The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
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Lang Cooper and Mary Bradley SutherlandMay 17, 2024

What initially interested you in beauty pageants? Roberts: When I was six I joined the Miss America Organization. This program is for girls...

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Lone Star Royalty Q&A

Sophomore Lily Roberts shares her experiences with beauty pageants
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What initially interested you in beauty pageants?

Roberts: When I was six I joined the Miss America Organization. This program is for girls ages 5-13 to be a part of the organization before they are old enough to compete. I was a “Lone Star Princess” during those years, and I would attend the pageants for a week to watch the older girls perform and dance. It was like a fun summer camp, and the point of it was to mentor young girls. I had no intention of competing at first, but seeing how much fun those girls had, the bond they shared, and how much they were able to give back, made me want to be a part of something so special.

How would you describe the preparation process leading up to a pageant?

R: Preparation depends on which organization you are a part of and its values. Ours is interview and talent-based because they put emphasis on mental and physical health. Physically, I stay in shape through sports. I participate in cheer in the fall, soccer in the winter, and track in the spring. Sports allow me to have fun with my friends and stay healthy in a good environment. In preparation, however, I prioritize my interviews, which happen the morning of a pageant. It is super important for me to show up with lots of energy and a positive mindset before I go into an interview. The main point is for the judges to get to know you as a person. I remember in my earlier interviews I said “what I was supposed” to and acted like a robot, but now I realize that being myself is always the most important thing. I have interview prep every week, but when I’m closer to pageants, I have prep every day for about three hours.

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What have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced during your time competing?

R: My biggest challenge has definitely been figuring out my talent. I don’t just do one thing. I have played piano forever, cheered forever, and played soccer forever. I don’t like to limit myself to one thing, and choosing a talent forces me to do that. Last year I had a tumbling and jazz dancing routine for my talent until I dislocated my kneecap. I was taken out of cheer and soccer, went to homecoming in a brace, and was forced to stop the talent I had come up with. After recovering months later, I still wanted to be able to participate in the state competition. I had three weeks to come up with a new talent. We came up with tap dancing, which is something I hadn’t done in a while, so I had to work really hard to get those skills back. I ended up winning, but I accepted that tap dancing was not something I was super in love with. After I had competed with it twice, I changed my mind. I have now spent about seven months working on a piano piece. It is 90 seconds and super fun for me to perform. All of this has taught me that I don’t have to stick to one thing and can make time for everything I like to do.

 

 

What have you learned about yourself through participating in pageants?

R: I’ve learned that I am capable of following my dreams. One day over the summer before freshman year, I decided that I wanted to try pageants. I went into them with little to no preparation, and I fell in love with competing. I’ve gotten to do so many amazing things, including speaking to schools about volunteering, serving the homeless, participating in fundraisers and being in parades. I’ve had a lot of exciting volunteer opportunities and chances to share my love for volunteering with other people through my community service initiative which is Stronger Together: It Start with You. I’ve also learned that I love public speaking and have gained a lot of practice and experience with speaking through pageants. I’ve learned more about leadership as well, because I have these three younger girls that I mentor through the Lone Star Princess and the Little Sister programs. The amount of people who are just so excited to see and talk to me is incredible. I get to sign autographs, and I have so many little girls who are just so infatuated with my crown. Every time that I talk to them, it’s so important to me that I tell them that the crown is earned, and I don’t just wear it for fun, but it truly holds power and meaning.

What skills have you gained through this experience?

R: I’ve definitely learned a lot more about social media. I was not expecting social media to be a part of pageants. It’s required that we post at minimum three times a week, but I’ve been having a lot of fun and often end up posting more than that. Because we are a scholarship organization, the more that every pageant winner promotes, the more businesses get involved. I’ve been sent a PR package, and I also get my hair done by a sponsor. There are four points of the Crown which are service, scholarship, success and style. I think of style as lifestyle. For example, how you live your life and how you choose to care for yourself. Service is caring for the community and others around you. Success is knowing that you can accomplish things. I’ve earned so much scholarship money that can be put towards my future college career, and it’s exciting to know that I’m able to do that for myself. Those are the four things that I keep in mind when using social media. Every Wednesday I post “What You Can Do Wednesday” which is an active service through which everyone in the community can give back.

In what ways do you believe beauty pageants can empower young women, and how have you personally experienced this?

R: One thing that people have done over the years is stereotype pageants, but I wholeheartedly believe pageants are still relevant. Miss America Organization stands out and is the largest provider of scholarships for women in the country. I think people overlook how much pageants have helped people achieve their goals. The sisterhood is also amazing. I now have so many new pageant friends from across the state, and I could text them at any time. There is also self-empowerment, because I have been able to meet people and experience things that I wouldn’t have been able to do without being in pageants. I’ve hosted a radio show and been interviewed by CW 33. One thing I like to remind people is that anyone can do pageants. Many people have a specific image in mind when they think of like a beauty pageant. I like to think of them not so much as a beauty pageant, but more like a personality pageant. Something that we say is “it’s not the crown wearing the girl, but the girl wearing the crown.” It’s empowering knowing that I’m capable of doing all these things, with such little preparation. I went into my first pageant with six months of preparation and now I am here as Miss Dallas’ Teen.  Anybody can do it and that’s what I want to show people.

Looking towards the future, do you see yourself continuing in pageants?

R: I know that I’ll be competing for State this summer, which is super exciting. If I win, I’ll be Miss Texas’ Team for a year, so right now I’m working towards that. If I don’t win Miss Texas’ Teen, I will probably continue competing during the year. If I decide to take a break, it is nice to know that I have over a decade left in pageants, and I could even continue in Mrs. Pageants after that. When I’m older, I would love to pour back into the Miss America organization and share what pageants have given me.

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About the Contributor
Lang Cooper
Lang Cooper, Staff Writer