Meghan Anderson, Ms US World 2016
In order to get the inside scoop on what it takes to win a Ms. pageant, I spoke with Laura Hunter, Ms. America International 2014 and the current director of Ms World. Ms. Pageants require a certain amount of maturity in addition to the interview, fitness, and walking skills that you need to excel in a Miss pageant. Winning a Ms. pageant involves the same level of dedication over time to improve your interview skills, work towards the fittest version of yourself, and achieve stage grace in platform heels. However, all pageants and pageant divisions have their secrets, and here Laura Hunter shares five things to give you the inside scoop on how to win a Ms. pageant.
"Know how you will help the pageant grow. Most Ms. pageants are still young and focused on growth," Laura said. "As their representative it is your job to help them." Make sure that you know what contribution that you're making to the pageant in the same way that you're aware of what contribution the pageant is making to you.
2. Use Your Resources "Ms. contestants often have a network of professional people they can draw on," Laura said. "They may also have more business/work experience, more education and a higher level of financial freedom." As a Ms. competitor you have resources that Miss contestants do not, so use them! Show how every part of your life and your accomplishments make you the perfect queen for the job.
3. The Headshot "Your photos should look like you, on a good day from 20 feet away," Laura said. "That is what the judges see when you walk into interview." Don't retouch your photos beyond recognition. You want the best version of YOU to be in your headshot, not a photo of you photoshopped to look like someone else. It's never good when your photo looks better than you do.
4. Fitness is Key "Do not minimize the importance of the fitness competition or try to make up for poor fitness scores by doing great in other categories," Laura said. "You can't expect to win if you neglect 25% to 33% of the competition."
Regardless of how fantastic your interview skills are or how stunning you look in your evening gown, the fitness portion is still an essential part of the pageant. Keeping all of your scores high is important if you want to win. Being a Ms. competitor isn't easy, and winning involves putting in the work here as much as anywhere else. "Here's the ugly truth; There is not one person on the planet that is not capable of having the figure of a Miss America contestant," Laura said. "I've never known anyone who doesn't look better at their healthiest weight."
You can get fit in spite of the obstacles that you face, rather than allowing them to keep you where you are now. "Not wanting to do the work is not the same as it being impossible," Laura said. "If you have not succeeded in the past you either didn't work hard enough or didn't work long enough. Try again. You CAN do it."
5. Set an Example
"Ms. pageants pride themselves on being inclusive," Laura said. As a Ms. titleholder you're an example to a wide range of people, and a different segment of women than Miss competitors. As a Ms. you want to represent these women and set an example for them to the best of your abilities. There are people you influence that you will never meet. When training for your next Ms. pageant, think about all that you can motivate others to do through your hard work, and train even harder. (Read: How To Be a Role Model)
It doesn't matter what point you start from; with hard work and dedication, you can prepare to become a phenomenal Ms. competitor and take home the crown. Use your unique resources, focus on the growth of the pageant, nail the headshot, get pageant fit, and become the next inspiring role model for many women as the future Ms. titleholder in your pageant.
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