Ms.Washington Pre-Teen

October 12, 2010
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It all started in September of 2003. My mom knocked on my bedroom door to show me a manila folder full of papers and magazines advertising a National Miss Pageant that was happening in Seattle soon. She asked me quite kindly, “Ashley if you want to do this then I am more than ready to support you. You need to get involved in an extracurricular activity.” Well, me being me, I’m up for anything. So of course I replied “YES! Sign me up!” About a month later, I was in a competition that I would never forget. At the time first starting out, I never would have thought that I would go far in these competitions at all. I actually thought it was a one-time thing, but it ended up being something so much more than that. I packed my clothes two days before I left because of how much excitement I was holding in.
On our way to Seattle, it was just me, my mom and my step dad. Which, was quite different because I have an older brother, and he’s always with us during vacations but he was staying at a friend’s house. When we arrived at the Double Tree Hotel where the state pageant was being held, it was night time, and I was ready to get settled in and experience this event. I obtained all the information that I needed to know, what I had to do and everything it entailed. I received booklets full of crucial information about where I was supposed to meet all of my fellow “pageant sisters” and when I had to be there. My mom was probably one of the best people to have by my side the whole time because she was very organized and knew pretty much every single thing about what I had to do, I wouldn’t have even gotten up on stage if it wasn’t for my mom. Between challenges, I had to attend different practice classes so that I knew what I was doing on stage. Our leaders, older pageant winners, taught us how to have pageant spirit and how to “work our stuff” to the judges so they would be as impressed as can be. To our leaders, working your stuff means to be really confident about what you’re doing. Always have a smile on your face, and keep your posture perfect! To be quite honest, it sounds fastidious, but it was pretty enjoyable. We would meet in different rooms of the hotel, which was cool because it made us all feel really special that the Double Tree Hotel was completely shut down for us. ?
My first event in the pageant was to do a modeling show for the judges. Well, of course I was nervous, but after realizing my mom bought me all these new clothes just so I could look good on that catwalk, I was ready to strut my stuff. For an eight year old modeling in front of over 200 people was nerve racking, but I was a pretty vivacious girl. I had to advertise certain companies in front of a crowd and wear identical outfits as all the other girls participating. It was my first pageant, so I was pretty clueless most of the time. I just smiled my pageant smile my mother taught me, and waved my peanut-butter-spreadin’ wave ? It was all moving pretty fast when I was in the pageant. It felt almost like a fairy tale because everything was so magical and colorful. I felt so special standing on that stage with my gorgeous blue dress. I wanted the spot light to be on my face the whole night. Confidence was just bursting from my smile, and you could see it too.
Probably one of the best parts about being a part of this pageant was being able to meet some really cool, down to earth girls from all over Washington. I have friends that I still keep in touch with that I met at a few of the pageants I’ve participated in. It was nice knowing that there were other girls in this world that weren’t just the typical preppy, high pitched voice and totally dumb type girls. Well, when the final award-giving ceremony started, of course I was nervous, anticipating what would happen as I stood for almost three hours on the stage with high heels on. I almost felt like a statue because I had that same smile, the same posture and the same stance for over three or four hours as they handed out award after award.
I won a few different trophies for various things like modeling and advertisement acts, but ultimately I won Ms. Washington Ambassador, which means I would be involved in going to California for Finals!! I obtained the most beautiful crown I have ever seen in my life, an enchanting silk sash that said, “Ms. Washington Ambassador Pre-Teen,” and most impressive of all, a check for 1,000 dollars. Man was I stoked, I couldn’t even believe it. The speaker was handing out single red roses to the finalists, and I was the last name on the list! They crowned me and let me know that I would be receiving a free trip all the way to Walt Disney World where some of the pageant would be taking place. Wow, what a chance of a lifetime huh? I felt more special than I’ve ever felt in my life. And that year, my family and I did go to California. I participated in the finals, where all of the girls who won their state pageant participated also. I was as confident as ever because this time, I really knew my stuff. But unfortunately, I got 3rd runner-up. Sincerely, that’s pretty good to me, I mean there were only 50 participants, but those are the girls that won state pageants, so they know their stuff as well. I enjoyed every single little part about being a part of these pageants. And I gained a lot from them too! I don’t even get nervous when I talk in front of people because I sang on a stage with 300 eyes on me! I keep eye contact when talking to people at all times because I had to be interviewed by the judges! (Most people aren’t very good with eye contact). And lastly, I gained a lot of confidence and honestly I think that’s all that counts. Because if I happened to win nothing and never go to finals, I would still feel really special for being a part of these amazing page





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