"pageant" 101: never take yourself too seriously

Woah woah woah.... don't go assuming that this post is only for pageant goers. In fact, I hate societies depiction of the word "pageant." A pageant, by definition, is:
"a public entertainment consisting of a procession of people in elaborate, colorful costumes, or an outdoor performance of a historical scene."
... understood to me as how one carries and presents themselves to the world. We are all performing, whether we know it or not, or frankly like it or not. So why not take every opportunity to improve and reign like the queen you are?[!!!]

Pageant Tip #1
Never take yourself too seriously.

 When you subject yourself to judgment you're asking for just that, judgment. We all subject ourselves to judgment every day, the slight difference is pageant queens do it on a stage. In order to showcase yourself the best way that you can you must take it lightly and recognize that the judgment is not a reflection of you, it's a reflection of the judge mixed with how you are allowing yourself to be perceived by them. Phew- doesn't that feel better? Now let it all out. Prance around like the winner you are. Take feedback for what it is, learn from it, grow from it, and straight up discard it if you find no true value from it or alignment to who you know in your heart you are meant to be.

As a titleholder you must be approachable. How can you be approachable if you can't even approach and accept yourself? You must live your adventures with an intention of playfulness. It's how you give the most and get the most from even the most uncomfortable situations. Who doesn't love a girl who can laugh at her own flaws and recognizes them as areas of growth or quirks to who she is? By taking yourself too seriously you expect others to take you too seriously... which just means you're building an even higher pedestal to fall from ...because even the greatest fall, the only difference is that they know how to survive the impact.

So you win some you lose some. I had a hard realization last October. It was right before the Miss New Mexico USA pageant and I was practicing my interview with some pageant friends. I was taking myself & the goal I was working towards SO seriously. My friend could undeniably see that and he said to me "I had never seen that in you before Brittany, I was so surprised. You can't let this be 'do or die'. You just can't." That was a long ride home. The next morning I woke up from a sore slap in the face- thankfully. It's because of that push to realizing the abandonment of my true self that I was able to glide through my night at the Miss New Mexico USA pageant a few weeks later. As I sat backstage before the top 5 were about to be announced I thought to myself "It's ok, this isn't the end. Regardless of the outcome I'll still walk off the stage as Brittany Toll and I'll still be greeted the exact same way by the exact same incredible friends & family who came to support me." I tell you it was the strangest feeling in the whole world. I even asked myself "Wait? Don't I want this? Why am I willing to accept either outcome?" It was because I had finally realized that it wasn't "do or die" like my wise friend had said.

Not too long ago a newly acquired friend told me "I love that I can just poke fun at you and tell you how it is and you never get upset or take it personal." Now of course let me say this- you have to have your limits, if he was out-of-line then of course I would put my foot down, but everything we joke about is true. I have learned that the best way for me to live is to just accept myself for who I am, and learn to laugh at my unique quirks. It's much easier to laugh with the crowd then to go against them. I realized at that point that I had learned this skill from pageantry and didn't even know it. It was a vital skill for me to learn and it has provided me ease & joy through all of my experiences on & off the stage.

So, be it a sparkly new crown you seek, or simply a life of amusement, learn from your inner queen; it's never too serious. It's never "do or die." It's about you being you and taking the courage to embrace that. Have fun with yourself and prance your love around in your tallest heels on the biggest stage under the brightest spotlight. You will love yourself more & you will effortlessly allow others to feel the same way.

sparkles & love,

...stay tuned for more pageant tips and email, Tweet, comment, or snail mail me any thoughts about what you would like me to deep dive into a bit more. Cheers!


  1. This is just lovely and can be applied to any performing art! :)

  2. Aww I loved this so much! Thank you for writing it. Its really important to remember this. So you don't get lost in the whole prep part. Sometimes its very stressful and you start to expect a lot from yourself that you have to just hit the pause button and look at it from afar. Ask yourself if you start over trying to the point where it just doesn't feel comfortable or like who you really are.

  3. This is truly really sweet and sincere. You are absolutely beautiful and God is really using you to do great things!

  4. Your are truly a QUEEN, inside & out. Thanks, thanks bunches! Xoxo :)