Catriona, Alaiza and Samantha | Defining a Pageant Campaign

If there are three Filipina pageant girls that have redefined what a pageant campaign should be, those would be Catriona Gray, Alaiza Malinao and Samantha Bernardo.

These are what these three ladies brought into their pageant campaigns that revolutionized how the pageant game is played…

Continue reading “Catriona, Alaiza and Samantha | Defining a Pageant Campaign”

Bullynesia and the Law of Karma

There is a group of pageant trolls and haters that have terrorized Filipina beauty queens and Philippine pageant pages on social media. These group of social media accounts, pages and pageant fans have been labelled as Bullynesia for their brash attitudes and devious behaviour.

Social media accounts like Lambe Pageants, Nyairatubumi, Bunda.Latinas, etc… and their rabid followers have long been posting edited and altered images and videos of beauty queens from the Philippines. These posts are meant to demean Philippine candidates in international competitions. Much of these haters were labelled collectively as Bullynesia, have long trolled pageant pages to promote their queens at the expense of Filipina representatives.

Continue reading “Bullynesia and the Law of Karma”

Social Media’s Power in Pageantry

It has been a long drawn out debate how social media is not a barometer of one’s success in pageants. But let us reflect back on this topic now, in the context of the global pandemic, where being connected digitally is the norm rather than the exception.

In the past 3-4 years, we all have relegated Social Media as a non-essential factor in one’s pageant journey. However, here at Sashes&Scripts, we no longer subscribe to that ideology. And we believe this to have changed around 2 years ago.

Before anything else, let us first clear one thing: social media following is NOT the same as a Strong social media. They are not and will never be the same thing. Social Media Following is speaks of quantity, that’s number of followers and number of updates. Having a Strong Social Media is about quality. It’s about a strong visual language, engaging captions and conversations, discussions in the comment section, and most importantly image building. Social media strength is not about frequency of posting, but rather putting out quality content that your audience will respond positively to.

Continue reading “Social Media’s Power in Pageantry”

Why Does the Same Countries Win in International Pageants?

Venezuela, the Philippines, Colombia, South Africa and the US are some of the coutries consistently performing well in pageants this past 10 years. What do they do right in pageants that they seem to win or unfailingly place year in and year out? Why do we see the same countries place and win in international pageants?

The answer to this simple question is quite complex. It is not just one major factor that makes these countries stand out and be among the best but a mixture of several equally essential factors…

  1. TRAINING & PREPARATION – we believe that fortune favors not the bold but the prepared… this is especially true in pageants. Countries that have prepared their girls months in advance are typically the ones that do well in pageants. It doesn’t matter if they are front-runners or not, from sash factor countries or other-wise, but those that have gotten ready for every aspect of the competition are usually the ones who do well. Take into consideration Venezuela and the Philippines, they have a very rigid and strict training program unique to each country that works for them. Physical training as well as competition preparation in terms of wardrobe, styling, presentation, interviews and even social media marketing is all taken into account to prepare their representatives. This is why among the 4 biggest pageants in the world these two sit atop everyone in terms of number of crowns.
  2. CANDIDATE’S MENTAL FORTITUDE – perhaps the biggest contributor to someone’s success is the determination and drive of the candidates themselves. This is where the proverbial anecdote “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink” comes into play. A candidate has to be willing to put in the necessary effort to actually win, and that effort has to be consistently delivered each and every single day until the very end of the competition. It is like a faucet that you have to keep turned on at all times. So a candidate’s well of mental strength should not dry up.
  3. SUPPORT SYSTEM – of course a girl’s family and friends count to give moral support, but in this case a pageant support system means to be people behind the scenes who provide assistance in all aspects of the pageant. This includes people comprising the glam team, pageant mentors, the social media team and fan support, the local/national pageant organizers, etc… each of these teams of people provide a type of support that only their collective expertise can give. That is why La Quinta Venezuela (during Osmel’s time) includes an orthodontist, a dietician, and cosmetic surgery experts atop their usual pageant coaches.
  4. ECONOMICS AND POLITICS – this is the side of pageantry that is usually glossed over because it is such a ‘touchy’ topic that nobody wants discussed in the open. A pageant is much like any other business venture. It is about the bottom-line for the international pageant organization as it is about crowning a deserving beautiful winner. Local pageant orgs that can bring in revenue to the international orgs are given better attention. Pageant girls who command a strong presence and media mileage on social media are rarely looked past in the semis. Former Miss Universe Lara Dutta puts it well saying that social media is so influencing that a candidate is already adjudged as winnable or not.

