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What would you say to a young girl who wanted to enter a pageant?

The Career Of A Beauty Queen

Christina Silva (Miss Los Angeles 2008 ) gives expert video advice on: What would you say to a young girl who wanted to enter a pageant?; Why did you enter beauty pageants?; What did you think of pageant girls before you became one? and more...

What would you say to a young girl who wanted to enter a pageant?

You really have to be interested in doing it and a little bit of what I saw during the weekend of the competition, I felt that maybe a lot of these women did it because of their mothers or fathers or family members have them do it. And I think you within yourself really want to be that pageant girl and really want to pursue that lifestyle. But I think at the end of the day be yourself. I know there's certain ways you have to walk and certain ways you have to walk and there's certain ways you have to speak and that's always flexible but at the end of the day you still have to be true to yourself. Because if not you are just going to be that typical pageant girl that says “World Peace” all the time to every answer. And if you're not creative and intellectual you're not going to go very far.

Why did you enter beauty pageants?

Well I entered the Ms. California USA beauty competition right around the Tara Connor Scandal who was the Ms. USA 2006 I believe and she was having her press conference where Mr. Donald Trump was saying “I want to give her a second chance”. You know she had an alcohol problem, she had drug addiction I mean she was really on a dark path and I completely agree with giving second chances and I completely agree that none of us are perfect, but I just thought this is Ms. USA who represents the women of USA and I just felt a little uncomfortable with that being so easily saying I'll give you a second chance and we'll just move on from this. I don't know I sort of looked at it and said you know here I'm working very hard, and I'm pursuing my goals and I'm trying to with the highest morals and to my integrity and I just said if she went this far in life I think I can dare myself and do it too. And not to judge her and I'm not trying to say I'm better she's better and what not. But I'm just saying I just felt like what do I have to lose you know I can do it. So I just dared myself I went online saw the application dared myself and I said well okay we'll see what comes of it and the rest is history.

What did you think of pageant girls before you became one?

I never was a Pageant girl and I felt that Pageants sometimes didn't really show the true feeling and emotions of a woman who is on the stage. I actually was watching the Tara Conner “scandal” that happened with Mr. Trump and she was the former Miss USA and I was watching it and I thought two things. I said she's supposed to be a role model for Miss USA, she is representing all the women of USA and I thought that was just bizarre and just thought that's such a horrible description of what a role model should be. And the second thing I thought was, well I don't have a shady background and I go to school and I travel and I pretty much do the right things and I said, if she can do it, I can do it. So it just sort of prompted me to be like I'm going to try this out. And it was completely a dare to myself and it was never this idea that I want to do pageants my whole life. I told myself this will be my first and last and I won, so it was a pretty cool accomplishment.

What does it take to win a pageant?

Well, there is an application process, you have to send in your photo and give general information to the production company. Once they like you and see your photo, they'll give you an interview. The interview was about ten minutes long, just asking bio questions about; what you like to do, where you're from, where do you see yourself in five years, etcetera. From there they ask you what city would you like to represent, and of course I said Los Angeles. Once they accept you, you become that title. Los Angeles doesn't have its own individual competition, so when I called they spoke to me via phone for the interview. I said, "I want to represent Los Angeles." and they replied, "Great, you sound great and we want you to represent Los Angeles." So I gave them the entry fee, I officially became the Miss Los Angeles representative. So that was that, I just had a personal trainer and she was great. I worked with her for a good two and a half, three months right before the competition. I had lots of wardrobe, you need to have great wardrobe. I think my wardrobe really stood me out, I mean I stood out with my wardrobe. I had some really outrageous outfits and people were like, "Oh, my gosh! What're you wearing?" People would come up to me and comment on my shoes and my jewelry- that was great because I felt like I was not in the same box as everyone else. So I felt really proud about that, that and being yourself and just knowing every day, I'm going to get up and I'm going to work hard and I'm going to win the title. I'm going to get up, I'm going to work hard, and I'm going to become Miss USA. I told myself that every single day, even up to that morning of the competition. I woke up and I said, "I am Miss California USA", and that evening, I was. So hard work, dedication, integrity, being true to yourself, that's what it takes.

What did you think you could gain from winning a pageant?

I said, it's going to be a great launching pad to meet people in the media and meet people in the entertainment industry. This is under Mr. Donald Trump, who everybody knows and he's global. I've never felt that Ms. USA was not a good place for a young lady. I've always thought Ms. USA's a great competition, beautiful and intelligent women, so I've always respected the actual competition.

Why is the entrance fee so steep?

We were at a very expensive hotel so I'm wondering if it had something to do with covering us for that? But, I don't know, I believe it is incredibly overpriced and that's why I got sponsors. I got wonderful sponsors, my family, friends, my parents, co-workers. We all pitched in to sponsor me because the competition in general is very expensive, adding entry fee, adding wardrobe, adding transportation, it got a little steep.

How much did it cost you to participate in the Miss California Pageant?

The amount that it cost for the competition, I believe depends on the young lady. For me, my personal experience, I really needed sponsors. I really needed the support of my friends and family. They pitched in, and everyone was so supportive. So, wardrobe for me came out with evening gown with swimsuit with just outfits to wear for media to go out in, shoes, earrings, close to probably six grand, or five grand. That's not just sponsor money, that was out of my pocket, and working hard just to get the perfect shoes, for the perfect earrings, for the perfect jeans, for the perfect blouse, etc., etc.