What makes National American Miss so special?
A girl can be told she is beautiful. She can get all dolled up in a beautiful dress and have her hair and makeup done to feel like a princess. She can even wear a crown on her head and a banner across her chest with a title that she has just been given for winning a pageant. Many people call them “beauty pageants”, assuming that looks is the only way one can win these types of competitions. But at National American Miss, a scholarship pageant for girls ages 5-21, it is not all about the title, but about the journey to become the best you can be.
With required competitions like formal wear, personal introduction and interview, and many other optional competitions, National American Miss contestants are given the opportunity to confidently walk, speak, and perform on a stage in front of hundreds of people while also learning many other skills that will help them to succeed in the future. The girls learn how to be poised, speak with eloquence and passion, and how to dream big and set goals that they will one day achieve with determination.
Aside from all of the hard work during competition week, the girls dedicate the months leading up to the pageant to preparing. With the high cost of competition fees, and buying gowns, suits, shows, talent costumes, etc., each contestant has to work hard to raise money. Many girls work hard to find sponsors, or to save their own money to cover the costs.Many girls compete multiple times before winning their first title, and although it is every contestants’ goal to walk away with the crown, the girls that don’t give up say that they learned the most from the times that they didn’t win and used those times to motivate themselves to work harder the following year. As Courtney Jamison, National American Miss 2014 Queen says, “in life you either win or you learn.”
So although it may look like just makeup, rhinestones, and pretty gowns, National American Miss is so much more than just a beauty pageant. Girls that compete in this pageant can walk on stage with the hopes and dreams of winning a state or national title, and whether or not they do earn that title, they can walk away with important life skills, friendships, and confidence. A girl at National American Miss is a girl with dreams that she pursues, and one who inspires others to pursue their own dreams.
What does the pageant and year of reign look like?
Girls of different ages compete in the pageant. Since National American Miss is about promoting inner beauty, the contestants are not allowed to wear makeup until they reach the Jr. Teen division at age 13.
A contestant sharing her talent in an optional competition in front of a crowd of hundreds of people
The exciting winning moment!
Each contestant is required to donate a toy or school item for the community involvement competition, which goes towards 10% of their overall score. The winning queens then donate these items to a school or charity of their choice.
Once the queen is chosen, she is encouraged to spend her year of reign giving back to her community and representing her state in a positive way.
Aside from giving back and representing her state, what else does a queen do with her title? Competes in the National competition of course!
National American Miss 2014 Queen Courtney Jamison shares why National American Miss is so important in her life!
Although some girls win a title at their first pageant, it takes many girls more than one try to win. The chart below shows how many girls (out of 50 polled) won on their first try, how many had to compete two or more times to win, and how many came back to NAM because it impacted their life!