Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Say What?

Hello my beautiful people! It's been awhile since I've posted anything! This whole year has been a whirlwind and I can barely believe that it is over. For the most part, I'm sure that you as a reader are use to me doing a structed articles. As 2010 is coming to a close, I thought I would do more of a true blog post. So this is it. Just some things I've learned and some things I just can't hold back.

Models! Pageant Girls! Resonable People Everywhere! The only way that any of us will grow in our chosen craft is our ability to call things as we see them. Not out of hate, but in love really being able to see that something is less than excellent and make the necessary changes to achieve a higher level. Will this be hard? Yes! A little thought before hand can really help someone.

Say it Right!
The burden is not on the person who hears it, but on the person who says it. You have no control over how people recieve things. You can only control how it is delivered. I try my best to push people to the edge without pushing them over. As a coach, it is tough. I want you to do better, but I don't want you to hate me by time that crown falls on your head. Its a difficult role to play. As a pageant director, I learned that the hard way. People you have pushed over the edge can be the worst! Trust!

Let Them in on The Vision
I'm sure that each of you know that I am the founder of Savoir-Faire, a modeling troupe founded in 2004 at Middle Tn State University. We are not perfect. I'm sure that there is differing opinions on how far from perfect we are. I have to say as a leader, you can never forget to let people in on the vision. I think a recurring issue, or opportunity for improvement, for our group is brining everyone along for the ride. Shows have million details and I admire 100% the passion put forth. However, you can't forget the people. Open of the vision. Let people know what their roles are in making this collective dream come true. We all want a piece of that success. We all deserve it.

Walk Away
I'm pretty sure this is gonna be my theme for 2011. I know at first glance it looks kinda mean or sad, but I don't mean it to be at all. Let me explain. You have only say something, push someone, or hold hands for so long. There has to be a point where you realize that whoever you are coaching or guiding just simply isn't ready to go on to another level. This hurts me the worst! When I see such potenial waiting just around the corner. I have also found that I need to allow others the space and time to grow at a pace that is comfortable for them. Sometimes the best thing to do is to let go, to walk away. Let things simmer. Its been working so far. And I plan on using it this upcoming year to free up more time for me to focus on my own improvment.

If you've gotten to this point, I thank you. U didn't have to take the time to hear me out. For everyone that joined me in this virtually journey of mine this year...muah!!! I love ya darling! You make this fun. Jump in! Comment! If you think I'm wrong about something..let me know! If you see improvements that can be made...tell me! I look forward to growing with you in 2011.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How to Walk Like a Hot Totty in Your Swimsuit

It is widely known that people are more afraid of public speaking than death. Imagine how many people would drop dead if they had to walk in a swimsuit on stage while a group of people judged them!

Is everyone ok?  If you’re still with me, you’ve got guts girl! The kind of boldness deserving of the crown. There’s no better way to see how much you want it then in a swimsuit. I’m going to walk you through a few pointers to help you kill it in swimsuit, not drop dead!

How to Naturally Tighten your Abs while you Walk in your Swimsuit
When you are read to secure your victory on stage, most of the work is already done before you get to this point. There are a few little things that you can do to make your presentation fantastic. One of the easiest ways is to hum a little song. When you step out into that spotlight, simply hum your favorite song to yourself quietly. Don’t belt out whatever is playing! The humming will help you to naturally tighten your abs without having to waste energy on concentration. Try it now. It really works! Make sure to pick a song that you love!

Keeping a Walking Tempo
I’m sure everyone has been in a pageant where you would have preferred to walk to Lady Gaga and not Elton John’s Greatest Hits. Elton’s cool (I think), but you cannot depend on the track selection to supply you with energy or a walking tempo. First, you should NEVER walk to the beat of any song. It’s a big no-no. Secondly, find the beat of the song and walk just a little slower than the speed. Think hot movie actress slow motion scene. You have worked hard for your body so don’t sprint across the stage.

How to Pose in your Swimsuit
If your pageant stage director has added a stopping point into your chorography, take advantage of that spot. Practice your best pageant poise at home to make sure this is the moment you want it to be. The judges are watching every inch so make it tight. Your position should be:

Your left knee “popped” meaning your front (left) heel should be raised and in the center of your right foot.
Hips should be facing an angle to the right.
Shoulder should be parallel to the audience in front of you.

This will cause a sharp twist in the body that you will feel across you stomach in the same position a sash would be laying. Stretch this feeling literally and tighten all your muscles. This includes your butt and calf muscles as well. All your time working out has lead to this point.

