We recently had our very first pageant experience within our own family. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a very competitive spirit and take things with hard work, discipline, consistency, and practice very seriously. I also think pageantry is an art with techniques and characteristics all its own, but this… I was on the fence about. Stay with me here… I think pageants can do one of two things, create in one a strong sense of self, determination, pride, self worth, & hard work ethics or it could potentially have the reversed effect crushing one’s spirit. This is why I was very hesitant when my 4 year old started asking to participate in a pageant.


After much coercion on her part, we decided to allow her to participate, but to keep it fun, like a glorified (and overly expensive) tea party for princesses. She looked forward to this day for months. We talked about what she would wear, her hair, what we would have at our pre-pageant tea party, how to walk, turn… all the things. For a 4 year old, she really put in the work. I am very proud of her for this - she took being a pageant princess very seriously. When the day finally came, we did everything the way we planned from the tea party to getting ready (although I did think about leaving my husband behind because he took longer than the princess to get ready)!


Once at the pageant, we were in awe at all the beautiful girls backstage. There were so many different emotions back there as well - from the super serious types that were all “don’t touch your hair”, “don’t walk like that” “quit jumping around” to the more nervous, almost tearful ones, to the relaxed ones - our girl was the latter. She was cool as a cucumber. She was confident & poised just like a princess. We found out I had to walk on stage with her at this age and I internally started freaking out… not her. She said, “mom, I don’t need you to hold my hand. I want to do this alone.” Amazing! When the time came, my girl NAILED IT!  She walked out (without holding my hand), head held high, smiling, with a few twirls and waves thrown in. She was beaming with confidence from the inside out. I was literally brought to tears at how she mastered such an intimidating experience. No fear. Just confidence.

All this to say that she made top 5. I’m not real sure how the judging was objectively scored or even how one could subjectively judge especially at these young ages. How does one judge such a pageant? Can & should one be measured at such a young age based on “beauty”, poise, & personality? I don’t really know the right answer to this because, again, I can see this going bad quickly. I, for one, would never want to be in those judges shoes. Although I don’t believe in a “trophy for all” way of life, we gave my beautifully confident, elegant, full of life & personality 4 year old princess her very own princess crown (thank you to Laura Aniello & Kayla Jordan) & trophy because she earned it. She worked hard, she did what she came to do and couldn’t have done it any more perfect, but more importantly, she did it with more confidence than I see most adults have.

THIS is what I learned from our experience. Be YOU. Have fun. Own who you are and care nothing more of what those “judges” think of you because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Who knows what those “judges” are judging based on, but as long as you know your worth, you are already a QUEEN! So… what exactly does this 4 year old pageant have to do with my life lesson? #BYOC = Bring Your Own {damn} Crown. You will always have judges, supporters, and competition in life, but being the best, most confident, genuine you is the real win here. Once you have that, no one can remove that crown. Show up, but show up already wearing your crown!

- Xoxo, 



ps. Reese wants to continue competing. So, as long as she wants to and as long as she holds on to that inner fire along the way, we will support her decision! :)

1 comment

  • Jessica Noldy: March 22, 2023

    Go Reese!!! I love this!!! It took me 40 years to get that kind of confidence, so keep that fire burning sweet girl ❤️ Go conquer the world!

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