Put all of these factors together in the right proportions unique to each candidate and you will probably end up with a winning formula. And you probably need to tweak and re-work this every year as what may have worked in the past may not necessarily be effective today. That is because a different kind of winner is usually searched for by international pageant organizations.

Let us know on the comments below what other factors do you think is essential in winning pageants…

How to Deal with Your Co-Candidates in a Pageant

Any pageant is as much of a mental game as any game of chess. Any competition is. But when it comes to pageants, you may be wary of how many mental traps you might fall into. And to complicate this further is how to deal with your co-candidates.

To lessen that worry, we are listing the ways how any pageant girl hopeful for a crown/ title should conduct herself when she is around her fellow candidates. Continue reading “How to Deal with Your Co-Candidates in a Pageant”

Does Pre-Pageant Activities Matter?

Pre-pageant activities are part of the pageant culture and pageant schedule every pageant girl have to experience. A lot of the fun activities of the pageant usually fall during the pre-pageant activity schedules. Not everyone, however, sees the importance of these activities in the whole of the pageant per se. Why do they matter?

Any public appearance, photo and video shooting, sponsor visits, tours and trips, etc… that doesn’t fall under the preliminary judging activities and are made prior to the finals are usually considered pre-pageant activities. The ladies are usually housed together in a hotel/ official residence during these pre- pageant activities in what people would call the “pageant quarantine period“. (Note that free time given to the girls within the “quarantine period” usually don’t fall into this category). During the quarantine period, the ladies are provided with pageant supervisors/ managers and security/ escorts in wherever they would go.

The activities within this quarantine period are usually activities that would start with the official registration of the candidates where they would go submit paper copies of their requirements (like legal documents proving their age, citizenship and single status), go for various fittings (for swimsuits, shoes, wardrobes, etc…), etc…

It pays to behave on a very professional manner during the quarantine period especially on pre-pageant activities that are in public. Candidates have to show during these periods that they are potentially great reps for the organization. Think of it as an “on the job training” of sorts, this is the time where you have to wake up, show up and deliver during each important activity. Pre-pageant activities may not matter in the scoring, but it matters in the ultimate question of whether the job of being a winner is asked.

Whether you choose to go the Miss Congeniality route or the quiet wall-flower strategy, it is important to be nice and to bring your personality into the pageant. Throwing your diva attitude does not bode well for any pageant hopeful, nor does boasting as if you are already the winner. Any pageant girl should understand that like any job search, pageants are very much akin to it; pageant organizations are looking for a winner they can work with. So if you have less than stellar review from your supervisors/ pageant managers during the duration of the pre-pageant activities, then you might as kiss the title goodbye. Always ask yourself this simple but loaded question: Why would the pageant org want to work with you as a winner?

So going back to the initial question: does pre-pageant activities matter? Definitely yes! You may not be scored in these activities but you are definitely being judged…

The Art of War: the Pageantry Edition

Today’s post is taken directly from a page on the “How to Destroy a Pageant Girl Playbook” from one of the pageant factions in the country. This playbook illustrates how one is able to destroy any pageant girl’s chances of winning with lies, intrigues and manipulation. This is not going to be a “feel good” post, but rather one that every Filipina pageant girl should be aware of.
It is important that you not only strategize on the competition itself (your wardrobe, styling, training, etc…) but also form a “defensive strategy” for anything that will paint you in a negative light.

Disclaimer: the following items in this blogpost will feature gossips and rumors heavily. There are no ‘factual’ basis to prove or disprove them. These are all whispers on what goes on behind the glitz of pageantry and it is up to the discretion of the reader whether or not to believe/ heed them.
Destroying a pageant girl’s dream is too easy in the world of online pageant portals. All one has to do is to post it on social media, repeat it a few more times and just let it go viral. Fake news and propaganda is much easier to do nowadays. So to help pageant hopefuls to be on their guard, here are some of the things that some pageant factions and groups do to pull you down and how can you protect yourself from them. Continue reading “The Art of War: the Pageantry Edition”

What is the Perfect Age to Join Pageants?

Age is not just a matter of number but rather of maturity and confidence. But there are rules on age requirements when it comes to pageantry and that is our topic of discussion in today’s blogpost.

