Black is the new pink on the pageant runway, so said the fashion enthusiasts in Atlanta’s fall marketplace, and so say the trends hitting racks come spring. Prepare for a classic take on evening gowns that will still make a fashion statement with high necklines and keyhole backs.
Jennifer Howe Rogan is the owner of So Sweet Boutique, and along with her stylist Stephanie Smith, she’s anticipating fashion statements reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn this spring.
“I feel like we’re making some milestones in fashion, but going back to our roots,” she says.
Think Breakfast at Tiffany’s when you’re out hunting for your evening gown. Low-cut necklines and daring slitted skirts a thing of the past. The modesty panel makes covering up the trend of 2013.
Hairstyles are evolving to match the trend of intricacy in dress design, and Miss contestants can be more elaborate. If you’re in a Teen or Miss competition, make appointments with your hairdresser ahead of time to try new styles that match the current trends. Make note of the time it takes to do each style so you’re ready for quick, backstage changes.
Can’t bring your own personal stylist to the pageant? See if she will give you a few tips on doing your own hair.
“I’m willing to go and teach my clients and show them how to do it. It’s hard if you don’t know how to do it yourself, but your stylist may offer. Don’t hesitate to ask,” Stephanie says. The same concept can be applied to makeup, although no matter your age, don’t go too elaborate, especially with the blush.
“That’s the biggest thing (girls) make mistakes on, putting it on wrong,” says Jennifer. “Go to the mall and make an appointment with a makeup artist. Buy the products and have them do your makeup. It’s cheap, and then you can get the products suggested for (your skin tone).”
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Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2013 and South Carolina native, Rachel Wyatt, attended the first annual Greenville Polo Classic on October 21 at the Hopkins Historic Farm in Simpsonville, South Carolina. The first ever Polo Classic was held to benefit the Greenville Hospital System's Neurological Institute.
Rachel attended the luncheon held before the match to greet sponsors and dignified guests. She said, "I have never been to a polo match before and was clueless as to how the game was played, so learning about the game while attending this event was a real treat for me!" Not only did she thoroughly enjoy watching the players while gaining a better understanding of polo, but Rachel also had the opportunity to meet with many South Carolina State Representatives and the Chairman of the Polo Classic Steering Committee.
In addition, Rachel was able to announce alongside a local television personality, WYFF news anchor John Cessarich, to thank the numerous sponsors that contributed to the event.
"Thousands of dollars were raised for this worthwhile cause while a new sport was introduced to the Upstate, and I am glad that I was able to be a part of it," Rachel said.
For more information on Rachel Wyatt, visit her blog at www.maoteen.org/blog.
Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization is the “little sister” organization of the Miss America Scholarship Organization. This not-for-profit program has made available more than $4 million in college scholarships nationally to young women from 13 to 17 years of age. For more information about the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization, please go to www.maoteen.org.
Source and Photo: MAOTeen
Local Michigan pageant director and business owner Noddea Skidmore is calling for support. Her business, Stiletto Sweets, is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and it's in the running for local financial support, but Noddea needs your endorsement. Interested in helping out a fellow pageant enthusiast? Read what she has to say:
"...My cake and cupcake business called Stiletto Sweets is pursuing a venture capital investment opportunity through an organization called 'Start Garden.' It's awesome, and innovative–they give weekly start-up funds to new ideas and budding businesses each week. Last week, I gave it a whirl, and my gut says I came close. Of the two "winners" each week (they don't call them winners, but please, it's winning) the Start Garden team chooses an idea and the public chooses an idea through online endorsements. The ideas that get $5K investments come back and present what they did with their $5K between sixty to ninety days later, and then the Start Garden team decides which ideas should get $20K. This repeats. The team will invest up to half a million dollars in a single idea. Therefore, I think you probably can tell why I am not ready to give up yet. Even though things didn't work in my favor last time, I think we CAN make it happen.
It's a numbers game for that public endorsement... so it comes down to endorsing, sharing, and encouraging others to do the same. However, my time is limited. You can only re-submit an idea so many times. ...For those that are willing to help, I promise that I won't forget about you. This business isn't just about me. Stiletto Sweets is about everyone who gets to enjoy it."
Here's how to participate:
Source: Noddea Skidmore
Elizabeth McGlynn at Professional Pageant Preparation, LLC, answers your questions about choosing your platform!
Q: What is your advice to a contestant new to MAO/MAOTeen about choosing and establishing a platform? Does my platform have to be marketable or just be something I am interested in?
Selecting a platform can be intimidating. Think about your personal reason(s) as to why you volunteer in your community. Perhaps it relates to a family member or friend. Choose something you are passionate about–and yet, has to matter and be marketable to the general population! For example, being passionate about keeping the arts program in your school system is definitely important to your High school, give it a broader base. How is it important to all students across the state or the country to keep these programs in schools?
