Competing is a Privilege- Winning is an Honor

Throughout the past year, you can only imagine the amount of time that I have spent speaking with titleholders and contestants.  As someone who has competed, won, and now as a titleholder and frequent judge, I know what it feels like to be caught up in competition mode.  Or, as I like to call it, Pageant Land.  Pageant Land is a place where reason takes a back seat and insecurities take the wheel.   

You overanalyze your clothes, which tends to make you spend beyond your means.  You overanalyze your hair.  You start looking at the other contestants’ headshots.  You drill yourself on interview questions and beg your coach for more tips.  You watch past pageants over and over again.  You second guess your platform. You psych yourself out and practice envisioning yourself being crowned.  You don’t think about the day after and what it will feel like if you don’t.  And Pageant Land is made all the crazier by the fact that 9 times out of 10, you’re hungry J  ALL OF THE TIME!
The problem is, you get so caught up in doing whatever it takes to win that you forget that the act of competing, in and of itself, is a privilege- winning is an honor.  There are so many girls and women who would love to compete in a pageant but, due to circumstances beyond their control, they can’t.  All they want is a shot.   What many don’t realize is that by merely showing up, they are living out someone’s dreams…
As you all prepare for Nationals and your state pageants, please remember to keep all of this in perspective.   It’s not about whether you win or lose.  It’s about whether you made an impact with your platform & whether you challenged yourself to grow as a person. 

Your biggest competition is staring at you in the mirror.
Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011


  1. Hi Ciji,

    Thank you for the inspirational and very true words. Can't wait to meet everyone and have the best time of our lives.


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