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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Appointed Pageant Titles: To Take or Not To Take?

Having an "appointed" title can be very beneficial! Here's a few things to consider if you have this opportunity presented to you:

What I Am Talking About:
A titleholder can be appointed by a state or national pageant to hold a specific title. This does not mean that the girl holding the title did not compete in any way - she may have undergone an interview (phone, skype, etc), an application process, or may have competed at a pageant and did well.

"Appointed" means that she will represent a specific area/region, state, or age group without physically competing on a stage for that title.

Some people consider this "buying a title" and make you feel less worthy of being at a pageant. That is nonsense. If you want to attend a pageant and are ready to compete, go for it...but consider what I have to say below:

Some Examples/Further Clarification by Popular Pageant System
Take for example, the USA Ambassador Pageant. The pageant recently celebrated its' 6 year anniversary and it is growing every day. This means that, right now, they may not have a state pageant in EVERY state. But, if you contact the national office and say that you want to compete at their nationals, they will discuss the option of giving you an appointed title so you can proudly represent your state/region/age group at nationals. With a few fees and some paperwork, your crown and sash could be delivered in a few weeks!

At National American Miss, if you place in the top 5 of your Queen's Court, win an optional, or place in the top 5 of an optional at the state level, you can compete at NAM Nationals with an appointed title. Many girls opt to represent their hometown, so "Miss Cute County" or "Miss Crown State". At this pageant, however, you do not compete for the state queen title. NAM has a separate national competition for the girls with appointed titles, called the National All-American Miss pageant.

At International Junior Miss, many girls who competed at the International pageant the year before choose to return. Since they cannot represent the same title again at Internationals, the International office allows them to return with an appointed title. In some small states, the International office also allows the 1st runner up to attend Internationals, with the same respect and honors as the state titleholder - they compete for the same International title as the state titleholder (see above: unlike at NAM Nationals where only a state titleholder can compete for the National American Miss title and the appointed girls can compete for the All-American National title in their age division).

In the Miss USA program, some states have their contestants wear a sash at the state pageant saying the local area they are from. On your application, you would indicate what area you'd like to represent. In the Miss America Organization, you must win a local title before competing at your state pageant...unless you are from a small state where everyone can compete at states...but you will be assigned/appointed a local title.

Things To Remember
1. Being appointed does not make you any less worthy of being at the pageant. 
If anything, it means that you are committed to working hard and that you sincerely want to compete at the next level.

2. Being appointed does not mean that you will not win the pageant.
The year I won my National title, I was appointed from Maryland because there was no Maryland Ms. that year. I went to Nationals wearing the same crown on my head and same sash across my heart as the other Ms who did have pageants in their area. I ended up winning!

3. Be aware of the expenses you may incur.
You will likely be responsible for the same OR slightly different things than girls who were not appointed.

At NAM Nationals for example, state queens who won their state pageant get their entry fees paid, while girls who are competing for the All-American title do not. At USA Ambassador and IJM, everyone is responsible for their own ad fees.

4. Be very clear on expectations.
Some pageants may require a certain number of appearances from you, even though you are appointed. Some may require that you do not compete in any other pageants for one year's time. Make sure you are clear on expectations before just jumping the gun on taking an appointed title.

5. Do NOT take an appointed title just to have a title.
Some girls think they will never win a pageant, so they take an appointed title...then they get to Nationals and do nothing because they had no idea what to do in the first place. They just feel embarrassed and like it was never worth it - do NOT be this girl/mom.

HOWEVER, if you are using the title for the right reasons, I say go for it! Some girls want to gain confidence, want to volunteer in their community (reminder: you do not need a title to do this), want a foot in the door for appearances and believe a title can help with all that - IT CAN. If you are in it for the right reasons, I say go for it.

Please see a REAL pageant coach and get an honest assessment before applying for your appointed title. If your REAL pageant coach thinks you have what it takes, do it. If there is some hesitation and maybe you need to work on some things, take the time to work on the details so you can really rock it at the pageant! Don't just jump the gun on getting the title and then do nothing with it OR waste the money because you just wanted to be there.

With your success in mind,