THE BLOG
29/01/2018 12:10 GMT | Updated 29/01/2018 12:10 GMT

A Real Insight Into The Pageant World

There are a lot of rumours about pageant life, some true, some not true, and others true but only within certain systems. I am writing this article to try to clear up some of the rumours, and educate people on what pageants are really about and why some systems are better than others.

Gemma Taylor
The moment I was crowned Miss Transgender UK 2017/18

So, the first thing is why would anyone want to compete in a pageant? Well, several reasons. In the right pageant, your competitors actually form a huge family. You end up being pageant sisters, you support each other and help each other. This kind of sisterhood is so close and you all have the same interests at heart. It is an amazing bond that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

The second reason is the good that pageants do for the community. Most decent systems will have one or more nominated charities, and as a contestant, you must fundraise for those. This only does one thing — it promotes charity work and does good for all. It helps the charities and enables the contestants to feel they are contributing to a good cause. Fundraising is hard work and can be stressful, but it is so worth it when you are on stage and hear the total amount you have all raised together.

The third reason is to feel amazing. Leading up to a pageant finals is stressful, to say the least, but when you are all dressed up in a fabulous dress, with your hair and make-up done to perfection, and standing on stage feeling a million dollars, it is a feeling like no other.

A pageant is not just a pageant. There are different types of pageant and they have different requirements for competition.

Charity pageants are often based on the highest amount of charity money raised to win. These are excellent for the community and show a lot about the person entering. They will still include catwalks or some kind of stage show, and these pop up all over for different causes.

Natural beauty pageants are often based on a number of things. These include charity fundraising, appearances, an interview by a panel of judges, and involve a number of rounds. Some have a swimsuit round, creative or inspirational round, party wear round, eco round (make an outfit from recycled materials), and nearly all (I’ve never seen one without) finish with the evening wear round (ball gowns). These pageants are usually scored by a panel of judges, who take everything into consideration on a point-scoring system. International level pageants often include a talent round and a bikini round, with some live questions on stage.

Glitz pageants are high fashion pageants where there is no such thing as too much fake tan or sparkle. There has been a lot of divided opinion on these, as many involve young children in fake tan, make-up, and being dressed up to the max. Some love them, some hate them. Glitz pageants are totally separate to natural beauty pageants.

I am a transgender female. This unfortunately puts HUGE restrictions on me in the pageant world. I am the winner and title holder Miss Transgender UK 2017/18. I decided after this I wanted to compete as a female with other females and not just in specific transgender pageants. After applying for one in the UK (one of the biggest), I made the grand finals. After talking to the director, she disqualified me for not being a “genetically-born female”, even though the Equality Act and Gender Recognition Act says I am female and have the rights as any other woman. It is CRUCIAL for anyone applying to take part in a pageant to read all the terms and conditions BEFORE applying. Some pageants discriminate against:

  • weight/size
  • age (depending on category)
  • if you have ever given birth to a child
  • tattoos
  • if you are married or have been married
  • you must be a genetically-born female/male (this is to exclude transgender applicants)

If like me, you apply, make the finals and then get kicked out, it is heartbreaking, so please please read the T&Cs. As wrong and discriminatory as some of the rules for certain pageants are, it will only end in heartache like it did for me at first. I am now in three pageants this year against natural born women ... I am finally being accepted as a woman... but there are very few systems like this.

I will soon be doing a blog on up-to-date pageants and their criteria for applying, to make life easier for anyone wishing to enter and form a pageant sisterhood. There really is nothing that compares to it.

My titles so far are:

  • Miss Transgender UK winner 2017/18
  • Transgender Top UK model 2017/18
  • Miss Enchanting World North Lincolnshire (I’m in the finals to compete for the full title)
  • Miss Severn Diamond Finalist (finals later this year)
  • Miss Mystic Beauty UK Finalist (finals later this year)

For my instagram up-dates, please feel free to follow me @beawoodofficial