I am writing this post with great excitement despite having lost a competition. This past weekend I competed in my first pageant ever – Miss District of Columbia USA 2016 – but please hold the pat on the back because I promise you that I still won at the end. Before I divulge into my personal reflection, I have to point out a few things I learned that I never knew or read about in pageantry.
To be in a pageant, you truly have to be comfortable with your body naked. Most of the time we look at ourselves in the mirror with clothes on but behind the scenes you strip down and run out to make the next strut on the runway. You don’t have time to make any adjustments or hide any problem areas. Your body has to be better than good and downright flawless. That takes a lot of discipline because even being the naturally skinny girl won’t make you look as great as the fit girl.
Then there is the FACT that it is really not a BEAUTY competition. While being pretty matters, after you’ve caked on the makeup and perfected your walk, all that’s left is for the judges to find ways that make you different. It won’t be your hair style or the dress that makes you but something that stands out through all of that. You can’t get “it” and you can’t buy “it” but pray to God that “it” shows up on the day of the show.
And when you hear that pageants are expensive, know that they are on the verge of being debt collectors. To really win, you have to get a coach and understand that many others will have had coaching as well. The more coaching you receive, the more comfortable you’ll be on stage. Excessive preparation is truly key and that requires excessive cash flow.
Lastly, pageantry is everything for many of these ladies. I mean some of these ladies live and breathe this world which is truly unfortunate when there can only be one winner. You have to have something else that fuels you and something that you have more control of because a pageant should never define who you are as a person.
My take home…..
I learned a lot from this expensive experience that I am so fortunate to have been given. It was an extremely personal journey as I learned to value my worth and what I had to offer the world. I am a person who looks for affirmation from others. I don’t really think highly of my successes because I feel it is simply what I have to do. But on that stage, I felt like somebody when I shouted my lines—Charity Gachenge, 24, contestant number 10. The whole experience forced me to accept my accomplishments and to think better of myself. I don’t know how I could have prepared for the anxiety attack I caught just as I stepped on the stage. My whole body shook from my feet hurting and smile quivering. I kept telling myself “get a grip girl before they think you’re a salt shaker!” Soon enough I did get it together and went out being the best me.
I really wanted to win the competition because I wanted the job of being Miss District of Columbia USA. I wanted to make an impact in my community and wanted that extra boost it offered. BUT winning the title meant the experience would only last a year. I am on the search for a job that will last a lifetime. My next competition will for sure be running for council in the district but we have a ton of time for that.
I want to say thank you to my Momma who sat in the front role of BOTH shows and didn’t leave after finding out I didn’t place. It was an honor for me to know she saw her baby girl do it big even if she was sure I was not going to win — “oh baby don’t worry, the competition is very pretty.” I know, the shade with her is very real but it was true!
At the end of that day, when you compete in a pageant, you can truly do anything in life! My mother didn’t fail to tell me that this is just the beginning.
Cheers to being the best me ever!
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