The average age of a Miss Universe winner is 20.17 years old, but the contestants can be anywhere from 18 years old to 27 years old. The average age of Miss World winners is at 19.41 and  is considered to be the youngest among the 4 Alpha pageants. The average Miss International winner is at 20.7 years old. While the Miss Earth winners are averaging at 21.88 years old. NOTE: For the average ages of the MU, MW, MI & MI pageants, we included the ages of the dethroned winners. 
If we put these data all together, it seems that the optimal age to join an international pageant is between the ages of 20 to 22 years old. However, that might not be the case in this past 10 years. (We’ve made an earlier post on age and the Alpha pageant winners here)

Looking at the median age of the Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss World and Miss Earth winners for the past 10 years, we see that most of them are moving towards the mid-20s. During the years 2007-2017, the median age of the winners now range between 23 to 24 years old. This could be interpreted that pageant organizations are looking for women who have substantial life experience to bring into the title. Those that are on their mid-20’s have already had enough work experience and educational attainments to brag about. The fact that pageants have continually pushed their age limits to include women between the ages of 26 to 28 years old proves that. The latest improvements of Miss International and Miss Earth to allow 27 year-olds to compete in their pageant are great moves on their part… and perhaps a message that women with life experiences are now more valued.

Teenage winners may not have enough life experiences as compared to women in their mid-20’s. They might not even have finished college and perhaps not yet equipped with qualifications for the role of a spokesperson for a pageant. Of course there are exemptions to this but they tend to be rare finds. The trend of having teenage winners are on the wane with only 5 out of 40 alpha queens in the past decade. The Miss Earth pageant only had one teenage winner in its history and the Miss Universe pageant only had 1 teenage winner in the last decade. Only Miss World has been crowning more than 4 teenagers in the past 20 years.
But then again those are just numbers. They cannot be the gauge of maturity, confidence and attitude of each of the winners. What we do know is that in terms of age, being young is generally not an advantage.

Pageant Training Basics: Part 3

This is the final part of the three-part series on the things you need to know regarding the basics of pageant training…
What do you need to mentally prepare for a pageant? Today’s final blog post on the basics you need to know about pageant preparation and training covers three intangibles:
1. Q&A/ Interview
2. Personality development
3. Pageant etiquette

Have a Winning Personal Introduction – The personal introduction answers the common question: Could you tell us something about yourself? A winning introduction is one that describes who you are, what you are interested in or passionate about and what makes you qualified for the title. It is something short of a short but concise way of selling yourself to the judges. It should pique their interest so that they ask you more questions about yourself. If judges are asking you more personal questions, it means that they are interested with you.
Don’t Fake It! – Faking your answers during the interviews is one of the biggest mistake you can make. Always be truthful and honest when asked about your opinions but remember to be nice and polite when saying your piece. If you do not know the topic, you can respond telling them you don’t know much about the topic or  ask to clarify the question. You can try to take contextual clues from the question itself. But if the answer escapes you, be honest that you have limited knowledge about the topic.

Get to Know Who You Are – there is an exercise book used by a number of personal/ life coaches that can be useful for pageant girls. The book forces you to know yourself better on a personal, psychological & emotional level. Who are you? What values do you stand for? How would you describe yourself as a human being? How do you define your humanity? Those are just a number of tough questions you have to answer as you work introspectively on yourself. Knowing who you are is the best confidence building exercise you can ever do. It trumps any other cosmetic confidence booster as you are strong in your core foundations.
Practice Makes Perfect – commit to frequent and regular practice for interviews, walking, hair and makeup preparation, and training for physical fitness. Aside from the mental preparation, nothing beats the added boost of knowing you prepared physically for the competition at hand. This means that you bring yourself at your best for the pageant.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Candidates – there will be times when your confidence will be tested specially at the midst of competition. Stop yourself when you start comparing yourself to other girls. Stop yourself when you find yourself getting envious of other girls’ wardrobe or physical traits. Know that who you are is enough to make you win.

– It pays to be professional in pageants without loosing your personality. If you are the quiet type, no need to put on an outgoing front just to get the judges and organization to like you. If you are the naturally outgoing type, then be just that, without making it appear that you aren’t taking the pageant seriously.

