fourpoints Magazine

The #1 Resource for Everything Miss America & MAOTeen

Interesting Talents

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 16:15

I just read that Miss Central Rhode Island Betsy Montes has chosen "fashion design: green glamour" as her talent and I am bummed I won't be attending that pageant so I can see it! I am hoping it ends up on YouTube!

This unique talent got me thinking - what are some other unique talents you could bring to the Miss America stage? I saw a magic act once - that was very neat and I think could be a winning talent if you really polished it. My first year at Miss America, I saw silk aerial dancing and that was pretty unusual.

When Kaye Lani Rae Rafko Wilson was crowned Miss America, her talent was hula dancing and that was pretty "out there" for 1987. Check out the video of her talent—it's a classic!

What are some more unusual talents YOU have seen? What are your favorite talents?

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Guest Blog from Tawni!

Thursday, 05 May 2011 09:57
Hello everyone!  Hopefully this post finds you all well!  I am extremely excited to be writing to you because I finally get to announce our Teens in Training Camp Free Registration Contest winner!   Drum roll please…. Congratulations to Sarah Pierson!  Sarah received over 300 votes in the last week of the contest and won the spot at the 2011 Teens in Training Camp.  This 13-year-old from New York will be joining the Teens in Training Camp team in Orlando for a week of intensive training and an inside look at how a national pageant works.  Not only will Sarah have the opportunity to work with professionals from around the country, but she will also have the chance to take the MAOTeen stage and work the camera in her very own high-fashion photo shoot with the official MAOTeen photographers. Teens in Training Camp will undoubtedly be an amazing experience for Sarah and I am so excited to meet her this summer!

Even though the contest is over, I have a few last tips from The Pageant Guy himself.  Will Henderson, founder, has a few last bits of advice for teens on how to make each of their pageant experiences unforgettable for all the right reasons.  Here’s Will’s advice on how to enjoy pageantry and all it has to offer while still looking and acting your age.

“A common mistake among Teen contestants each year is their desire to attain a look beyond their age. Many times I come across teens that follow a successful actress, model, or pageant titleholder and want to replicate that similar look despite the age difference. I usually see this mistake in photos or onstage with incorrect styling of hair, makeup, and wardrobe in an effort to capture the look of their favorite "idol".  To avoid making this mistake..."Act Your Age". Acting your age, in the context of being a teen contestant, simply means to be a teenager. Whether it’s in photos, onstage, or during interview, don't go overboard with makeup, explode your hair, or wear wardrobe that isn't age appropriate. You can still look glamourous without going over the top.  This same rule applies in the opposite manner by being too "under" styled, bland, and lacking personality. The ultra-conservative and "safe" look is another example of styling beyond your age.  The look you want to achieve is one that is a fun, stylish teenager -- not a Victoria's Secret model or a PTA mother.”

Apply these tips to your pageant experience and I can guarantee you will enjoy your experience 100%.  This concept of acting your age and being comfortable in your own skin is a huge part of Teens in Training Camp.  It is so important – especially in today’s society – to be confident in your own skin no matter what.  Whether you’re 12 or 21, you are beautiful and individually unique and that’s what makes you special.

Well, that’s all I have for you now but be sure to check back next week for some exciting news about a new promotion Teens in Training Camp will be launching.  Enjoy the rest of your week!


Pageant Survival Guide

Monday, 02 May 2011 13:18
Believe it or not, it’s pageant season again. This weekend, the first Miss of the summer will be crowned in New Hampshire. With that in mind, I thought I would put together a survival guide for state pageants – whether you are Miss or OT, these are things you want to have with you for your big pageant moment. Feel free to comment and add your own suggestions, too, please!

*Portable rolling rack to keep your clothes organized and wrinkle free in the theatre or your room.

*More hairspray than you will think you need.

*Clear nail polish – it can fix a number of problems.

*Granola bars and vitamins to keep your energy up

*Extra pillow

*A back-up outfit, because you just never know

*Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment

*Advil or other headache remedies

*Tanning spray or lotion for touch-ups


*Lint brush

*Mints/hard candy

*Something to remind you of home

*iPod or other source of music

*Big comfy hoodie or sweater to wear during rehearsals or downtime

What else do you think a titleholder needs to survive the state pageant?

