Teen Beauty Pageants: Deciding to Participate?

You can earn some much-needed cash for college by participating in a teen beauty pageant, which can provide memorable moments, boost your confidence, and help you achieve your dreams.

Finding Teen Beauty Pageants

Local Pageants

It’s a great idea to start with a local pageant if you’re interested in getting into teen beauty pageants. Fairs and festivals are usually associated with these events. Your classmates and friends will be competing against you, adding to the fun. 

Find announcements in your local paper or flyers around town looking for pageant entries.

State and National Pageants

Preliminary state competitions are offered by most national pageants. The winners of these events are then eligible to compete at the national level. For more information on eligibility requirements, judging, and more, please visit each organization’s website.

  • In beauty pageants, Miss America and Miss USA are perhaps the most recognizable names. Teenagers between the ages of 17 and 24 are eligible for the Miss America pageant. In contrast to Miss USA, Miss Teen USA is open to girls between the ages of 15 and 19.
  • The Distinguished Young Women program, formerly America’s Junior Miss, is open to high school seniors. In addition to academics and an interview, contestants are judged on talent, fitness, and their ability to express themselves.
  • There are divisions for older teens, younger teens, and preteens in Miss American Coed Pageants. By creating a family-friendly and age-appropriate pageant, the organization aims to build self-esteem and teamwork among participants.
  • The Teen Latina World competition is open to teens between the ages of 13 and 17 who are at least 25% Hispanic.
  • As young as nine years old, girls as old as 18 can participate in America’s National Teenager. Academics, activities, an interview, an evening gown competition, poise, and personality are all considered when judging. A talent competition and a speech competition are held separately.

Deciding to Participate

Are you debating whether or not to enter a pageant? You may find the following points helpful in making your decision:


  • It is possible to earn scholarship money through teen beauty pageants.
  • Competing helps you develop skills that will help you in every aspect of your life. Learn how to handle pressure with poise and grace. Become more comfortable speaking in public and conducting interviews. Maintain a balance between competing and other commitments.
  • It is possible to make great friends when you compete in a pageant together. In contrast to catty participants who only look out for themselves, supportive comrades are more likely to be found.
  • Pageants can become a family affair as moms, dads, brothers, and sisters gather behind a shared goal.
  • Pageant participation looks great on resumes and college applications.
  • You’ll be able to travel and explore new locations. Whether you’re driving across the country to participate in an event or traveling to nearby communities as the winner of a local title, you can meet great new people and have unforgettable experiences.
  • Enjoy the thrill of competition.


  • There is a high cost associated with pageants. There is usually an entry fee or sponsorship fee for most pageants. Whether you need violin lessons for a talent competition, manicures and waxing, or the perfect formal dress, all the pieces necessary to compete well can add up.
  • There is a bad reputation attached to beauty pageants in some circles. According to some, they are degrading to women. In addition to criticizing pageants for young girls, some claim they lead to “stage mothers” and excessive pressure, since they force them to dress in provocative ways too early.
  • It is common for teens to experience insecurities when competing. Now you don’t have to worry whether your crush thinks you’re pretty enough, but whether a panel of judges does. Teenagers who are pressured to be thin can also suffer from eating disorders.
  • Weekends away from friends can be a result of a busy competition schedule.

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