Missed American Beauty 

I will never forget the day I received this swimsuit in the mail. I was prepping for Miss America and we knew Speedo was to be the swimsuit sponsor that year and provide our competition swimsuits. I held that tiny Fedex envelop in my hands wondering what could possibly fit inside this envelop. But there it was, my bright orange and black triangles held together by strings.  This was going to be more skin than I had ever shown in public, let alone onstage in 5 inch heels under stage lights.  

Swimsuit was never my strong suit anyway and was something I tolerated because I wanted the job of Miss Ohio and wanted an outlet to perform my talent. I was met with some hurtful comments prepping my body to be judged in this swimsuit. When people are telling you you're fat on the regular, you start to believe it. But, through some rigorous workouts, lots of chicken and broccoli, and a good dose of stress, I managed to get my 5’7 frame down to 119 pounds for Miss America. I was under weight for Miss America and still felt I wasn't thin enough for this suit.  

Of course, 119 pounds was not sustainable for my body and by the time I gave up my crown, I was maintaining at about 130 pounds and stayed at that weight though my 20’s. It is still difficult for me at 38 years old to embrace my figure at 160 pounds. I always think to myself, even all these years later, you’ll never look as good as you did at Miss America. This is always followed by my self pep talk of…”yes but you were 24 and starving!” I find myself embattled in a mental struggle over what I know is real and good and healthy and my own negative self talk. I'm very aware of negative body image issues and though I don’t have children yet, this is something I would never want to pass along to my daughter or son. I strive to be kind to myself and remind myself that this unrealistic standard of beauty is simply unsustainable for my body. 

With the elimination of the swimsuit competition from the Miss America Scholarship Program, I feel relieved. Relieved that we can finally focus on the great work women are doing all over the country on behalf of their platforms and Children't Miracle Network. I have seen girls struggle with this phase of competition knowing that there has been a certain proportionality that is favored by judges and the standard set by the pageant industry itself.  Though I’m sure for some, this phase of competition lead to healthy habits and empowerment, there are just as many girls who have felt pressured to use drastic means to achieve an unrealistic goal for their body type that also takes an emotional and mental toll. 

I am so tired of a woman’s value being measured by how much space she takes up. Here we are in a time when Miss America program alumni are entrepreneurs, civic leaders, non-profit and corporate executives, entertainers, fundraisers, educators, doctors, lawyers, news anchors….the list goes on and on, and all we can talk about is who is valued in this program based on how much actual space she takes up onstage. For me, Miss America should be representative of the All-American girl. But, then that would lead us to a discussion of what the All-American girl looks like. There was a time when we would only be talking about pretty white girls. I'm talking about women who reflect the diverse makeup of America. Women of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and women of all shapes and sizes. Authenticity seems to be hanging on by a thread here, and we have an opportunity to lead during a time when many people feel the need to present a fake highlight real of the best moments of their lives on social media and edit every photo of them that hits the internet. I breath a huge sigh of relief with the thought that women might actually get to participate in this scholarship program without the fear of breaking their bank, their body and their spirit. 

I am thrilled to see that this program can take a direction where more women will be encouraged to join this program that I love so much. I’m so thrilled that as a former Miss Ohio and mentor, I can feel good about recruiting a more body diverse group of women to participate in this program. I applaud the Miss America board for taking this bold leap. Change is never embraced fully at first, and I’m sure there will always be those who look back instead of forward. I’m optimistic and completely open to the possibilities in store for pageantry as a whole, and can’t wait to see how all of this changes the fabric of Miss America in the coming months and years. Cheers to you Miss America!

 

Pageant Interview Questions  

Pageant interview is your time to shine. Highlight your personality and tell the judges why you are the right person for the job. Here are some thought provoking and personal questions for your next pageant. Practice being honest and authentic while having fun. Try relating answers back to personal experiences and stories that will help make your answer unique to you. 

 

1. If you could create a new tradition for your family to enjoy and pass on to future generations, what would it be?

2. If you could make sure 3 words were never used on the internet, what would they be?

3. What is a hidden quality you possess that you wish people knew about? 

4. What is one mistake from the past that you hope your generation does not repeat?

5. What is one important lesson you learned from someone older than you? 

6. Describe an aspect of your personality that makes you most misunderstood?

7. Does pageantry help or hurt the advancement of women in society? Explain.

8. If you could spend an entire school day/work day counseling peers on one issue, what would it be?

9. What is one area where you and your parents/spouse disagree?

10. What is the bravest thing another person has done for you? 

 

Amanda Beagle is a former Miss Ohio and professional pageant and personal development coach. Based in NYC, Amanda is available for remote and on location training for your next pageant. Inquire for details at amandabeaglebooking@gmail.com. 

