Pageantry and pageant prep is often seen as a foreign concept to many people. As a "pageant girl," I find myself constantly explaining my lifestyle to friends, family, and even strangers. Around this time every year, Miss Ohio contestants are frantically finalizing their wardrobe as they prepare for "Miss Ohio Week." If you find this whole concept to be quite confusing, have no fear. Here is everything you need to know about pageant prep, from healthy eating to butt glue

The Wardrobe

Wardrobe shopping is quite possibly my favorite part of pageant week because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to feel like a million bucks. Contestants have to put together a flawless wardrobe consisting of an evening gown, talent costume, interview dress, swimsuit, many appearance outfits, and a few cocktail dresses. Honestly, the list never ends once you factor in jewelry, heels, and the perfect lipstick for every outfit.

Despite the popular depiction of pageant girls (sorry, Honey Boo Boo), I'm always meeting girls who are kind and generous. Many are willing to share their old gowns, or even lend you a strapless bra if yours breaks during the week. We're all in the same boat and no one wants that kind of stress during the biggest week of the year (in our opinion). 


coffee, beer, tea
Amelia Hitchens

A big aspect of pageantry and pageant prep is staying in shape, but also being confident in your body. I like to make time for the gym every day (okay, every other day) so that I'm in tip top shape in time for the pageant. One thing every contestant needs to remember? Confidence is key!

In the Miss America System, the contestants compete in the lifestyle and fitness portion of competition. This means that they are required to walk on the stage in heels and a swimsuit of their choice. One hack that every pageant girl knows is that butt glue is a girl's best friend. It eliminates any fear of your swimsuit falling off or riding up while you're walking around on stage. Want to know how it works? I am keeping that a secret... for now. 

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Amelia Hitchens

In addition to working out and staying fit, it is important to be mindful of your food choices. I try to eat clean, but as you can tell from the photo above, we all have weaknesses. Some of my favorite healthy snacks for pageant prep include detox water, lettuce wraps, anything avocado, and veggies galore. 

Yes, we pageant girls try to stay fit to look good on stage, but really we're just striving to be our best selves. We believe that it is not about the physical appearance, but how confidently you present yourself on stage. For more info about pageant girls and their food habits, check out my previous article, "Just Because I'm a Pageant Girl Doesn't Mean I Don't Eat."

Talent and Interview

cake, beer
Amelia Hitchens

Pageantry is so much more than pretty gowns and high heels. In the Miss America System, contestants are required to have a ten minute private interview with a panel of judges and to perform a 90-second talent act on stage. Talents can range from dance, vocal, baton, monologues, magic, and so on. That being said, months and months of preparation are required in order to be fully prepared for the big day.

To prepare for the interview and talent portions, contestants spend countless hours with coaches, instructors, mentors, etc. They're tasked with keeping up to date with current events and meaningful issues, along with promoting her own "personal platform." This platform statement typically has to do with an issue that has somehow made an impact on that contestant's life. At the end of the day, pageant girls truly are beauty AND brains

Hopefully I was able to answer some of the questions that come along with pageantry and pageant prep. You might still be wondering what on earth butt glue is, but maybe some things are better left unknown. The pageant lifestyle might be a foreign concept to some, but for others (like myself), it's second nature. 

For daily updates about my pageant journey, follow @missnorthwesternohio on Instagram.