Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The "Pageant Girl" Label


I want to start our time together with a funny story. In November, I traveled to Africa to host True Beauty Movement workshops and cultivate positive body image in women across the world. It will always be one of my most treasured memories from the year.

The flight back home made me laugh and thank God for International Pageants. On the flight from Africa to Paris (my first layover on the journey home)… I sat next to a gentleman who was very intrigued by the crown and banner that I had in tow. He asked multiple questions about it and what I was doing in Africa. One of my favorite comments was, “It’s so interesting that you’re Miss International and a pageant girl. You’re very smart and well spoken - I wouldn’t expect that from a pageant girl.”

Pause. Umm… what?

Clearly… people have a picture in their mind of what a “pageant queen” looks like and presents herself like. Part of me laughed… another part of me was offended… and the last part was excited to articulate how not all pageants are like “Honey Boo Boo.” After picking my jaw up off the floor, I chuckled and said, “Thank you. Our program is platform based… so this year really isn’t about me… it’s about the power of a crown to change the world.” This time it was his turn to pick his jaw up. We continued to speak about the work I had done and why I was so passionate about True Beauty Movement and International Pageants. I shared my testimony, what God had done in my life, and the unique opportunity I had to change the way our young women defined beauty. I was not sure how that conversation was going to turn out, but I am thankful that God gave me the words to help another see the power of the Miss International crown and community service.

I may not fit the “stereotype pageant girl”… whatever that is… but I am Amanda Moreno and really thankful that God entrusted me with this responsibility. When you look historically at Miss International… we’re all different. There’s no cookie cutter Miss International. As you prepare for the competition, remember to stay true to you and create the image of Miss International 2017 within yourself. We each have unique testimonies, platforms, passions, and talents… the new Miss International will follow suit and be her own person. The constricting label our society has put around pageants doesn’t apply at Miss International. We’re a platform based program focused on making a difference… one young woman at a time.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

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