This year, 2016, will probably be remembered as the Year of the Dethronements, as all over the world pageant winners, local, national and international, are being stripped of their titles. The reasons are quite varied and ultimately it comes down to a violation of the rules of the pageant involved.
As the recent, very sad, case of Genesis Davila clearly illustrates, it is imperative that you know your pageant’s rules and, more importantly, actually follow them.
Genesis’ dream was always to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. In 2012, after finishing as first runner-up to Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2013, Genesis represented her native Puerto Rico at Miss Intercontinental 2012 and ended up as first runner-up again. She later won the title of Miss World Puerto Rico 2014 and competed without placement at Miss World in London. It was evident that Miss World was not the right fit for her and that she was a Miss Universe kind of beauty queen.
Genesis moved to Florida and competed in the state’s prelim for Miss USA and lo and behold she won that title. Once again, she had a shot at the Miss Universe crown through the Miss USA pageant. Then it all came crashing down as Genesis was accused of breaking the Miss Florida USA pageant rules.
The saddest part is that in the scheme of rule violations, hers was a rather minor one. Genesis used professional stylists to prepare her on finals night and this is prohibited by her pageant’s rules.
Rules protect both the organisers and the contestants as they clarify where each stands with regard to the other and what is expected of each. Usually the rules clearly favour the organisers, however as long as they are clearly stated there is no excuse for violations.
When you register for a pageant, you are agreeing to their rules. You may think some of these rules are unnecessary or even ridiculous but you agree to them of your own accord. You give your word that you comply with and will follow all regulations and failure to do so demonstrates a total lack of integrity on your part, no matter what your opinion is of those rules.
So, the first step in joining any pageant is making sure you know all their rules, that you can comply with these and are willing to continue to comply and follow these rules.
Some contestants try to get away with not following the rules. Some even win their pageant. In the long run, the stress of having the Sword of Damocles hanging above their head will preclude them from properly enjoying their triumph. And in this day and digital age, you can be sure that eventually the truth will come out.
If the pageant’s rules are not for you, then the pageant itself is not for you.