Armed with a real workout routine, a great swimsuit, and a winning attitude, you will knock the judges out! Remember that confidence is always the best thing to take with you on stage and you should have nothing at all to fear.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Your BEST Weave Ever!

Hair by Queen of Vizions Salon (Brentwood, TN) and Makeup: Timmeka Belcher

There is nothing like your crowning glory! Your hair is one of the most important pieces of your pageant image. You can be a total 10 and lose with a terrible haircut. You look great naturally, but let’s face it…a weave is your best bet for creating that perfect look every time without fail.

Some of us, like myself, have been weave divas practically since the cradle, while its just starting to catch on with others. There are pretty much 3 criteria that must be carefully considered when looking for weave: Movement, Silkiness, and Style/Durability. No matter what the color, hair cut, or length you decide to go with, these 3 things come into play always. . Don’t worry! I am going to walk you through your weave buying experience like never before. Here is what to do when you’re looking for your new ‘do!

1. Movement
Your hair should move like you: effortless! No one wants to see you in a weave helmet. It’s just not a good look. When choosing your hair, literally, take it out of the pack and give it a good shake. Is it stiff or too thick? Any human hair or even a really good synthetic is going to have great movement. You better believe is a weave in stiff as a board from the start, a simple wash will ruin it altogether.

2. Silkiness
A great mane of hair will shine from sea to shining sea! We are promoting World Peace here ladies! Your hair has got to razzle dazzle the masses. Take a look at the luster and sheen of the selection. Does it look natural in its shine or more like plastic? Notice also if the shine and color seem consistent throughout the entire piece. When sliding your fingers through it should feel as silky as it looks with no snags or tangles. While holding a few strands tightly between your fingers, check of a light crimped pattern that might not be visible to the eye. If it is present, don’t purchase that weave. That crimping is a sure sign of a bad synthetic weave.

3. Style Ability/Durability
This last category is such an important step in the process. What you can achieve with your weave is the whole point of you buying it. Any hair purchase should be able to handle the wear and tear you are certainly going to put on it. This does depend on the quality of care it receives but typically a piece should be able to make the grade for about a year or better. Give your hair a good shot at turning one by not only washing but conditioning your hair at least weekly.

My Sparkly Recommendation
I rarely give any recommendations because finding something that is right for you is a very personal selection, but I love this product: Indique Virgin Indian Hair. I have been using this brand for over 4 years and have found nothing better than this. This hair is amazing because of the careful process they use to prepare the hair for you. Unlike other brands, Indique is 100% human hair only, no mixing! Each strand is in untreated virgin hair, never dyed and never relaxed. Indique also makes a special effort to make sure each hair is bound from root to tip in the same direction as it was originally and that all the hairs are of the same length. It makes a huge difference and I can attest to that fact.

It comes in a variety of colors and this brand is good all ethnicities. They have 3 textures: straight, wavy, and curly within several different distinct lines. I suggest the Pure in Wavy. New products such as the Fishnet make it easy for pageant girls to achieve greatness in seconds. The fishnet is sewed directly onto a net that has 6 clips that you can pop on anywhere to add length and fullness. It’s easy and high impact!

No matter what style, color, or brand that you choose. Make sure that your style can easily accommodate a crown! Feel like a Queen every hair shake of the way. Your image might begin at the top of your head but don’t let it end there. Follow through with an amazing attitude that makes your great new look!

*****TN Girls: Official Indique Boutique Nashville  Owner: Cherylline Divine Israel 615-428-0671.******

Monday, August 16, 2010

FIERCE: Model/Pageantry Walking Class

100+ Fashion shows Coordinated

13 yrs of Walking experience

10 Years of Pageant Directorship

7 yrs as specialized Model Troupe Trainers

4 Pageantry Crowns won

2 Trainers:  Pageant/Model Coach Kristen Darden
and Model Beauty Queen Lashan Mathews

1 Fierce Walking Class

Friday Sept. 10th, 2010 on the Campus of Middle TN State University in Murfreesboro, TN Walking Coach Kristen Darden & Beauty Queen LaShan Mathews will be holding a class specifically to help models and pageant girls learn how to command the stage. The class will be going over a variety of techniques both basic as basic as pageant circles all the way to move advanced spins for the the runway. Step into your victory today. Contact Kristen at Kristen.Darden@gmail.com for RSVP, Affordable Pricing, Discounts, and more details.