Pageant Sponsorship Do's and Don'ts 

I encourage all my students to make every effort to get sponsors to help support their pageantry goals. Whether you are looking for cash or free or discounted services, here are some DO's and DONT'S to help you on your quest for sponsors.

DO start with people and businesses you know! Most sponsors will invest in you for YOU! They just want to see you succeed. Businesses that you or your parents frequent are a great place to start. 

DON'T approach a business without researching their company first. Tell the sponsor what you like about their business and why you think you are a good fit for their company.

DO use your program book ads to thank sponsors. You can purchase a full page ad and list all sponsors. You can even have levels of sponsorship i.e. Silver, Gold, Diamond etc. 

DON'T forget to proofread. I receive a lot of inquiries from teenagers chock full of misspelled words and text abbreviations. The letter needs to be professionally written. This is not the time for using "texting language." Save that for your friends!

DO utilize social media to thank your sponsors! Tweet a shout of thanks. Share links to the sponsor's website or recent promotions. Not all posts should be about you. Contestants who can shine a light back on those who help them are the most successful. Be gracious.

DON'T forget to write a personal hand written thank you note to all sponsors. The social media shout outs are not enough! You must personally thank those who support you with a personalized thank you note. It may seem like a dying art, but it will be so appreciated if you make the extra effort. These little details will influence the possibility of that sponsor supporting you in the future. 

DO offer to make an appearance for your sponsor's business. Visit a local elementary school on their behalf or spend an afternoon greeting customers at their business. This is a great way to build relationships with sponsors and show that you can give back in return. 

DON'T use the same generic letter for each sponsor. You can have a template or general content that remains the same, but be sure to personalize the letter to suite the individual or business you are approaching. Be sure to share your goals and explain the benefits you are gaining through the process of pageantry i.e. scholarship, personal development, self-confidence etc. 

DO understand that potential sponsors have a right to say no. They can't support every person or organization in one calendar year. If you get a no, apply elsewhere and never criticize them for their decision. Be respectful. 

DON'T make assumptions. If a sponsor supports you this year, but next year needs to cut back, respect their decision and don't pass judgement. 

DO remember that garnering support is all about building relationships. Conduct yourself in a manner that would make that sponsor proud and keep in touch with updates on your progress. Deliver on your promises to promote that sponsor on ad pages and social media. If you've promised an appearance, make sure you set it up in a timely manner and follow through with what you promised to do. 

Always remember, those young women who can promote themselves while still remaining humble and giving are the most successful. The modern age of pageantry requires that you promote yourself on social media and build your brand. Be sure to do it in a tasteful manner. Give of yourself and shine a light on those around you. This shows that you have an altruistic spirit and genuine desire to build relationships. For me, this is the most important thing.

Top 5 Pageant Talent Coach of 2016 

Hello Friends, 

I'm excited to share that I was recently honored by The Pageant Planet as one of the "Top 5 Pageant Talent Coaches of 2016!" It's truly an honor to be recognized for the work that I do, especially because I enjoy the work so much. Here is a link to the article about all the honorees! Special thanks to the Pageant Planet!

COACHING OPPORTUNITY! 
After a very busy holiday season, I'm excited to return to my intense weekends of pageant coaching in Youngstown, OH. My Ohio home studio is The Fred Astaire Dance Studio on Market Street in Boardman, OH and I will be available February 25th & 26th for one-on-one pageant coaching, talent consultations and voice lessons. Whether your goal is to win a pageant or perform on Broadway, I will design a personalized training experience just for you. 

Contact me anytime for details! 

Personal Development Tip No. 1 

Finding your voice and defining your message is all about personal development. Here is your personal development tip for today!
 
Spend more time investing in yourself than worrying about what others are doing. Here are a few suggestions to help you expand your view of yourself in the hopes that it will enhance your overall pageant and interview preparation.
 
  • Get out there in the world and experience life! Visit museums, watch live theater, volunteer, cook with friends, take a class, try a new hobby or travel somewhere new. What ever you fill your time with, put down your phone and get out there in the world.
  • Remember and appreciate how much life you have under your belt! Chances are you've already done some pretty cool things and have some amazing memories. Take some time to remember those moments by looking through photo albums and reminiscing with family and old friends. It helps to remember where you come from when considering how you might impact the world around you the most.
More tips to come! Get out there in the world and be bold, be you!

 
 
Amanda Beagle is a former Miss Ohio and works as a personal development coach and pageant coach. For more information email amandabeaglebooking@gmail.com.

Pageant Coaching in New York City 

The holiday season is a wonderful time for reflection and rebirth! What better time to set goals and plan for the year ahead?!

