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Miss Artesia Contestant Gives ‘Inside Look’ Into Saturday’s Pageant

Miss Artesia contestant Varshini Satish.

Miss Artesia contestant Varshini Satish.

Note: This Saturday is the Miss Artesia and Miss Artesia Teen Pageant that will be held at the Albert O. Little Community Center.  Los Cerritos Community Newspaper wishes all of the contestants the very best of luck.  Here is a “first hand” look at the pageant from the “inside” from Varshini Satish, who is one of the Miss Artesia contestants. 

By Varshini Satish

What is the first thing that comes to mind when the word “pageant” is spoken?

Is it disturbing and horrific images of toddlers getting tans and donning fake eyelashes and a dress running into the thousand dollar range strutting about on stage? Or is it the same scenario just altered a bit for a different age group drawing in television viewers from all over the world?  All these and more were the first thoughts that popped into my head and most certainly my parent’s, as I handed them a flyer for a pageant. Whatever the images that first come to mind, I decided to participate in a pageant myself.

I first heard about the Miss Artesia and Miss Teen Artesia pageant through a senior in my school who insisted that I would love it just as she had during her time on the court.  I glanced at the paper she had given me and had my reservations, but she again insisted that I would love it and it required more than what I thought, stressing the fact that it was based on one’s speaking skills more than sequins.  With that, my interest was piqued as I am an active member of my school’s Model United Nations team which stresses communication skills.  That evening, I showed my parents the flyer I had been given and when the time for the informational meeting came, I dragged my mother to it.

Scanning the room at that very first meeting, my mother and I were relieved to see some familiar faces from my school which put both of us more at ease knowing that I would not be alone in this totally new experience.  Erin Miranda, the director of the pageant for the past few years and a princess herself previously, led the meeting in an informative and assertive style, again emphasizing that the pageant went far beyond looking for that “classic pageant queen,” and demanded more time, energy, and focus than any of us thought.

That first meeting was more than a month and a half ago, and everything Ms. Erin said has held true.  All the contestants have been meeting each Saturday morning from 11am – 1pm going over speaking skills, presence, and grace to prepare us for this weekend.  The girls I have met come from various backgrounds and each has a unique personality and I have enjoyed learning from them all.  Taking part in this process has completely changed my perspective of what the title of a pageant queen means from just a tiara and dress to a community representative who highlights all the best qualities of the community she comes from. Regardless of what happens at the pageant which is split into a closed interview by the judges, an evening gown, an onstage question, and active wear section, the lessons of poise, compassion, dedication, and communication that I have learned from these practices are ones that I know I will carry on into the future.