Space is Limited! RSVP today!
Class $30
Besties Discount with double RSVP is $15 per person!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Miss Krimson & Kreme 2010

In this article, newly crowned Miss Krimson & Kreme 2010, Kay Lana Rae Tate, will recount her experience of her journey to becoming a Queen:

The night of the pageant was very crazy to me. You spend so much time trying to prepare leading up to just one night. It all went by so fast that night. In true pageant girl form,  I was worried about was my talent, my hair, my make-up, and my sanity! It always seems like nothing is going right the night of the pageant. Holding it together in this pageant world is a feat that require a lot of strength. Somehow, I was able to get it done and look like I had it all together.

Before the pageant began, interview was my main focus. I just wanted to get in front the judges for the limited time I had and impress them, while trying to calm my nerves. After that, everything that we had practiced and prepared for would have to be put to test within the next hour. There are a few moments that you will never forget. One backstage, which is forever in my memory; I started crying backstage before the evening gown category. One of my safety pins came out of my dress and I thought I tore my gown. My friend had to calm me down because I was about to go into a panic attack. I had never been so nervous before because I knew I wanted to win so badly!
Thank goodness for Pageant Sisters! I don't know how I would have made it through with their support!

After what seemed like ages, it was time for the moment of truth. When they were announcing the crowning my heart was racing faster than a racehorse. I was hoping my name would be called, but I knew it was a tough competition among the other girls. Any of us could have taken the crown.  I heard my name, Kay Lana Rae Tate, called I shouted, literally! You would have thought I won a heavyweight championship. I felt stronger than Floyd "Money" Mayweather! I was feeling so many different emotions. I started to cry. I was so happy. I was also relieved that it was over and I didn’t have to worry about it anymore. I just wanted to know if my work meant something. If the time and heart that I poured in would be rewarded with a crown. I was relieved. It was definitely a big accomplishment for me in my life, because I was the first to win this title and it was my first crown. It is the beginning of a legacy that I get to define for myself.
The title of Miss Krimson & Kreme and my co-crown's Miss Krimson & Kreme Sweetheart were two titles that everyone on that stage longed for.  After I won my crown, I got the opportunity to understand what true friendship is like. I might have lost a few things in the fight for the crown, but what I gained will last me a lifetime. My family, friends, and fans know the passion the made me work for my crowning moment. This is a moment that no one else will share with me. I am so honored to be the first to be called for Miss Krimson & Kreme, and I do not take that lightly. My year is far from over yet I feel the need to share words of encouragement for the next: Always give people something to look up to in your character.  And always keep a smile on your face and your head held high no matter what happens. Once the crown is placed on your head, that moment belongs to you! Cherish it.

To book Kay Lana for an event or interview, please contact her Queen's Ccommittee at Kristen.Darden@gmail.com.  You can follow her on Twitter: @BlasianBeauty11 or @KappaPageantMT.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Long Road

When thinking about your journey to your crown, I'm sure that beautiful gowns, tearful waves, and huge bouquets of flowers flash through your head. Your crowing moment will be one that you can cherish for a lifetime. There's just one problem. Between you and your crowning glory is a lot of long nights, volunteering, and exercise. Your path to your title will be a weary one to say the least, and sometimes much longer than you expected. Here are some questions you might want to answer before you are too far down the road:

What happens if I don't win?
Not every pageant will a be the kind of victory that you desire. You won't always walk away with the crown. You need to decide now on this side what is your true crowning jewels. Is it the crowd or love of performance? Do you champion the values of the system? Maybe you just want to have fun. If you cannot get more out of your pageant experience than the crown, it might be time for you to consider something else to do. No one like crown-chasers. Make a choice on what you will walk away with before the lights hit you and you will never be empty handed. 

Who is in my corner?
This is not a one gal show. Include your loved ones in your journey every step of the way. Your sister, friend, or parent, may not be able to coach you, however, they love you. What is more inspiring than that. Keep them close to you as your prepare. This will help you on the stage because you know the people who are standing behind you all the way. That is what is going to light up the stage.

How will I grow as a person?
Take time to write down a list of things that you want to be able to take away from the pageant as a person not a pageant girl. Decide that you will become a healthier person not just look great in swimsuit. Make the choice that you will fight what for what you believe in, not just take pictures to build your platform portfolio. Point out how you will become a more authentic and real version of yourself, not just a image of what the judges want to see.

