Photo: Mikala Peterson
National American Miss isn't your usual beauty pageant. It isn't actually a beauty pageant at all. The pageant doesn't focus on physical beauty but instead focuses on molding young girls into confident and poised young ladies. If you are competing this week at the national competition, here are some last-minute pointers to make sure you are the top of the competition! (Read: What You Should Be Doing Now to Prepare for National American Miss)
10. Know the makeup policies.
The Princess, Jr. Pre-Teen and Pre-Teen divisions have a "no noticeable makeup" rule. The Junior Teen division is the youngest division allowed to wear visible makeup. Though this division allows makeup, be careful about how much is applied because it is still the Junior Teen division. Teen division contestants should wear makeup appropriate for the stage, but they should be careful to not look too mature. If they can be mistaken for Miss contestants, their makeup is probably too much for their age. Miss contestants have the most freedom with their makeup. Full stage makeup is appropriate for Miss. False lashes and a flattering highlight and contour are great for any Miss contestants. (Read: National American Miss Makeup Policy: The Ultimate Guide)
9. Spray tans are not necessary.
If spray tans make you more comfortable, then go for it! But they aren't required for National American Miss. National American Miss takes a much more natural approach to physical beauty. Spray tans are allowed, but no girl should feel pressured to get one if she doesn't feel it is the right choice for her.
8. Consistently brand yourself.
Be sure that who you are and what makes you unique comes across clearly to the judges. Be consistent with how you portray yourself. You want the judges to have a clear vision for who you are and what you stand for. (Read: How to Keep Your Pageant Confidence High During Competition Week)
2017 NAM Miss New York Jr. Pre-Teen Olivia Sczerbaniewicz. Photo: National American Miss Facebook
7. Know the personal introduction guidelines.
The personal introduction time limit is 30 seconds at state and one minute at nationals. The required points to address are your name, where you live and an interesting fact about yourself. Other information is allowed to be added to your introduction, but be careful to not go over the time limit. Anything said after your time is up will not be counted. Be sure to say the required information at the beginning of your introduction to make sure it is counted in your score. Saying the required information after the time limit has been exceeded will result in a lower score. (Read: How To Win Personal Introduction at National American Miss)
6. Don't get intimidated by the competition. Just because you have a feeling one particular girl will win doesn't mean the judges will feel the same way. Many contestants have a tendency to see the beauty in other contestants and fail to see the beauty in themselves when faced with stressful competitions such as a major pageant like National American Miss.
5. Choose a NAM-appropriate gown. Girls ages 4 to 12 should have straps on their dresses. Strapless dresses can be frowned upon in the 13 to 15 age group as well, but it is more acceptable for them. Remember that National American Miss is a more conservative pageant in contrast to a lot of other systems. Don't pick a gown that makes a young girl appear much older than she is. That won't be what the judges are looking for. NAM judges appreciate a youthful girl who looks her age and is appropriate for every occasion. (Read: How Much Say Should Your Princess Contestant Have in Her Wardrobe?)
4. Have someone mock interview you.
Whether it be a pageant coach, a parent or a friend, have someone mock interview you before the big competition arrives. A lot can be accomplished when a contestant spends time alone researching and practicing interview by herself, but the feedback an interviewer can provide you will be invaluable. It is also a great opportunity to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The interview competition is nerve-racking, but it will be a lot easier once you've had some practice speaking and answering questions in front of someone else. (Check out: Pageant Planet Mock Interviews)
2017 National American Miss Minnesota Jr. Teen queen and court. Photo: National American Miss Facebook
5. The most important thing is to know how to communicate.
At National American Miss, communication really is key. Communication, for obvious reasons, is the most important part of the interview competition. It is one thing to hold a particular opinion or belief, but it is another thing to accurately and effectively communicate that thought. Communication is not only important in interview, it is vital in every aspect of the competition. How you walk across a stage conveys a message. How you introduce yourself communicates who you are. Every choice you make leading up to pageant weekend will be a form of communication to the judges. Make sure you are telling them what you want them to hear. (Read: 10 Things Your Pageant Director Wants to Say to You But Never Will)
4. Create an honest and interesting resume.
A resume should be truthful, but it should also highlight your best attributes. Think of the most fascinating elements of your life. These could be current activities or past experiences. Make the judges remember you. Every girl is different from the next and should highlight what makes her unique. (Read: How To Organize Your Pageant Resume)
3. Be confident.
Aiming for perfection is fine as long as you know you'll never truly attain it. Some girls become too focused on perfection that they become insecure about every minor flaw they have. Confidence is so important. Be able to embrace your flaws and see them as valuable pieces of who you are. Don't let imperfections keep you from radiating.
2. Make friends.
National American Miss is a great opportunity to make lifelong friends. Don't let your competitive spirit keep you from building relationships with your competitors. The pageant is a rare opportunity to meet several determined young ladies who share similar dreams and interests as you. (Read: Why Sisterhood is Important in Pageantry and How to Create It)
1. Use the experience to grow.
Crown or no crown, National American Miss is a way to expand your comfort zone and push yourself to be the best you can be. The variety of optional competitions within NAM will give you the opportunity to discover your talents, grow your skill set and work toward a goal. Preparing to compete in NAM will undoubtedly teach you the importance of community service, time management and goal setting. Take every step of your journey and every piece of constructive criticism as a way to grow into a more confident and poised version of yourself.
Her tip is: "Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”Learn More