Hello fourpoints followers! It’s been a while since my last post, so I have a lot to tell you!  Now that the Easter holiday is over and everyone is pledging to get back on a strict diet because we’ve all consumed way too many peanut butter-filled chocolate eggs, I have some incentive for you – there are only a few short weeks until it is officially summer, which not only means swimsuits and afternoons on the beach but also that Miss America’s Outstanding Teen is right around the corner!  And with MAOTeen comes the first annual Teens in Training Camp!  Since my last post, a lot has developed and the TNT Camp Team has been working hard to put into place some really exciting things.  So, let me fill you in.

About a month ago, Teens in Training Camp teamed up with and launched a free registration contest to award one lucky teen entry into this summer’s Teens in Training Camp.  The contestants had to submit a photo and brief statement describing why they thought they should win the contest, which were then both posted on’s Facebook page.  For a couple weeks, the public voted for their favorite contestant, which determined our Top 10 Finalists.  Now, we have 10 extremely beautiful and talented teens who need your help to win the spot at TNT Camp.  You can help them win the top spot by voting for them on Facebook until April 30th, 2011.  All you have to do to vote is go to’s Facebook page and “Like” your favorite contestant’s photo in the Teens in Training Camp Contest album.  You can also check out some awesome videos of MAOTeen Lacey Russ, the 2011 Outstanding Teen Contestants, and the National Princesses at Miss America on’s page and website.  Trust me, you want to check it out!

Now, let’s talk prizes.  The girl who finishes with the most votes wins free registration for Teens in Training Camp, but she won’t be the only one who walks away with a prize.  Each Top 10 Finalist will receive a $25 gift certificate toward a cocktail dress or evening gown and free matching earrings from our contest sponsor, La Casa Hermosa.  I am so excited about this fabulous prize for our Top 10 and am very grateful to La Casa Hermosa for their support and generosity.  Not only is La Casa Hermosa our Free Registration Contest sponsor, but they are also going to be joining us for Camp this summer.  Fashion stylist Robin Fleming and the La Casa Hermosa styling team will be teaching workshops and hosting events that will give participants the opportunity to learn style tips and techniques from the best in the business!

So as you can see, we’ve been busy at Teens in Training Camp and I hope it gets you excited for this summer.  However, I haven’t forgotten this post’s tip for success that, in fact, comes from our very own Robin Fleming.  This tip will not only give you advice on how to be your own fashionista, but it will also give you another ingredient to add to your recipe for success.  So here it is.

Tip #2: Use style savvy fashionistas as personal inspiration, rather than copy exactly what someone else may be wearing.  The biggest mistake a young woman can make in fashion today is copy the previous 'winner' or a big-name celebrity, or in fact, copy anyone.  To be a copy is to be a poor version of an original.   To be an original, is to be true to your inner self.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to vote for your favorite contestant!  Stay tuned for my next post!



Crowning Moments

Monday, 11 April 2011 09:43

The best part of a pageant is arguably the crowning moment—that suspenseful instant when the results are revealed to you and you get to see a young woman wear her crown. I remember when Kirsten Haglund was crowned, I was squeezing Kasie’s hand so tight I almost broke her fingers! And when Kirsten was announced Miss America, we were out of our seats in a heartbeat!

Here is one crowning moment that means a lot to me. This is the first state pageant I ever judged and I had such a lovely, memorable experience in Missouri that I plan to go back one day as “non-judge” and enjoy the pageant from the audience:

And of course, there are some GREAT crowning photos from over the years! Here are a couple I found on the Internet:

This one, of course, is the famous crowning of Ericka Dunlap as Miss America 2004. She is one of my favorite Miss Americas and this is my all time favorite coronation. Her yellow dress, her excitement – unforgettable.crowning1

And of course, Jennifer Berry crowning Lauren Nelson. That was a poignant moment for so many reasons. Getting to crown, and be crowned, by your state sister is something only a handful of women have experienced. So great!crowning2

And these photos? Well, I’m not sure who they are – but they sure are funny!crowning3

What are your favorite crowning moments?

Panty Hose: To Wear or Not To Wear

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 08:49

Panty hose. They are a simple enough garment, but they get a lot of attention and discussion in the world of pageantry. Some people think they are outdated, other people think that they are absolutely necessary in some situations.

Steven Roddy of Pageant Planet and  friend of fourpoints just wrote a blog about panty hose and his opinion is: no way - they show your age and, after all, you don't see celebrities wearing panty hose.