With a little careful planning and insight into your true desire, you will be able to set a strong foundation to rest on when days are getting long and patience is short. It is not easy to do. Your passion for your true crowning jewels, loving support from family, and beneficial personal growth will be worthwhile. You want to be able to look back at your competition days and have more than a faded crown, but a bright and enduring experience that you can carry with you whereever you go.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lighting Up Any Room

Your Pageant begins long before the Parade of Contestants. Althought the judgs’ opinion are the only ones that matter, you are constantly being judges. Don’t run away just yet. Everytime you step into a room is a fresh new opportunity to impress, win over new friends, and get closer to the desired title. Use every opportunity to practice and polish for the big night. Lighting up a room can be fun and easy! Follow these tips below to learn how to sparkle!

1- Prep Before You Step
Before you can dazzle anyone with your beauty and quick wit, you must first know something about the world around you. Don’t find yourself at any event not being caught up on current events. There’s no need to be a political buff or a entertainment guru. By reading a few well blended sites like CNN.com, HufffingtonPost.com, and a local newspaper site, you can be ready to speak intelligently on topics that matter to you, any audience, and your judges. This helps to avoids awkward situation like trying to find the fair city of LikeSuchAs on a map.

2 – You OWN This
Literally! While at your pageant or practice keep in mind that people have come to see YOU! That’s right! All of the pageant’s supporters have come to see a crowning and you are the girl for the job. Look the part from day one. Don’t wait for the crown to be placed on your head before you begin the job. It will be a much easier task if you visualize that crown along with your win. Take ownership. If you don’t, someone else will.

3 – Slow Motion
This one is fun! As soon as you enter, take a few slow steps and come to a complete stop as to make an announcement. All eyes will be on you. Why not? Give your competitors a chance to take a mental picture of the next Queen. When you get really good, you should be able to stop people mid-sentence. A queen commands attention with her every move. She is magnetic and interesting. Practice making a grand entrance with your friends.

Pageantry is partly a mind game. Many would-be Queens are beat before the stage. They are intimated and talk themselves out of what should be their night. Don’t let that be you. No one likes a Shrinking Violet. Take ownership of YOUR win on YOUR night! You don’t have to wait for anyone permission to do so. There will be no needs for lights because you are there to sparkle!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dealing with Defeat

As a pageant girl and coach, I cannot tell you what a blessing is was for me to recently add Pageant Director to my list! From Jan. to April, I had 15 lovely young ladies vying for two titles. I learned so much about myself, all the details that take to make it work, and how to push the contestants to the edge. We spent 6 hours a week in practices for the stage performance, interview preps, and overall image consultation. I put together a great calendar that included private sessions with me, brought in professional in social media and marketing, and even a group training session with an All-American Award Winning Track Athlete to hit the gym with the laides. Our weeks were filled with photo shoots, community service projects, and appearances at locat events and pageants. The girls had a blast at our slumber party! I wanted them to know daily what it was going to take to win! I did however make a huge mistake. I did not tell them how to lose. Please tkae this article with a grain of salt...wait better yet, take it with sugar. The following is a few (honest) pointers that will help you to have your heart in the right place no matter who's name is called:

1) It's NOT your Director's fault that you lost.
Your pageant committe is there to make sure you have the information needed to compete. In some cases, there might even be the options for free training or workshops beforehand. The way you use your resources is up to you. However, if you do not get the desired result, that does not mean that anyone has failed you. It was simply not your night, so don't ruin someone else's moment.

2) You have wonderful friends. However, they are not judging you.
Many times, I have had people to come to me after a lose and praise me on how well I performed. The proper thing to do is smile and take the complient. Do not take all the complients, pile them up, simmer them for a bit, and believe that equals out to the opinon of a judge. It does not. Your audience did not get the full benefit of your entire competiton i.e. your interview. Pageants are won in interview.

3) Don't build a bad online repuation.
Take a few days off of all of your online sites. Every pageant girl has sworn to quit the night after a lose. That's fine. It's normal! The girls who win are the ones that get knocked down and get up to fight another day. The last thing you want is for the pageant community to have a record of you being less than a lady. Don't put out something you can't take back. Futhermore, there is the option to come back next year or recieve advice from someone who is familiar with your full competition.

4) Take sides.
This might sound crazy but you need to pick a side. Do not surround yourself with the corner of sulking losers that complain about who won. Choose to be with the ladies that stay positive and work toward their own winning night without trying to tear down others to do so. Nothing is less appealing than a sore loser.

