A few months before the Miss International 2014 pageant I took part in a Charity Fashion Show in Hollywood. I was so excited to have been given the opportunity and couldn’t wait to participate in the event. I was instructed to show up at the venue several hours before the show with a clean face and natural hair. As a pageant girl I am used to having my hair and makeup done, so the thought of showing up makeup free to red carpet event did not bother me. I arrived on time and walked past the line out front and told the door man that I was a model in the show and needed to get inside.

This is when the day took a turn. The door man looked me up and down and said “Your ugly, no way you’re a model” I was taken back at first because of how cruel his comment was, but I politely responded “I’m sorry that you feel that way, but I really do need to get inside, It is my call time.” To which he responded “ You don’t look like any model I have ever seen before, you’ll have to find another way in.” I stood there in shock for a few seconds before calling the venue and asking to speak the manager. The manager came outside and let me in, much to the dismay of the doorman.

Now, this isn’t the story of a time where someone said something hurtful to me and it ruined my day or my confidence. This is the story of the time when someone said something extremely hurtful to me and I didn’t care. I walked out onstage that night and rocked that runway! I didn’t let what one doorman thought about me effect my performance.

As a younger girl I will admit I had struggled with self-esteem issues my entire life. I was so so proud of myself for not letting him get the best of me. I owe my self-confidence to pageantry. I don’t believe self-respect or self-worth can be given to someone, it has to be earned. Through Pageantry I have been able to volunteer with numerous organizations, touch the lives of hundreds of children and celebrate all of the things that make me uniquely me! Pageantry made me proud to be Samantha Riddle - not that it gave me anything I didn’t already have, but it helped me to see all that I had to offer and even celebrate my differences.

While it is extremely unfortunate that people in this world will try to tear you down, it's up to you whether or not they succeed. I could have chosen to leave the fashion show, or worse try to argue with the doorman, but instead I chose to ignore him and his comments because they have no effect on my life. I know as woman in today’s world we can feel pressure to look a certain way or change to fit someone else’s standards of beauty but it’s important to know that you are beautiful just the way you are. Makeup or not.

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014


  1. Inspiring story. So many young people succumb to society's standard of beauty instead of embracing their own unique gifts. I hope the right person reads this and begins to love his or herself despite of whatever opposition they have been exposed to.


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