If you have ever competed in a pageant, then you know there is much more it than the glitz and glam. Many pageants are mission-based and purpose-driven. Some are designed to provide scholarships to deserving young women, while others nurture and build confidence. The growth of the natural hair movement – a movement composed of women who embrace and wear their kinky, curly, or textured hair – allows many contestants to find ways to celebrate their natural hair. Pageantry is just one of many platforms they are using to spread their message of hair authenticity.
Titleholders – such as Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019 and Kaliegh Garris, Miss Teen USA 2019 – have shown us that it is perfectly okay to showcase natural hair on the national stage within a mainstream pageant system. However, even though we are seeing more contestants competing in their natural hair than ever before, a good number of “pageant naturalistas” still believe they do not have the same opportunity to win the coveted crown or garner accolades as other contestants. This is due to the fact that the majority wear straight hair, something which is heavily favored during competition. In response, pageants have been created, designed to celebrate natural hair, such as the Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty Pageant and the Black and Natural Pageant.
Regardless of whether you compete in a mainstream pageant or a natural hair pageant, you need to develop the skills to successfully compete with natural hair.
Here are some tips that can definitely help you!
- Shift your mindset.
Mindset is everything. It is time to stop the negative thinking. Believe you are intelligent, skilled, and beautiful, regardless of your hair type or texture. Judges are not choosing your hair. They are choosing a contestant who has the ability to professionally represent a system in a positive manner. Affirm yourself daily, so you can begin to radiate with positivity.
- Set up a consultation with a natural hairstylist.
If you are having trouble styling your own natural hair, seek the advice and assistance of a natural hairstylist. Natural hairstylists have the knowledge and expertise. They understand what is required to properly care for and style natural hair. They may even be able to style your hair the day before or the day of the pageant, so your hair can look its best.
- Choose a hairstyle that complements your facial features and personality.
Some examples of natural hairstyles that work well on the pageant stage are twist outs, braid outs, and updos. I personally love a twist out, because it complements my facial features, and the hairstyle reflects my out of the box personality.
- Apply the right type of makeup and accessorize.
Makeup does wonders with enhancing a contestant’s natural beauty. The right type of makeup will make that fro or twist out stand out. It is also important to choose the right accessories to go with your pageant attire. The right jewelry can make a huge difference if it properly complements your hairstyle.
- Display self-confidence.
You must be comfortable with your own features. If you are uncomfortable with your natural hair, how can you expect others to be comfortable with it? Inner belief manifests outwardly. So make sure your inner thoughts are healthy, so the judges can see the manifestation of your best self. If you are comfortable in your own skin, then you will truly be able to showcase your talents and abilities.
Embrace and love the hair you were born with. It is your crowning glory. Take time to enjoy the pageant experience and do not worry about how your hair will be received. The focus should be on the competition and the relationships you will develop through the wonderful opportunity. Take the time to develop the necessary skills needed in order to manifest a crown. Once you shift your focus, you will begin to experience success in a beautiful way!
This feature was submitted by Krystle Bell Saulsberry
Krystle Bell Saulsberry is the Owner & Founder of Krystle Clear Pageantry, a pageantry and lifestyle website that serves as “Your Krystle Clear Source for All Things Pageant Related.” Whether you need tips on competing in a pageant or developing a positive mindset in order to manifest a crown, Krystle Clear Pageantry is the site for you. Krystle is also the bestselling author of Manifest the Crown: A Krystle Clear Guide to Pageantry Success. She is married to Robert J. Saulsberry, Jr., and they reside in Oxford, Alabama
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Featured Image obtained on the official Instagram of Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019