5) Numbers don't change. Don't argue with them.
The results of the pageant never change. You do not have an opportunity for a do over. What the judges thought of you the first time is the ly time you will ever have. It is up to you to earn that perfect ten. It is unbecoming of you as a contestant to try to challenge the opinion of a judge, the pageant staff, or pageant supporters. Earn the points like everyone else.

Sometime realtiy just needs a chance to set in. The truth is that on that night, for that title, it was not meant for you to win. It is ok. When it does come to your night to become a queen, you will be happy that you fought with everything that you had for that won moment that no one will be able to take away from you. Even pretty girls can get ugly when the stakes are high. Just make sure t you carry your self with grace and humility weather it is win, lose, or draw. That kind of intergrity is worthy of the crown.

Campaign Competition: Image Secrets

When you make the decision to compete in pageantry, it is important to look at your entire competition as an on-going campaign for a position of Public Service. Essentially, a Titleholder is a public servant and official representative of her Pageant Organization and Platform. Much like anyone who wants to be elected to any office, you must project a desirable image not only in person, but online as well.
In the world of pageantry, you are always being watching. Your every move should be to benefit your goals, but the easiest way to create a block is think the past stays in the past. Just ask Miss USA Rima Fakih. I have laid out some information below to help you to be proactive in understanding your complete pageant campaign:

Know The Job Description
The best way to get where you are going is to work backwards. For example, is the title of your heart is Miss America; ask yourself what does Miss America do daily? By looking at what will be required of you on the top level, you can begin to replicate on your local level the same basic task require for the position. Obviously, any titleholder must maintain an active schedule of appearances, community services, and org networking. How can you do that in your city? What cause can you champion right now without a crown? If you wait for your pageant date to start doing the job, you are already too late.

Clean Up Your History
The most important thing you can do for you campaign is to research yourself. If you were an outsider wanting more information about a promising new contestant, what would you find on Google, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or other social outlets. Do yourself a favor and separate your private and business life online. Make your personal accounts personally for your friends and family while directing “fans” to Fan Pages, Blogs, and professional twitter accounts. Your fans want to be about to support and interact with you so you must create a medium for them to do so.

Cleaning your history isn’t just about deleting those Vegas pics online, but replacing such things that attract positive attention. Do not create a “You-Vacuum” by removing your online presence because people will wonder what you are hiding. By creating a blog of your progress, appearances, and an open dialogue forum, you can invite your supporters on your journey with you with the directed purpose of creating a following that can also champion your cause.

Your Professional Entourage
Once you have a created a strong and Drunk-Pic-Free online image. It will be easy for you to draw people near to you that want to see you take your Position of Public Service. Networking is a key element in moving forward toward your goals. Be purposeful with how you use your time and opportunities. Be prepared for people not only to like you, but want to help in your efforts. Nothing is worse than looking like a beginner at your appearances. Your Campaign Competition needs at the very least a business card and a workable WRITTEN strategy!

Project a Single Message
You are prepared and ready to go, right? Well, what exactly is your mission? You know the job, creating a great clean image, and your have your key players. Maximize your effects by choosing one solid and understandable message to project. People love to actively support those who are fighting for causes they can believe in and match their own personal values. Make sure you don’t lose potential “fans” by using an unclear or confusing platform or message.

You can be the type of candidate that you want to be with a little vision and a lot of work. Be cautious of the things you say and do online and work toward setting your mind on your total campaign, not just the on-stage portion.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Real McCoy: Natural vs. Implants

Pageantry innately contains an element of Razzle Dazzle. This means that everything that sparkles isn’t real. In a world propped up by perfect smiles, perfectly fitted dresses, and perfectly placed hair, how important is it to display the Real McCoy on stage? We can never forget that it is the Razzle that keeps the masses entertained, and the Dazzle that keeps them coming back for more. One highly debated real vs. fake issue is over “the girls”. Those very womanly parts, the breasts, are what every little girl can’t wait to grow into one day. Let’s be honest. Some of us are still wishing and hoping. It is becoming more acceptable for contestants in any pageant system to leave all of Victoria’s Secrets behind and go get the professional opinion of a plastic surgeon. It’s a very personal decision that needs to fall in line with your overall image package. However, there are two sides to every story. Here are some of the points for both:

Fake the Deal (Implants)
Looking like a Million Bucks
Your Fakies are workin IT
Instant Bombshell
A risk that can Payoff
Creating a new You

Real Deal (Natural)
Money for Books
Your Fakies are non invasive
A Natural Look
No Elective Surgery
Being Yourself

No matter what side you chose, you must remain true to yourself. The things you love most about yourself can help you to pick a system that values your beliefs. Looking great starts from the inside first and radiates to your outward image, so don’t look to a breast enhancement to boost your how you feel about your competition. You’ve got to do that work on your own. All I can say is Good Luck Girls! Pun intended!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Miss Krimson & Kreme Hightlight!

