We've all been under the pressure of trying to fit in that smaller dress or wanting to look phenomenal in a pageant swimsuit
. As pageant girls, we're constantly monitored. Even after she had won the crown, Mallory Hagan, former Miss America, was constantly judged on her post-win body. So in the world where we sign up to be judged, how do we remain confident and comfortable with ourselves?
At the Miss Florida 2014 pageant
This is probably the worst thing you can do for yourself. Don't look at your competitors and think "oh she's so much more toned
than I am" or "I look way better than she does." Pageantry isn't about being better than every other girl. Pageantry is a journey you take while finding the best you possible. So when you're at the gym, don't look at your neighbors treadmill and don't judge the other girls. You're only hurting yourself.
Know Your Body and Embrace It
I know, sounds easy right? Well it isn't always so simple. As someone who struggled with body image issues, this can be really challenging. We all want so badly to be the fittest and the prettiest that we can lose who we really are in the process. Know your body type
and what you're capable of. So what if you've got curves? So does Beyonce. So what if you're a size zero? So many girls would love to look like you. Embrace the body you've been given and love it.
Focus on Fitness
I understand we all want to look our best and we exercise to just that. Instead of exercising with the intention of being skinny, exercise to improve your fitness. The purpose of the swimsuit competition is to see your lifestyle and fitness choices. Pageant systems don't just want a skinny girl. They want a titleholder who can take care of herself and treats her body well.
At the end of the day, pageants exist to help transform you into a better version of yourself. They are not meant to make you uncomfortable with yourself or compare yourself to others. Just be the best YOU and you're already deserving of that crown.