Beauty pageants are an American cultural institution that stretches back to the mid 19th century. The first beauty pageant ever was staged by P.T. Barnum in 1854. This pageant featured adult women. It was not until 1961 that the “Little Miss America Pageant” contest, which took place in New Jersey, showcased child talent. These days, beauty pageants featuring people of all ages take place throughout the world. There are pageants for toddlers, little girls, tweens, teenagers, and of course, adult women.
The types of prizes bestowed upon pageant winners vary depending on the level of competition. Large scale international pageants make up the highest level of competition, serving as the culminating contest after many hundreds, or even thousands, of smaller local competitions have previously weeded out contestants. At smaller, local pageants, winning contestants often earn titles, crowns or tiaras, and victory sashes. These items are also given to winners at high level competitions. However, savings bonds, cash prizes, and college scholarships are the most coveted awards for winners of the high end international contests.
Naturally, contestants want to know everything they can about how to win a beauty pageant. This desire has generated a need for resourceful and experienced pageant coaches. A good pageant coach helps her clients in many ways, one of which is teaching them beauty pageant tricks and tips spanning all facets of the pageant process. Because judges rank contestants on such criteria as physical beauty, poise, fitness, public speaking skills, community service involvement, and fashion, there is much that a pageant coach can teach the contestants with whom she is working. Pageant coaches offer contestants insight on hair and makeup, talent routines, and pageant interviews. The pageant coach’s insights can make the difference between placing in the top 3, or not placing at all. The most sought after beauty pageant coaches have a high rate of success due to their level of expertise and experience in the pageant world. However, a pageant coach’s finely tuned intuition as to how to bring out the best in a contestant is what separates the coaching wheat from the chaff.
Beauty pageant coaches admit that judges are invested in contestants’ physical appearance; there is a reason, after all, that these contests are called beauty pageants. However, a good pageant coach will also focus heavily on her client’s talent, personality, poise and interviewing skills, as these, too, are extremely important to the judging process. Pageant coaches work extensively with clients to strengthen their skills. That way, the contestants are well prepared for their big day, knowing that they have done everything possible to perform at their highest potential.