27 girls, young women vie for Miss Victoria crowns

July 9, 2014 at 2:09 a.m.

Just a few years ago, Taylor Beardon's friends would be surprised to learn she would compete in a Miss Victoria pageant.

Saying she's been described as shy, the 10-year-old Victoria girl "wanted to overcome my fear of being in front of everybody." She has two pageants under her belt now, earning a Little Miss Victoria crown in 2011, and she plans to compete again Saturday, vying for the Young Miss Victoria crown.

"I wanted to show that I could have the confidence in myself and do what other people can't," said Taylor.

Taylor joins 26 girls and young women this weekend at the Victoria Fine Arts Center for the 45th annual Miss Victoria Pageant, vying for one of four titles: Little Miss Victoria (ages 4 to 7), Young Miss Victoria (ages 8 to 11), Junior Miss Victoria (ages 12 to 15) and Miss Victoria (ages 16 to 20). The girls and young women are competing for more than $800 in cash and prizes in each category.

Contestants will participate in an opening dance routine and compete in four competitions in which they each will have a personal interview, deliver a prepared speech based on a prompt, participate in a formal wear segment and answer a final question if they become a finalist.

The Victoria competition teaches girls and young women life skills, pageant coordinator Bennett Cain said, highlighting how the contest helps with gaining confidence and acquiring networking and interviewing skills. Some contestants' parents have expressed apprehension about their children competing, Cain said.

"'They're so shy. We don't know if they'll do good,'" Cain recalled them saying, "and we tell them to just try, and they blossom."

The Victoria pageant is unlike other pageants because it focuses on the community and promotes service in it, she said.

"Ours is truly for the town of Victoria," Cain said. "We want someone who truly represents the town of Victoria. We're not in it for the crown and the glitz."



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