There is a huge difference between beauty pageants and modelling. Pageant kids are brought up believing that the spotlight is all about them; how they look, what they can do and how they come across as an individual. They are taught to sell themselves. Unfortunately, in the real fashion world, it is all about the product and selling the product. Although fashion and runway models do need to have specific aesthetic qualities and certain skills, their main purpose is to make a product look good, excite the customer and make them want to buy.
Pageant mums are known for being extremely competitive. They all want to be at the top of the game, knowing the most about the industry, winning the most titles and crowns and having the most beautiful, talented, world-peace loving child in the whole entire world. But what these mums don’t realise is that they are selling their children false hope when they promise them that, one day, all of the late rehearsals, dance classes, American history lessons and hair tugging will be worth it. This is not the case. So many young pageant princesses dreams are crushed when they discover that all those years of intense training; skipping rhythmically down the runway, smiling all teeth bared and cutely flipping their hair as they wink and flirt with the audience, has actually moulded them into exactly what a fashion agency is not looking for in a high-fashion model.
A huge amount of time, effort and money is put into beauty pageants. A lot of pageant mums will hire pageant coaches and dance coaches, both at a great cost. They will then spend a fortune on outfits for each of the different rounds. Elaborate, custom-made ball gowns, one of a kind swimwear pieces, costumes, props and stage fixtures for the talent show, crowning gowns etc. Then there’s the foot high, 30 inch long hair pieces, custom moulded dental flippers to hide any baby/imperfect teeth, copious pairs of diamond encrusted shoes, fake lashes, jar after jar and tube after tube of bright pink blusher, thick stage foundation, lipstick and glitter. All of this is used to enhance the pageant princess’ features, body and overall image and make them look as un-lifelike as possible, all in the hope of being crowned Queen of Pageant.
Fashion designers will also invest an enormous amount of time, effort and money into a fashion show for their clothing. This money will be spent on lighting, sound engineers, stage support, models, stylists and hair and make-up artists, all geared towards ensuring that their clothes attract the audience of buyers and celebrities.
Unlike pageant girls, runway models do not try to steal the show. The point of a fashion show is to sell clothes, not people. If the model blew kisses, danced around the stage like a fairy, distracting the audience and did not make the dress look good, the designer would not sell their clothes and therefore not have a business. This is why pageant girls find it hard to make the transition from beauty queen to super model.
So, if you’re a pageant queen, hoping to one day make it as a fashion model, you need to make sure you fully understand the difference between the two. If you love the limelight, can walk onto the stage without a full face of paint and hair styled taller than a toddler, you might have to accept that the world of modelling just isn’t for you.