Have you ever considered entering a pageant? It takes a lot more than a pretty face.
Do you have what it takes to be a pageant queen? Beauty must be complimented with confidence, grace and intelligence. I sat down with 2013 Miss Illinois contestant Gemma Berto to get her insight. Berto competed in last year's pageant and placed in the swim suit category.
In this article, she explains the key to success in preparing for the big weekend.
Miss Illinois Contestant Gemma Berto Tells All
First, tell me about the entry process. Is there a fee?
Each pageant is different, but most have some sort of a fee. That is why it is important to get sponsorship early in the process. These people want you to do well and will support you all along the way. It feels so special to have these people rooting for you during the pageant and all the time leading up to it.
How to you handle the stress of preparation?
A positive attitude is key. A woman who is confident in herself is beautiful. Preparing for a pageant is work and can be overwhelming at times. Being able to keep a good attitude is imperative for your own well-being and will also make you a pleasure to work with upon winning.
Ok let’s talk about the outfits- that’s probably the best part, right?
I absolutely love the evening gown and swim suit segment! It is important to find pieces that make you feel incredible. I tried on a few different dresses that looked absolutely beautiful but I chose one that I felt the best in and I would be most confident.
I know there’s a technique that goes into "the walk." What’s your secret?
Projecting poise and confidence as you carry yourself across stage allows you to look the most gracious. It can get nerve-wracking since walking can be one of the biggest parts of the pageant, but you just have to really practice!
I know everyone has seen that YouTube clips of Miss USA contests fumbling through answers. How do you avoid sounding unprepared and flustered?
Becoming Miss Illinois is a job and it takes work. There is a preliminary interview before the pageant begins in which the panel privately meets with the young lady to speak with her. They are looking for a candidate who will carry forth her duties well. Therefore, it is important to be able to put your thoughts into words elegantly.
Gemma Berto is now preparing for the 2014 Miss Illinois pageant which will be this November. We'll be updating readers on her journey!