A former Miss Ohio for the Miss America Organization, I am passionate about the world of pageantry and how it can help develop young women into empowered leaders! An active pageant judge, blogger, and mentor, I love all things pageantry and can't wait to help you achieve your dreams!

My home base of Astoria, NY allows me to serve clients from New York City's 5 boroughs as well as New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Can't meet with me in person? No problem!

Work with me 3 different ways!
  • Remotely, via Skype or Face Time
  • On location in a rehearsal studio, either in Manhattan or Long Island City
  • In-home within a 25 mile radius of Queens, NY
Coaching sessions are tailor made to fit YOUR needs and include interview preparation, wardrobe styling, runway techniques, stage presence, confidence building, platform development, and marketing for the pageant competitor. 

Coaching appointments are available during the week and on limited weekends. Inquire for details by contacting me directly at info@amandabeagle.com.

 STUDENT SPOTLIGHT


Mrs. Gotham City, Alexandra DeBourcy competed at Mrs. New York America and placed First Runner-up.


 The reigning Miss South New York Pre-Teen Alyssa Dass placed 2nd runner up at National American Miss Nationals 2015.
Emily Ertz is the newly crowned USA National Miss New York Jr. Teen 2016.

Thriving Through Pageantry's Ups & Downs 

Every pageant journey has it's ups and downs. It's common to become discouraged and feel that you simply don't have what it takes to win a title. 
  • First of all, no crown and sash define who you are as a person. Pageantry is a subjective sport, so try to remember that on any given day, a different panel of judges would choose a completely different young lady.
  • Second, no one brings to the table what you bring to the table. You are a sum of all your experiences making you uniquely you. No one has that, but YOU!
When you are feeling blue, take this confidence boosting challenge! Take out your pageant journal and write down three things that make you unique and special. Maybe you are a devoted volunteer or mentor. Perhaps you have an amazing singing voice or other special talent.  Do you always make people laugh or have a flare for politics? What ever it is, find your strengths in the haze of self doubt. Pageantry is an endurance race. Thriving through the highs and lows is half the battle. 
 
Be confident. Be bold. Be you. 
 
You can do it!
 
 
 
Amanda Beagle is a former Miss Ohio, professional singer and personal development coach for young women. She is passionate about mentoring young women towards success. Contact Amanda at info@amandabeagle.com

Pageant Coaching in Ohio: December 

Tis' the season to be jolly and I am thrilled to offer my upcoming December pageant coaching dates in Ohio. My roots in Ohio run deep! A former Miss Ohio, I continue to help develop young women in the tri-state area, helping them to achieve their dreams of holding local and state titles.

My Ohio home base for teaching is the spacious and elegant Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Youngstown, Ohio. My next Ohio dates are December 26th and 27th. Join me and take your skills to the next level!
 
Student spotlight!

The reigning Miss South New York Pre-Teen Alyssa Dass placed 2nd runner up at National American Miss Nationals 2015. 

 
Sydney Rowland, top ten in the nation All-American Jr-Teen at National American Miss Nationals 2015.
 
Contact Amanda Beagle directly
at info@amandabeagle.com.

Pageant Interview Questions 


Getting to know you questions are common in pageant interviews, but often catch contestants off guard. Take this opportunity to have fun, show off your personality and be creative with your answers.

1. How does gratitude show up in your life?

2. If you could print something on a t-shirt, what would it be?

3. Would you rather visit the world 100 years into the past, or 100 years into the future?

 4. Do you feel you have a purpose or calling in life?

5. What is a time when you were in big trouble with your parents and what did you learn from that experience?

6. If you were being sent to the space station for 3 months and could only take 3 possessions, what would you take?

7. On the soundtrack of your life, what one song would absolutely have to be on it?

8. What would you sing on Karaoke night?

9. Who do you consider to be a champion?

10. Would you rather be stranded on a deserted island alone or with someone you don't like?

Contact me through my website at www.amandabeagle.com.

3 Qualities Needed for Success 

I have found that the most successful people in life share three common qualities! A strong work ethic, humility and generosity.

  • Successful people love the process of bettering themselves. Self-evaluation and self-improvement are a way of life and they understand that education is never ending. The work is never finished!

  • Living life with humility means you don't need to seek out praise from others by bragging about your accomplishments. Rather you enjoy the work you are doing and live passionately through your purpose in life.

  • The most memorable people love helping others. They have a generous spirit, devoted to serving their community as well as lifting people up along their journey. They don't need to judge others because they are too busy spreading positivity and joy!


Whether your goal is to be a great artist or performer, or to hold a state or national title, embody and live these qualities every single day. Live authentically, with purpose and intent.


Amanda Beagle: info@amandabeagle.com