But I have to say, I disagree - even though I adore Steven! 

I thinky panty hose are still an important and modern addition to a professional wardrobe, and I would be disappointed to see a contestant not wear panty house in the interview competition.

Of course, I was raised in a fairly conservative Southern household and covering our legs was a must - something I still do, whether it is with leggings, tights, or panty hose. I don't think that shows my age, necessarily, as I am still fairly young. I just believe that in a professional setting, panty hose add a little bit of polish. And hose have really evolved since I was a little girl even - there are several colors and shades so you can match your skintone. And I even think that tights are appropriate if they are a neutral color that matches your outfit.

And Steven is right - I don't often see celebrities wearing panty hose. Almost never, actually. Panty hose do not photography very well, admittedly, so maybe that is why they don't wear them. But? I'm not a celebrity and I will stick by my beloved hose.

What do you guys think? Amy I hopelessly old fashioned? Are hose a thing of the past? And if they are, how do you keep your legs looking great? 

Teens in Training Camp

Wednesday, 23 March 2011 10:31

Hello!  And welcome to the one and only Teens in Training Camp blog with fourpoints!  This blog is just for YOU to give you all the details about Teens in Training Camp and to keep you updated on everything Teens in Training Camp straight from MAOTeen!  So without further ado…let’s get started!

tawniMy name is Tawni Darby and I am the founder of Teens in Training Camp.  The idea for this program developed years ago after I competed in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant.  I competed in my first pageant when I was 14 and went on to win the title of Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen when I was just 15.  Although I was completely thrilled to be representing my state at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, I was extremely nervous and didn’t really know what to expect.  My directors did what they could to help me prepare and understand how the national pageant worked, but having only done two pageants in my whole life, I was still feeling somewhat stressed about competing on a national stage.  I didn’t have a program like Teens in Training Camp to give me an inside look into what happens behind the curtain of a national pageant.  After completing my year of service and reflecting on my experiences, I began to realize just how invaluable this insight would be to any teenage girl.  And that is essentially why I wanted to start a program like this.  I don’t want any teenage girl to feel unprepared or afraid of what the future holds.  I want them to be able to go confidently into any situation and be successful because they have confidence in what they’re doing and who they are, whether they compete in pageants or not.  Being confident, poised and prepared aren’t just skills needed to be an outstanding titleholder, they’re skills needed to be an outstanding young woman.  That’s what Teens in Training Camp is all about.  We want to provide an experience for teens that will teach them all they need to know to be successful, confident young women, as well as prepare them for what it takes to compete in any national event.  We want teens to leave feeling ready to take on the world!  I am extremely excited about Teens in Training Camp and all the amazing opportunities it has to offer our next generation of leaders.

Now that I have given you the motivation behind Teens in Training Camp, I’m going to give you one of my very own “Tips for Success.”  Each time I write this blog, I will be including a tip from one of Teens in Training Camp’s instructors or sponsors to help you start to develop your very own recipe for success.  So are you ready?  Here’s Tip #1:

As Coco Chanel once said, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”  Whether you compete in pageants, already hold a title, or are just trying to survive high school, never forget those wonderful words and always STAY TRUE TO YOU… it makes you stand out!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next blog!

Sincerely yours,


My Day With Miss America

Wednesday, 16 March 2011 15:05

How great is my life? On Monday, I got to spend some quality time with Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan.

Teresa was in my neck of the woods visiting the home of Artistry, the official skincare and cosmetic sponsor of Miss America. The home of Artistry is a company called Amway, which is conveniently located pretty close to fourpoints headquarters!

The day started off in a very cool way. Tons of Amway employees gathered in the main lobby to greet Teresa and she even played the piano for us!

After Teresa performed for us – and it was lovely  - I joined her and some awesome Artistry employees, Caitlin and Mindy, for a tour.

Our tour guide John knew just about everything there was to know about Amway, which was started in the sixties and is one of the largest privately held companies in the world.

We learned all about the origins of Amway and their products, including, but not limited to, all the lovely Artistry products.

We even got to go into the awesome Artistry research and development labs where Teresa made her own personal lipstick (named Sashay at the suggestion of Jennifer from fourpoints!) and made a hand cream we all got to try.

Later in the afternoon, I went to a big meet and greet party Amway threw for its employees. Everyone and their families got to come meet Teresa, have their photo taken, get her autograph, etc. There were even crown cookies!

