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How to Deal with Losing a Pageant

30, August 2013

You might put in blood, sweat, and tears when preparing for a pageant, many girls do. After investing time, love, and a lot of money into a competition and not receiving the highly sought after, sparkling crown, you might feel a little deflated. So we want to provide a few tips on how to get back on your feet after a heartbreaking loss.

First of all, not winning the crown is never a loss (pardon my lack of synonym in the opening paragraph). Secondly, your losing reaction is just as important as a winning reaction. Perfect your poker face. Losing gracefully is just as important, if not more important, than being a gracious winner.

Caitlyn Vogel, Miss North Dakota Teen USA 2019, and Kaliegh Garris, Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2019. Photo: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe Organization

Let's Face the Facts

When deciding to compete in pageantry, you must embrace the fact that there will be shortcomings and even losses along the road. This is a fact of pageantry. Take former Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson for example. She competed in locals numerous times and won and always came up short at the state pageant, but she never gave up on her dream. In 2012, her dream finally became a reality when she won the title of Miss Tennessee. Chandler went on to do very well at the Miss America competition, by placing in the Top 16. She is a shining example of determination.

Not Everyone Wins

Sulking is never pretty. If you truly love the sport of pageantry, then your rebound time will be minimal. I recently did a local for the Teen Princess division of Miss America's Outstanding Teen (it is the same age division as Outstanding Teen but without the talent competition.) There was an older contestant competing for the Miss local title hoping to qualify for the 2014 state pageant.

I immediately befriended this individual as she was kind and motherly. At the end of the night, she did not walk away with the crown, she sat in the dressing room disappointed, but not shaken. A few days ago I was scrolling through my Facebook notifications and feed and saw a picture of a recently crowned local winner with the p listing the runner ups. Her name was listed. At first I felt sorry, but then I realized the significance of this. She had competed again. She did not let her prior loss affect her drive and desire to advance. I could not be more proud to say that I met this woman. I have no doubt that she will continue to compete until she achieves her goals (kudos to you Ms. Mayes).

Get Back Up and Try Again

Competing in pageantry has its ups and downs. Again, you must embrace the fact that there will be elusive wins. You have to find your rhythm, create your brand, endorse you, and have a heart for service. In my essay application for The Pageant Planet, I made a statement that I am finding more and more true as I delve deeper into this sport, "There may even be years that you are idle." Taking time off from this job is sometimes necessary. Pageantry is rigorous work. Dusting yourself off after the losses and hardships are what builds character more than anything. And we know that judges love character. So maybe losing isn't so bad after all.


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