You Never Lose, You Learn

It breaks my heart when I see a girl not win a pageant and then announce that she is giving up. I am a firm believer in gods timing and I believe I am a great example of that. I have not won far more pageant than I have won. There are so many reasons on why you may not have walked away with the crown that night, but if it is your dream, you shouldn’t give up so easily. I would have never won Miss International 2014 if I had given up after not winning or even placing the year before! Each and every pageant is an opportunity to learn how to win the next one.

My first fun Fashion was a dress I had found at forever 21. While I loved the dress and wore it multiple times after the pageant, it wasn’t right for fun fashion. I had no idea what kind of dress I needed so I picked a simple black and white polka dot business dress. (I’m pretty sure I even wore it to a job interview later that year) I wasn’t bitter when I didn’t win the pageant, I took notes. It opened my eyes to things that I could improve upon. My first evening gown was a cupcake ball gown that I had originally purchased for prom! It had zero sparkle or rhinestones, but it made me feel very elegant. Before competing in my 2nd pageant, my mother added over 1500 rhinestones to the dress to help it pop onstage!

In 2006, my very first pageant dress!

For my next pageant I learned how important it was to have a platform that was connected to an organization. My family and I had been volunteering for multiple organizations my entire life, but I had no direction or organization when it came to a specific cause or platform. I had spent so much time focusing on my platform that I didn’t practice my “walk” or my “fitness”

I had prepared so much for my onstage question that I had inverted words during my speech because I let my nerves get the best of me!

By the time my next pageant rolled around I knew what I needed to focus on. I worked extremely hard in preparing. It was also my first “Miss” pageant, I had just turned 18. While I was nervous to have moved up an age category I was also very excited because I knew that I had learned so much over the past year that I was truly presenting my best self!

While I had won this pageant, I also learned the importance of good alterations! My dress was too short and I was forced to wear flats onstage. Everybody noticed.

While I won that pageant, I also learned a lot! Each and every pageant, Win or Learn is an opportunity to learn about yourself. It wouldn’t be until 6 years later that I would win my second pageant. I urge every single one of you to look deep within and reflect upon why it is that you compete in pageants, I can almost guarantee that it’s not JUST for the sparkly crown, it’s for the experience, the memories, the journey! If becoming Miss, Miss Teen or Mrs. International is your dream, don’t let any setbacks derail your ultimate goal!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014


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