Q: What is the most common mistake you see when it comes to platforms? What are the judges and directors looking for in a platform?
The most common mistake: Having a great idea and doing nothing toward implementing it. Think of creating your platform in three steps:
First: Determine the cause you want to become involved with and why it is important to you. Judges want to know why you selected your particular platform issue, and having a personal reason tells the judges you just didn’t come up with this three weeks ago in order to have a ‘platform’ for a pageant.
Second: You MUST have done something for your platform. Look back at the community service you have already done. Most girls find they have a ‘platform’ because of the amount of community service already completed. Schedule speaking engagements at every opportunity before schools, church or civic groups wherever your message might be best received and develop your own materials, literature, or programs to support your platform. Even if you have only done one thing, this shows judges and directors you are taking definitive steps to get your platform started.
Third: Have a plan of action for the future like events to take place. Create a website showcasing your events and plans with links to national organizations related to your particular platform. Have a clear idea of how to involve others and look ahead to see what you could accomplish in the broader picture if you go on to the state or national level working in partnership with the backing of your local or state board behind you.
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Every Miss America local, state, and national titleholder needs to know how to network and work a room. From fundraising events and cocktail parties, to pancake breakfasts and Rotary club meetings, you will make dozens, if not hundreds of appearances. Having strong networking skills will help you build relationships in the world of pageantry, in your community, and in your field of expertise. Here are some tips for successful networking during your year of service.
Enter with a positive attitude: Approach social events with an air of excitement that tells people you want to be present and engaged. If you appear disinterested, no one will be compelled to talk to you.
Take risks: Be willing to take risks and introduce yourself to people you don’t know. People will appreciate that you took the first step and will be impressed with your self-awareness and confidence. By engaging with others in an active way, you show that you genuinely care about the community you seek to represent. If you don’t get the response you hoped for, that’s ok. Don’t take it personally and graciously move on to someone else.
Be a good listener: As pageant competitors, you are taught to constantly sell who you are and what you have to offer. Don’t forget to be humble and listen up from time to time. Make sure the conversation has a good give and take. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Be vibrant with your facial expressions and make good eye contact.
Learn names: As a titleholder, you live in the spotlight. Therefore, you will meet hundreds of people who will likely already know your name. You have the difficult task of remembering the names of hundreds of volunteers and community leaders. Addressing people by name when you speak to them shows that you have taken a genuine interest in them. As you develop a rapport, learn the names of their children, parents, or spouse. Know who the people are behind the scenes, including local and state directors, sponsors, and volunteers.
As a pageant contestant, you need to be “on” all the time. You face a very delicate balance between exuding confidence and projecting arrogance. It’s important to be relatable and approachable at all times. Your success is dependent upon building quality relationships as you strive to be a leader in any community, let alone pageantry. Embrace your pageant community at the state, local and/or national level by becoming an active part of it. Having good networking skills will help you represent yourself and the Miss America Organization in a positive light.
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Written by: Amanda Beagle is a fourpoints magazine contributor.
Miss Ohio 1999 Tiffany Baumann recently donated her hair to Locks of Love. Tiffany is fighting breast cancer, but before her treatments thinned her hair, she decided to cut it off herself for a cause. Locks of Love is an organization that makes wigs for children who are also fighting cancer. Even though many struggle from this illness, Tiffany is staring it in the face, and having fun along the way.
"After donating to Locks of Love, my children both took the clippers and buzzed the rest off, truly empowering! One of the greatest days of my life!” she says.
Read more about Tiffany, her fight against cancer, and her generous donation in the Toledo Free Press.
Source: Toledo Free Press
The Miss America Organization has provided a myriad of opportunities for young women since its beginning. Miss South Carolina 1986 Dawn Smith Jordan brings us up to date on what she’s been up to since she was crowned thanks to MAO:
Becoming Miss South Carolina and second runner up to Miss America directly affected the course of my life. I was a vocal performance graduate and my dream was to become a recording artist. As Miss South Carolina, I made 350 appearances where I began to sing Christian music professionally. I released my first recording as Miss South Carolina entitled Dawn of a New Day, Miss SC 1986 Sings For You.
I had made a name for myself as a performer during my tenure as Miss South Carolina. After giving up my title I continued to receive calls from churches, conferences, and other events requesting that I come sing or speak. In 1987 I was asked to sing for Pope John Paul II when he visited South Carolina. I also appeared on the 700 Club and many other national TV and radio programs.
I was not Miss America, but I was given the amazing honor of being Miss South Carolina 1986, which opened a vast amount of doors for me to walk through as I continue this journey, which is the life God has entrusted me to live to the very fullest.
Learn more about Dawn Smith Jordan’s journey since she was crowned, and keep up to date with former MAO contestants when you subscribe to fourpoints.
