Teen finds pageants help build confidence
Justice Thompson knows that beauty pageants get stereotyped, just as other activities are perceived in a certain way.
But she has discovered that being in pageants helps girls be comfortable in their own skin.
Thompson, 16, an incoming senior at Aubrey High School, recently won the Miss Texas Teen title, which included 85 contestants. The state contest was held in Dallas.
She now will compete at the National American Miss Teen contest in in Anaheim, Calif. She will compete against contestants from across the country over the Thanksgiving weekend.
“This isn’t my first state title,” she said. “I won Miss Pre-Teen Texas and Miss Junior Teen Texas, so this is my third state title for National American Miss.”
National American Miss contestants are judged on formal wear, personal introduction, interview and community service.
Platforms are not required for the contestants, but girls can pursue one if they wish, Thompson said. Thompson’s platform revolves around health and fitness.
Thompson, who lives in Krugerville, is the varsity cheer captain at Aubrey High School. She also cheers for Texas Elite in Pilot Point. She is a member of FFA and has shown goats and breeding swine.
Being in pageants has helped Thompson learn poise and confidence and the importance of community service.
“With the personal interview competition, I love public speaking,” she said. “I’m not afraid to go to a meeting or to wherever it may be to give a speech about something I’m passionate about, no matter how long the speech it is. Because of that, I’m actually running for Texas FFA state officer where I have to do a public speech in front of 1,200 people. Not a lot of people can do that. The number one of American fear is public speaking, but I know how to do that really well.”
National American Miss, which is not part of the Miss America or Miss USA systems, makes the national event about “the girls and about the family time, rather than the crown and banner at the end of the week,” Thompson said.
To prepare for national event, she has to work on her interview skills and ensure she has the right wardrobe, Thompson said.
“Interviews kind of make it or break it for any pageant,” she said, explaining how one has to ensure not to use certain words – like “um” or “uh” – and avoid giving rehearsed responses.
Thompson, the daughter of Mike and Liberty Thompson, has two sisters, Addie and McKenna, and a brother, Ty. Justice intends to attend Texas Tech University and try out for the all-girl cheer squad or pledge a sorority. She is not sure what she wants to study at Tech.
Her father is proud of her accomplishment with moving on to the national event. “She has put in a lot of hard work, so it’s pretty exciting to watch her and watch the way she interacts with the girls she’s met,” Mike Thompson said.