Voice: Madelyn Testa

Kayla Briceno, Reporter

   I have been doing pageants for two and a half years. I started doing them because my friend did pageants, and she had won a title, so she wanted me to try it because she thought I would be good at it. From there I went to a pageant and won — so I just kept on doing them since then.

   The [pageants] usually have a rehearsal where you go and they teach you a dance that you have to do on pageant day. Then, you have to go and get interviewed by the judges of the pageant, where they ask you a bunch of questions and get to know you. After that, you go perform the dance, and then you have to do an activewear portion where you just wear sports clothes. Next, you switch into an evening gown, which is a pretty and long dress that you wear. Finally, they crown the winner. Personally, I like the evening gown portion the most because it is more elegant, pretty, and not as fast paced as the other portions of the pageant.

   Some pros [of taking part in pageants] are that you get to experience things that you wouldn’t normally experience. You get to meet people of higher power and participate in cool and fun activities with them. There are also certain situations that most people wouldn’t get the opportunity to take part in.

   Some negatives [of pageant life] are that people think just because you do pageants you are “dumb” and you only care about looks, which is not true at all. In most pageants, you have a certain form or level of intelligence. It’s just really frustrating when people think “Oh she does pageants; she’s just conceited, and she isn’t very smart.”

   Winning the titles that I have won have been some of my biggest accomplishments. One of the opportunities that I have gotten from [pageant titles] is being able to walk in New York Fashion Week next September, and that’s something that I am really proud of being able to do. Some of the titles I have won are, “California’s Perfect Teen,” “Junior Teen Napa Valley,” and “Miss Teen California North America.”

   My mom is really supportive of me, and she is always helping me find opportunities to improve in pageants. My friends are also really supportive of me, and they always come to the pageants that are closer to here to watch and support me.