Charity Smith
Age: 19
Hometown: Mt. Juliet, TN
Platform: Youth Empowerment
Why I like her: She’s full of surprises. With the look of a cheerleader and the voice of a reporter, you can’t quite put this girl in a box. She’s helpful and willing to serve.

Why she can win: Charity is an exemplary contestant. Well-spoken and organized, she always crosses her I’s and dots her T’s. She leaves nothing on done. Steady and reliable, Charity will be an all-around contestant.

LaCourtney Finch
age: 19
Hometown: Mobile, AL
Platform: Gay Marriage

Why I like her: Miss Finch is a box full of chocolates. You NEVER know what you are gonna get. She’s refuses to be labeled in anyway. LC has a strong personality that lets people know she won’t be tamed.

Why she can win: She’s an independent thinker and blazes her own trail. A blast to be around! The judges will have fun trying to figure her out if they can stop laughing. LC is a joker!

Miss Krimson & Kreme Sweetheart Hightlight!

Robin Davis

age: 19
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Platform: MT Hands

Why I like her: Robin in one word: FIERCE! This inner fire ignites everything that she does. Just 5 minutes with her and no one will be able to say that they don’t know exactly where she stands on any topic.

Why she can win: Her confidence extends to the stage. Every step, every gesture, every piece of her wardrobe has purpose: to make you love her. She is ready to compete on and off the stage.

Kelsey Thompson
age: 19
Hometown: Shelbyville
Platform: Boys and Girls Club

Why I like her: Miss Thompson is the one that keeps you laughing. Truly a funny girl, she brightens up everywhere she goes and gets people talking. When she enters a room the plot thickens.

Why she can win: She is enthusiastic about the title of Miss Krimson & Kreme 2010. Although she is super silly, she has what it takes to unite people no matter what walk of life. Everyone loves someone who is approachable.

Mercedes Frazier
age: 19
Hometown: Memphis
Platform: Education

Why I like her: She’s the life of the party. Funny, smart, and pretty! Miss Frazier has a great wisdom and insight beyond her years. She loves to read and she is quite the character.

Why she can win: Her poise is unshakable. On-stage your eyes are drawn to her. She definitely is a showstopper. Both confident and humble, she carries herself like a lady should.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Miss Krimson and Kreme Sweetheart Highlight

Samm SloMo Mallory
Sweetheart Hopeful

age: 20
Hometown: Jonesboro, LA
Platform: Make a Wish Foundation

Why I like her: Samm is the type of young lady that everyone loves.  She's got an amazingly unique personal style that carries through to her very core. Samm loves the stage and knows how to work it!
Why she can win: Miss Mallory can win because she knows exactly who she is inside. She puts her heart on the stage and everything that she does. She's an authentic person that the judges will fall in love with from the very first moment. She's real.

Consistency Wins Crowns

There is no singular tried and true formula for wining the crown. I’ve heard it said a million times, “a different night, a different girl”. Every panel of judges carries diverse life experiences, opinions, and taste. This makes for an interesting pageant for everyone involved…on and off the stage. However, there is one thing that should never change… You.

Leveraging Consistency to Win the Pageant Crown

Consistency should be the cornerstone of your competition. The world is always turning, so your aim should be to give your judges panel something solid to hold on to. A consistent competition starts with you knowing who you really are and what your true goal is in pageantry. Here is why pageant judges love a steady girl:
1. The Ring of Truth:
it’s a hard sell when you are selling a packet of lies. Be true to yourself because not only are you completely unique, but pageant judges love to see someone who has her head and more importantly her heart in the game of life and pageantry.
2. Slow and Steady Wins the Race:
We have the tendency to play only to our strong suits. However, a one trick pony is going to be the victor. You might sing like Whitney Houston, but if you lag behind in the other categories your singing ability will not be enough to win. A contestant with a fitting pageant song, great interview, and a great presence will net the points necessary to win the crown. Prepare across the board.
3. Aristotle is right!
He stated, “We are what we repeatedly do; therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.” You most be in the habit of doing things in a way that warrants the title of excellence. When you fill out your pageant paperwork. Be excellent. When you walk into a room. Be excellent. Do everything in pageantry and in life with excellence!