Donna Bozarth is the Miss America Outstanding Teen Chairman of the Board and has been since its beginning in 2005. She says teen contestants who are prepared will have the best experiences of all.
My first experience with the Miss America Organization was in the late 1980s when I was designing and making costumes for a song and dance troupe at Mississippi College. One of the members of the group won the Miss Mississippi College pageant. She could not afford an expensive gown, so I offered to make her one. She didn't win Miss Mississippi, but I was asked to make the same gown for the new Miss Mississippi, Carla Haag. Like most little girls, I grew up watching Miss America and dreamed of being on that stage one day. Well, I never made it, but a dress I designed and made did! So I took my first trip to Atlantic City to see Carla wear my dress and I was hooked.
I started a local miss preliminary (in Florida) called Miss Space Coast and then served on the Miss Florida board for a few years. During that time, I judged several miss state pageants. I continued to attend the Miss America pageant every year and developed some wonderful friendships across the country with the great volunteers who are the backbone of the Miss America organization. It was though those friendships that I was initially contacted about helping to start the teen program. Now, it seems like there are hundreds of teen programs to choose from.
I love our program because of our scholarship opportunities and our connection to the Miss America organization. When looking for a pageant in which to participate, I would recommend looking at their requirements, contracts (very important), and benefits. If a teen is interested in the Miss America system, I would look for every opportunity to compete on the local and state level. To me, successful pageant contestants are those who prepare to do their best and make the most of the experience. Only one will win the crown, but everyone can build on their competition experiences in the future and be the best they can be on whatever stage they choose.
Our goal has always been to develop a top-notch scholarship program for outstanding teens, and to continue to grow our scholarship and our college relationships so more outstanding teens can benefit from this program.
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Photo: Donna Bozarth with Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2012 Elizabeth Fechtel and MAOTeen 2013 contestants. Credit: Allen Dye
Heather Sumlin, director of customer relations for Mental Management Systems answers your questions about mental preparation!
Can you explain what you mean by mental training?
There are three mental processes that control performance: the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and self-image. The conscious mind is your thoughts. The subconscious mind is your skills, or how well you prepare. Self-image is your habits and attitudes, your belief in your ability. When these mental processes are balanced and working together well, performance seems easy. When these processes are out of balance, it is very difficult to reach your potential under pressure.
Nerves are really tough for me, especially before I go do my dance. What can I do?
First understand that pressure is essential for success. Elite athletes feel nervous before they compete, too, so this is not something that needs to be feared. Butterflies are normal and natural. In most cases it is not the physical effects of pressure that causes performance to drop, instead it is our negative internal response to the physical effects of pressure. When you feel the butterflies next time try responding positively instead of negatively. We need pressure as fuel to compete to the best of our ability. It is the adrenaline released in our bodies that helps to fuel us toward success. Nerves are actually a good thing; it is simply your body knowing that this event is important to you.
Sometimes during interviews, I seem to forget all of the prep work I've done. Can you help me remember under pressure?
In training you need to be thinking the same way you do on competition day in order to build consistency. We teach clients how to run a mental rehearsal and mental program before each phase of competition. I recommend mock interviews in training but use those mock interviews to gain experience both technically and mentally. Treat each mock interview as your real interview, listen to the same type of music in preparation, have the same mental pictures and thoughts before you walk into the room. Be positive during the interview, your evaluation of your answers is best left for after the interview is over, not during the conversation.
I'm not really a competitive person, but do I need that to win?
I think being a competitive person can help in increasing motivation to train, outworking the competition, and moving quickly toward a goal. But being competitive can also derail a contestant if she focuses too much on what other people are doing and if her main desire is to beat others not build herself. I do not believe that you have to have a competitive personality to win but I do believe you have to train to win and prepare for the competition with focus and drive to have a better probability of success.
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The summer of 2012 brought a myriad of amazing dress and skirt trends and one of them is asymmetrical “fever.” Before fall kicks in for good, find your asymmetrical skirt or dress and capitalize on this hot trend! To make your life easier, here are a few useful fashion tips on how to choose the best asymmetrical skirt for your body shape:
Both high-end designer labels and cheaper fashion brands offer many stunning designs. First look around in stores and online to see which skirts you can afford to buy
Study your body shape and pick the style that turns you into a real goddess. Thin girls should go for ruffled skirts, and fuller girls should choose a skirt with a short hem reaching the mid part of their legs
Decide on the color and style of the skirt. Asymmetrical skirts come in a variety of shades, feature multiple eye-catching prints and designs
Pay attention to fabrics. If you want a skit to wear more often, choose a skirt with easy-to-care-for machine washable fabric. If you want something to wear on special occasions, choose a more delicate fabric.
Make sure you’ve chosen the right size. Just because the tag says one thing, the fit of the skirt may say another. Wearing your correct size will compliment your body and be more comfortable too!
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Source: Armine Karapetyan