It was really special for me to see so many people excited to meet Miss America and the looks on little girls faces when they got to put on a crown. I have not had the chance to spend time with a Miss America during one of her regular, run of the mill appearances (usually I see Miss America at pageants) and I have to tell you, it was awesome. The chance to meet Miss America is not something that everyone has, and I could tell they were really excited.

And Teresa! Teresa is an incredible young woman. We got a chance to chat a little bit during some downtime and she is just so…wonderful. She is poised, kind, and welcoming. But beyond that, she seems to really be able to connect with people. I feel very lucky that I got to spend time with her and the girls from Artistry, and I feel even MORE lucky that we get to have Teresa for a whole year!

The April.May issue of fourpoints featuring Teresa on the cover is being printed right now, as you read this, so don’t miss out on that!

In other fun news, our 2011 Make Me A Cover Model and Precious Princess contests ended yesterday and we should have some exciting news very soon!

Moving and Shaking

Monday, 07 March 2011 14:36

Hello, faithful readers!

It is one of my favorite times of year right now. Here in West Michigan, spring is just beginning to creep into the air and in the world of pageantry, we are gearing up for an exciting season!

Local contestants are crowned every day and we are edging closer to state pageants AND the national MAOT pageant in August!

We just celebrated National Pancake Day with IHOP and CMN, and it was fun (as always) to see pictures of contestants with pancakes, arguably my favorite carbohydrate.

Last week, MAO announced their 2011 board of directors and while it is always nice to welcome new people into the fold, I am especially joyful in welcoming Marvin Blum to the 2011 board of directors.

Marvin has been a long time friend of fourpoints magazine and, as a matter of fact, his lovely daughter Elizabeth was our very first Make Me A Cover Model winner. It’s wonderful to see Marvin involved with MAO at the national level, and we couldn’t be happier for him! Congratulations, Marvin!

We have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming weeks! Next week, I will have the pleasure of spending a little time with Teresa when she is in town to visit with Artistry – you will be sure to see lots of pics and hear lots about our visit!

Also, the April.May issue of fourpoints is getting polished as we speak! Teresa will be on the cover and we have some exciting features on the inside.

What’s going on in your pageant community this week?

Miss America Redux

Thursday, 27 January 2011 14:35

Hello, faithful readers! I apologize for my blogging absence, but once the final night of the pageant hit - I was out of the gate! Red eye flight home, then getting the February/March issue to print! And I am happy to report that it is at the printers as I type - one step closer to your mailbox!

This issue is pretty incredible. It's not every day that we get to celebrate 90 years of Miss America, after all! The cover features Miss ND 1997 Roxana Saberi who was a political prisoner in Iran for some time. Her story is incredible and I am very proud to be able to share it with you  guys.

What else is in the next issue? Well, a Special Report on the Miss America pageant, for one! There are some behind-the-scenes stuff and photos you've never seen, which I think you will love. The state feature is Oregon, and we are also featuring Miss New Mexico ED Carol Henry. All in all, I'm really proud of this issue (I am proud of all of them, of course) and if you aren't a subscriber, I really encourage you to do so.

Plus, if you don't subscribe, you will miss out on the April/May issue which will feature Miss America 2011  Teresa Scanlan on the cover! I had the chance to talk with her yesterday and I am so excited for her year of service.

The Miss America 2011 pageant was a really special thing to witness in person. I work with things related to the pageant on a daily basis, obviously, so on one level I am always aware of the impact of the organization. But being there in person to witness the enormity of its entire history was...unforgettable. Seeing all those former Miss America on stage was really overwhelming! Looking at those women and knowing that their lives were irrevocably (and positively) changed because of their involvement with the Miss America Organization was so special. And if you think about their entire class (all the Miss States) from their year, and then everyone who competed at the local level - it's astounding. You will never meet a young woman who competed in the Miss America system who will say that she isn't better off because of it.

Another really amazing thing was to think about how the pageant has changed over the years. It is our first ever reality television show, harking back to 1955. Some things have changed - only 90 seconds for talent, for example - but the basic principle of the pageant is the same. I wonder if Lenora Slaughter knew during her time with MAO that she was, in effect, changing the world? She was a very smart lady, so I am guessing that she had an inkling.

I am so grateful to work so closely with an organization that impacts the lives of young women every moment of every day.

Until next time!