Aristotle may not have won any beauty pageants, but he knew exactly what characteristics are required to walk away with the crown. Consistency is what is going to separate titleholders from runners up. Remember who you are and be in the habit of delivering that person with such excellence that people whom you encounter is on any night would declare you as Queen.

Is That Your Final Answer?

There is no shortage of things to overcome when competing for a title. Many contestants love to perform talent, feel sexy in swimsuit, and have no problem talking with the judges. However, when it comes to on-stage question even seasoned pageant girls can get a little stage fright!
Preparation is key when trying to capture a crown. Doing your homework will put you at ease, but you can’t study for every question under the sun. Here are three things you will need to know for sure no matter what you say:
1) Explanation vs. Justification
Your opinions are never wrong. You can say whatever you would like the judges to know. When you answer, do so with a complete explanation of why you feel that way. Never justify your opinions.
2) Be Switzerland
Although we are entitled to our feelings, be careful not to offend your judges or audience. It’s not possible to please everyone and that should not be your aim. Do not raise yourself by stepping on anyone else in your response.
3) You are Fab!
This is why you should be honest. It’s already hard enough to compete. It makes it even harder when you are juggling a lies so just drop the act. Say what you feel.

When you are on stage, remember that on-stage question just gives people a sneak peek at your interview and your public speaking skills. Answer fully, confidently, and with no reservations. Judges love an honest and bold contestant!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Miss Krimson & Kreme Highlight

Ashley Jones
Krimson & Kreme Hopeful

19, Sophomore
Hometown: Chicago
Platform: Big Brothers Big Sisters
Talent: Dance

Why I like her: Ashley has it all together! From day one, anyone can see Miss Jones is a serious contender for the crown. Always on time. Always sharp. Always ready. Ashley is very polished and knows what it takes to perform at her very best.

Why she can win: Ashley can win because she has a brilliant fire within. She’s going to wow the judges on stage and off. Her energy make you want to see what she’ll do next.

Mia Benson
Sweetheart Hopeful
19, Sophomore
Hometown: Nashville
Platform: Helping Needy Children

Why I like her: Mia has a joyful spirit that won’t be stopped. Despite a ER visit for a Brown Recluse spider bite, Mia refused to miss practice. Her words, “I’ll tough it out.” That’s more than tough. That is worthy of the crown.

Why she can win: She exemplifies a sweetheart. Miss Benson is fun, fresh, and full of life. She’s clearly beautiful inside and out. She can light up the room and I’m sure she’ll light up the stage.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Miss Krismson & Kreme/ Miss Krimson & Kreme Sweetheart Pageant

It has been such a long time since I thought about my very first steps toward pageantry. What was going through my mind? What was I expecting? It is always refreshing to go back and rekindle your orignial inspiration. The same reasons that I started are the ones that I hold nearest to my heart: friendship, personal growth, and service. For the first time, I will be on the other side. Not as a contestant or a coach, but as a Director who is responsible for providing a full experience.  Its's a challenge that I am looking forward to take head on.

Last night, I had the opportunity to revist what its like to start fresh. As Director of Middle TN State University's new Miss Krimson and Kreme/Miss Krimson and Kreme Sweetheart Pageant offered by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Eta Gamma Chapter, my job will be to inspire.  Fourteen wonderful ladies will be vying for the two crowns in early April. I feel so blessed to be able bring options to our campus. Currently, we only have talent pageants. If you don't sing, dance, or play, then you are simply out of luck. No other pageant on campus offers both a talent and beauty crown. We are very proud to be the first. The Eta Gamma Chapter already had enjoyed 38 successful years of their much awaited annual Fashion Show.  I am hoping for no less from the Pageant, or the contestants for that much.

In our introductory meeting, everyone was given the chance to introuduce themselves and tell why they wanted to be in the pageant.  There was an overwhelming respone to find friendship, to network, and contribute to our university and community at large. I saw young women that wanted to step outside of their comfort zone and take on new external challenges that will help them concour interal struggles.  That inspires me. That is what we are looking for in our crowns. I will be asking this of myself as well; to strech, to step out, and surprize. I know we can do that. Each young lady that is competing in this year is very good. I tell you no lies when I say each is polished and worthy of the title in her own right. However, I am asking for greatness. I know there is someone very special who will answer the call.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Miss VA Crowned Miss America 2010!