Etiquette and Attitude Matters – acting like a Diva or like God’s gift to pageantry will not get you anywhere. Do not act as if the world revolves around you because it doesn’t. Nowadays, pageant orgs have a hand in selecting the semi-finalist or even the winner. So if they see you as a potential problem to work with then you might not get the chance to even advance to the semis, much less to win the title. You have to go into the pageants with the mindset that you are competing with ladies who are just as qualified for the title as you. So do not think you are superior in any way. Learn a thing or two on basic etiquette so you don’t look out of place when you are dining or talking with sponsors, politicians, and judges.
That concludes the basics of pageant training. We here at Sashes&Scripts encourage pageant hopefuls to be selective with who they get as coaches and mentors. Make sure that the ones you work with are ones who you feel good working with and one who will make you take ownership of your pageant journey.
Re-read the entire series with these links:
1. Pageant Training Part 1 – Aesthetics
2. Pageant Training Part 2 – Pasarela & Posture
3. Pageant Training Part 3 -Attitude & Personality

Pageant Training Basics: Part 2

Most pageant girls who are aspiring to join competitions at the local or national pageants are usually lost when it comes to pageant training and preparations. More so for those who are without resources, financial or otherwise to contact, pay and be trained by pageant professionals and coaches.

Our three-part series aims to cover a wide range of topics on a pageant girl’s preparations for those who are still new to pageantry. Our topic today  includes two key points that all pageant girls must know and learn:
1. Pasarela/ walking exercises
2. Posture/ Poise

The Pageant Walk
More commonly known in the Latin world as the ‘Pasarela’, the pageant walk is loads more complicated than the catwalk modelling that we see on fashion shows. In fashion shows, the model is selling the clothes she wears. In pageants, the pageant girl has to use the clothes to show off her personality and ‘sell herself’ to the judges as the potential winner.

There are multitudes of methodology in terms of teaching how to walk but it must all involve 3 major aspects: Stride, Turns and Center of Gravity.
CENTER OF GRAVITY – Emphasis on the body’s center of gravity should be paid attention to as wearing high heels forces the body to arch the back, makes both the pelvis and chest thrust forward, the butt clenches and sticks out, the muscles of the calves are tightened, and the body’s center of gravity is shifted forward. The body does this to compensate for the weaker balance. (I would suggest everyone to read more here.) This makes the posture look alert and looks very visually appealing.
STRIDE – when  walking in heels, a woman’s stride becomes shorter because of the change in the center of gravity of the body*.  When walking in a straight line the hip movement is exaggerated as the pelvic bones sways higher because of the elevated heel. Studies show that the change in gait makes women look more attractive**. This is why catwalk coaches emphasize the hip sway and longer graceful stride.
TURNS – Most pageant coaches would also advise to walk from the heel to toe but that is easier said than done. High heel forces the entire weight of the body towards the ball of the foot instead of the more spread out pressure on the entire foot.  This is why it is better advised to take two half turns than a full turn as it may throw anyone’s center of balance.

Body Posture for Pageants
Pageant hopefuls are taught to stand, sit, pose and smile a certain way.  Emphasis is made on proper posture. While high heels tend to pull up the body straight and upward, it does not guarantee the best visual posture that pageant girls might aim for. The head has to be held perpendicular to the floor and should not held forward. The neck should be in alignment with the shoulder. The shoulders shouldn’t be rounded but straight, no over arching of the back and the knees should not lock tight.
THE POSE – In some cases, the pageant stance requires some adjustments to make the girls look taller, leaner and visually longer. This is why some pageant coaches teaches their student to twist their hips higher with whichever foot is forwarded to create an illusion of longer legs. Some would advise pageant girls to put their hands on the hip instead of the natural waist to emphasize a smaller waist. Or to keep their hands at the sides to create a longer visual appearance.

Nowadays, there are no hard and fast rules on how pageant girls are to sit properly in closed-door interviews. Some may still adapt how the royals sit by slanting their legs and tucking one ankle at the back. This is called the Windsor tuck. Others may prefer crossing their legs, provided that they aren’t wearing short skirts.
THE PAGEANT SMILE – there are a number of ways to smile. Most common is the full on smile with teeth showing. This is the most common pageant way to smile, but this could be tiring and could potentially dry your mouth. A trick pageant girls use is to use vaseline on your teeth and gums to make the teeth look shinier and to prevent drying of the mouth. Then there is the smaller smile with teeth. This is perhaps the best type of smile as it won’t tire you quickly. Then there is the smirk, or the shy smile without teeth. This is the most enigmatic type of smile, and certainly very intriguing. Then finally we have the “smize” which Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach is so fondly known for. It is a type of ‘sexy face’ that uses more of the eyes than the lips.
A good pageant coach can explain more of these in detail and could tailor-make the type of smile, pose and walk that would work for a pageant girl’s personality and body type. This is why selecting a pageant coach that can give you more one-on-one coaching is important. So be very picky on who you want to work with.
To learn more about the basics, here are the links to the entire series:
1. Pageant Training Part 1 – Aesthetics
2. Pageant Training Part 2 – Pasarela & Posture
3. Pageant Training Part 3 -Attitude & Personality


