Glitz & glam: Pageant competitions prepare participants for real world

Thousands of eyes focus on individuals as they are blinded by the bright lights overhead. Staying poised under pressure is a requirement of any pageant contestant and senior Addison Seay has grown accustomed to being at ease having a stage presence. In September, Addison participated in the Miss Teen Texas pageant where she competed against 75 other girls.

“The Miss Teen Texas pageant was a lot of fun,” Addison said. “I was very nervous because there were so many of us, and it was my first year competing for Miss Teen Texas.”  Addison has been competing in pageants since she was 4, and has learned many skills which will help her in the future.

“My mom had a friend who was in pageants and I heard that she had a lot of fun so I decided to give it a try,” Addison said “I used to be really shy and didn’t talk to anyone, so now with the pageants I have to talk to people.”  

Addison’s teachers have seen how pageants have helped her develop key characteristics that help her outside of competitions. 

“Addison has a very welcoming presence,” English teacher Carol Jordan said. “She can speak in the classroom and answer questions with confidence that I believed she learned through the pageant circuit.”

Pageants have helped Addison develop the ability to think on her feet and respond effectively. 

“Addison has developed self confidence to speak for herself and speak right in the moment,” Jordan said. “With that it’s definitely a benefit in the classroom when we are doing discussions and answering questions right on the spot.”   

While Addison enjoys the pageant program, there are also difficulties that come with competing against other girls her age. 

“My least favorite part of participating in pageants is the nerves I get when competing with everyone,” Addison said. “Everyone at the pageant that is competing is beautiful and amazing so it can be a lot of pressure.” 

Pageant candidates are expected to have a platform that they speak about and promote to help the community and demonstrate engagement.

“My platform is cancer research since it is personal to me after being diagnosed with a brain tumor when I was eight,” Addison said. “Judges also ask us about current topics going on around the world. So I have to be involved in what’s happening around us.”

Addison has learned multiple lessons while participating in pageants but one that stands out the most is learning about perspectives and how each person is unique.

“I learned everyone has a story and a background,” Addison said. “You have to take account of what has happened in their lives to see the whole person.”