Speaking from personal experience, the amount of time and level of preparation it took for me to get ready to compete in a Mrs. pageant was at least double the amount of pageant preparation time it took when I competed as a Teen or Miss contestant. As married women, we are juggling our husbands, jobs, children, managing our households and serving our communities. Because of this, Mrs. contestants need to start preparing long before single competitors to avoid making costly mistakes.
The first year I entered the Mrs. Ohio America pageant, I started my pageant preparation 6 months before the pageant. Looking back, all I really focused on was losing the baby fat I had gained with my third child. I did look great in my bathing suit that year; however I did not even make the top 10. Within 3 days after that state pageant, I started my preparation for next year's pageant and the results were dramatically different.
The big three pageants for married women are the Mrs. America, Mrs. United States and Mrs. International pageants. I want to share with you 3 key pageant preparation tips I've learned over the past decade with these systems for married women.
Tip 1: Start your pageant preparation 1 year before your first competition date.
From the audience, watch the pageant you plan on competitiveness in the year prior to entering. You will see the style of gowns, hair and makeup worn by the top 3 contestants. This will save you money and time as you will see which styles do and do not work for that system. If this is not possible, purchase the DVD from the previous year and watch it.
You will need the year to develop excellent interview and communication skills. It takes time to break speech habits and to develop the necessary confidence to speak with ease in front of a crowd. This is especially important if married women have been home raising young children for several years. Mothers may be out of practice from speaking with adults and communicating on a level level. No judgment here. I'm speaking from my own personal experience of having had 3 children in 4 years. It takes a little bit to jump from Sesame Street to the real world.
Married women need to set aside time to work out and refine their personal image. It takes time to find the right hairstyle and makeup that is most flattering for your facial beauty.
Tip 2: Create your pageant budget.
Financial issues will soon create stress and conflict in a marriage. I'm about to share the following numbers not to scare anyone but to offer guidance so you know upfront what is expected financial from pageant contestants. To enter one of the big 3 state pageants for married women, a contingent can plan on spending between $ 2000- $ 5000. For a national pageant, plan on having at least $ 5000 for starters. Armed with these numbers and enough preparation time, women can use their creativity and resourcefulness to produce the money they need to compete.
There are four main areas you will want to budget for:
- Coaching services
- Photos, headshots and advertising pages
- Travel, hotel, food and tickets for your family to attend the pageant.
Do not make the mistake of spending your entire budget on your clothing. I did that my first year. Your wardrobe is important but not as important as the coaching services you need to polish your image.
Tip 3: Put together you pageant preparation team.
When I heavily invested in my team, that's when I started winning the titles. With Mrs. pageants, the look is very classy and elegant with a hint of fashion flair. Interview, walking, hair, makeup and fitness are some of the areas you will want to find experienced pageant coaches to help you prepare. Just because someone says they are a pageant coach or a makeup artist does not necessarily mean that they are the right fit for you. Research your people and trust your gut feeling with who you hire.
Your interview makeup needs to be flawless. No heavy false eyelashes or bright colored cosmetics. Your skin should appear smooth and radiant. Choosing the right foundation is critical. This takes the skilled hand of a makeup artist experienced in the pageant world to bring out your natural beauty and make it look like you are not wearing any makeup. If you look heavily made up during your interview, it will cost you points. Stage makeup is different but the concept still applies. Your facial features should stand out without screaming bright colors.
Your hair needs to look healthy and shiny. Hair worn down is the best look for most women. When it comes to color, one solid color with subtle highlights scores better than the dramatic streaked look. The soft highlights help to give depth and texture to hair under the lights but you do not want them to be overly dramatic. In Mrs. pageants, they are looking for the natural beauty of a classy woman to shine.