Pageant Training Basics: Part 1

After our blog post on whether beauty queens are born or made, we got a number of queries regarding pageant training. What areas does a basic pageant training and preparation should cover?
This three-part series will try to cover a wide range of topics on a pageant girl’s preparations. Today’s post will cover topics which includes:
1. Wardrobe building
2. Gym training and physical fitness
3. Makeup and hair classes

Essential Elements of Pageant Wardrobe Building
One must understand that being in your best means having a pageant wardrobe that showcases the best in you. A pageant wardrobe would usually consist of your day dresses and outfits, cocktail dresses for the evening activities, evening gowns and competition gown/s, swimsuits, a national costume, and an interview outfit. You are expected to have your own accessories and shoes (aside from those that the pageant sponsors would provide), makeup for daily use (as some makeup sponsors would only be present during prelims and finals) and personal hygienic products and toiletries.
More on pageant wardrobe building here and here. Continue reading “Pageant Training Basics: Part 1”

Who Should Comprise Your Pageant Glam Squad?

Whether you agree or not, nobody can deny the rise of the individual glamsquad. That is why for today’s blogpost we will be listing out who should be comprising your team…

While the glamsquad may not take the over the traditional pageant camp in terms of training, it does help so much with the day to day activities of the competition. They would be the one to make sure that you are taken cared of during the daily activities and they provide help that is tailor-fit for you. One of the good things about having your own glamsquad is that it is not totally mutually exclusive with having a pageant camp, just look at Karen Gallman, Jehza Huelar and Eva Patalinjug… They are proof that you can have both a camp and a dedicated glamsquad attending to you.
Imagine having 20 ladies dolled up by just a team of 5 hair and makeup artists, compared to a team of 3-4 people just focused on you. The odd sounds a bit better doesn’t it?
So you have now decided to go through the pageant with your own glamsquad. You ask yourselves, who should comprise of your glamsquad?
* Head fashion stylist – he/ she is the one that takes in your personality to fit in with your overall style while making sure it fits your best features and body structure. The head stylist makes sure that you don’t go out half baked for your public appearances and troubleshoots any issues that may arise in terms of your overall packaging and style.
* Hairstylist – plays up which hairstyle would be best for your face shape and should be able to teach you simple hairstyles you can do on your own come pageant proper.
* Makeup artist – brings out your best facial features and helps you to eliminate having the wrong type of makeup.
* Catwalk coach – should bring out the power and presence when you do your walk and poses. The catwalk coach should know your personality and matches that with your style of walk.
* Designers – your designers should be able to doll you up with outfits that you and your stylist have planned together. Your daily dresses can be a mix of designer pieces and clothes bought from the racks.
Evening gown designer, should be able to create you a competition gown. A competition gown must be a standout from the rest of the gown you would typically wear.
National Costume designer, should have a deeply rooted appreciation for the culture he or she is representing in his creation.
Accessories designer, from shoes to jewelry to nails and others. Each should help to bring out the overall image as you and your stylist planned.
* A “Go-To” Photographer/ Videographer – you will be needing glamshots, videos and photos for the duration of the pageant. In fact, you will be needing application photos like headshots and a full body pic as well. These would be helpful in being constantly visible throughout the pageant in the eyes of the pageant fans.
* Interview/ Public Speaking coach – one of the important key peoples in your team. Luckily, there are public speaking seminars provided the likes of Speechpower, Guthrie-Jensen, Speech Comm Center Manila and TalkShop (just google them for details) that could help you out. There are other schools and universities that give special lessons as well regarding interview skills and public speaking.
* Social Media Manager – this is one of the lesser known but highly important members of your team as he/she should be building your brand in social media. The role of the socmed specialist also translates to manage your image and relationship with fans, coordinate with your head of team the optimal release of updates & photos, and the crucial damage control should there be any negative gossips directed towards you.
There may be more additional auxiliary people that could be added to this list but these above so far should be present. Surely there are more individuals that can be named into the list but the above people should be at the core of your team.
This is a further update of a 2 year-old article that I have written regarding building a pageant glamsquad. This article explains a little more in detail what the previous article may have missed out.