Monday, February 23, 2015

The Beauty Queen Mold

I spent so many years of my life thinking that I had so fit into a stereotyped mold of a “beauty queen” I thought my hair had to be bright blonde, my body tiny thin, and a smile always plastered on my face. I kept competing and never winning. Always confused afterwards as to what I did wrong. It wasn’t until this year that I finally realized that I needed to be myself. Instead of telling the judges in interview who I thought they wanted me to be, I was 100% myself.

I told a judge I was a crazy cat lady and actually meow’d at her. I also told another judge that no matter my weight, I would never give up sweets. And for the first time in all of my pageant years, I looked a judge in the eye and told her my raw emotional feelings regarding the loss of my father and the impact it still has on my life today.

I walked out of my interview more nervous than I had ever been. I was so nervous that they wanted the perfect Barbie doll and that I should have had prepared rehearsed answers for their questions. I went back up to my hotel room and took a few deep breathes with my coaches. They smiled at the recap I gave them of my interview and told me they were proud of me for being genuine.

Being called into the Top 15!

When I was called in to top 15 onstage, I knew I had another moment to give my raw emotions onstage. And that’s exactly what I did. Of course I had a memorized 30 second speech regarding my platform. But I had no idea what question was going to come next. If there is one pet peeve of mine when watching a pageant, its girls who don’t actually answer the question and give a fake answer. I knew I wasn’t going to do that. I walked off that stage proud of myself yet again.

When I had been called in to the top 10 I knew that the judges had appreciated my realness in interview and in onstage question. Which made me more confident for the rest of the competition. After I had won, I had a judge come up to me and specifically say, you had the best answer for onstage question. My heart was so full of joy. If there is anything you can learn from me this year, I hope it is this: To be 100% unapologetically yourself. There is no cookie cutter mold for Miss International. Look at all of the former queens, all different looks, heights, weights. One thing we all have in common? We showed realness and passion for a cause. I truly believe this is a pageant and a system for every single girl because they focus so much on inner beauty and being true to yourself.


Being called into the Top 10!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

1 comment:

  1. Thank You Samantha! This blog is right on point at a strategical time when I see so many people - not just women in pageantry who question what the judges or the public is looking for in a person. First and foremost getting right with ourselves is most important - being authentically you is critical for all of us in this world. We were not made from a cookie cutter mold - we come in all shapes and sizes, colors of hair, eyes and skin tones. We speak in different dialects and languages. We come from many backgrounds with challenges and successes that shape our character and spirits. Set aside fear and doubt - reach inside of yourself and connect with your audience with your authentic self and convictions. Great message! Love the International Organization! Best, Mrs. Connecticut International 2015 Paula Mele

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