. Beautifully said Roberta. Thank you for taking the time to share your insight on the industry!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join The Largest Pageant Network on the Planet! Choose a registration option below to write reviews, contribute to our Hall of Fame, and more!

Get a Free Account Get Unlimited Pageant Coaching