There she is…Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010! The judges were looking for a “real girl”, “someone to capture their heart”, “an IT girl”. They found her, in Caressa Cameron, the new Miss America. This year’s pageant is truly a game changer and is sure to inspire young ladies all over the world to follow their dreams. The judges had a very difficult job with such an incredible line up, but the called out Kristy Cavinder, Miss CA, Stefanie Wittler, Miss TN, Katherine, Miss LA, and Mallory Ervin, Miss KY. Any of these ladies would have made a wonderful Miss America, but Caressa just had that something special. Let me tell you why this win and this pageant turns the tables.

Miss America Pageant 2010

Miss America 2010 changes the pageant game because she made the choice not to conform to “IT”. She brought it. She worked it. She was IT! Caressa Cameron, the former Miss Virginia did not prescribe to the traditions that entrap so many contestants. Caressa did not wear the semi-bridal gown or sing the love ballad. Every time she hit the stage, she owned the pageant stage…confidently.

Through a great selection of diverse judges and a good blend of “America’s vote”, the pageant itself as undergone some changes. Americans love a Cinderella story. My favorite moment of the pageant was when Miss Oregon, CC Barber was voted in by her fellow contestants. Also, giving viewers the chance to vote in favorites will bring people back to Miss America. We are witness to a battle that will keep Miss America current and relevant. As the last four hopefuls stood waiting, clearly you can see the traditional unchanged Miss America vs. the emerging ever changing modern Miss America. It’s clear who is wining. Maybe in a few years Pageant Patti will be gone forever. And a new pageant where no girl is a dark horse will emerge.

My hope is that girls all over this country are inspired to expand their views on not only Miss America but themselves as well. Miss America 2010 will usher in a new era of fresh new faces. This is how we will be a product of our generation: by being the truest version of our inner self unapologetically.

Walking Tips

Maya Angelo, in her famous poem Phenomenal Woman, lays out the secrets of every pretty woman. Among the secrets are the fire in her eyes and the grace of her style. One secret mentioned in the poem that can secure your win is the swing in her waist.

Every Queen needs a killer pageant walk. The know-how to make a grand entrance into interview, on-stage, or just to practice can seal your victory. Follow these beauty pageant walking tips:

Beauty Pageant Walking Tips

1.Chin Up: I know it feels strange but make sure to keep your chin parallel with the floor. It helps give u an polished and confident look.

2.Clean Up Posture: Slide a broom onto your lower back allowing your arms to rest over it. This will help to correct posture and keep your arms from swinging wildly.

3.This Little Light: The moment you see a friend in the distance your face lights up and you smile. Use that light of recognition with your audience. Practice with a mirror.

4.Walk The Line: Normally, we walk with each foot side by side. However, to provide a sexy little swag to your stride, walk with each foot slightly in line.

Walking into your Pageant Title is just a few steps away. Don’t be afraid to spice up your pageant walk. Take Maya’s words on this one: I’m a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman. That’s me!

The SHE Everyone Wants to Be

Three simple words capture the essence of the crowning moment for decades: There She Goes. Everyone knows who she is as soon as she hits the stage, when she walks into a room, and the moment she opens her mouth. A true winner is not hard to spot. A Queen has a little something special about her that she carries around with wherever she goes. This is a skill that with practice you can use to light up any room and make it an easy choice to crown you.

That light within comes from confidence with a pinch of “I GOT this”. I assure you, if you don’t know you’ve got IT, no one else will. Many times it is as simple of changing the scripts that we have on repeat in our own minds and letting that play through into your body language. Below are some pointers to help you become the SHE everyone wants to be.

Act Like Your Crowned

Fast Forward: You have already been crowned. How would you look? How do you talk as the Representative of the Night? How do you feel? Well, fake it til you make it!

Your Show Begins Off Stage

When you are waiting to go on is the best time to turn it on. Walk around a bit. Put that winning smile on. Pose and wave. It also helps to relax you and take the edge off that first step.

Fill the Whole Place
No matter what the surrounds, look at the whole audience including your judges. As far as you are concerned, each of them came to see you. Don’t disappoint. Pull them in with you.
Literally Walk the Walk
You’d be surprised as how your literal walk plays a role and grabbing attention. Get a full length mirror and place it right inside a room. Exit the room, and walk in where you can see yourself in the mirror. Are you slumped? Holding your hands funny? Repeat until you master a Grand Entrance.
You have to have power to perfect your presence. You know it’s true. You’ve been to a pageant and seen “her” step into that light and you can just feel it. She’s awesome. Follow these pointers and you will be able to turn your little light into a spotlight!