A new pageant geared toward promoting an anti-bullying platform will be held in Hot Springs next month.
The first Miss Victorious pageant is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 19 in the Hot Springs Middle School auditorium. It will be open all girls 9 to 18 years old in the Hot Springs area, who will compete in four categories: Little Miss Victorious, Young Miss Victorious, Junior Miss Victorious and Miss Victorious.
Wilda Hughley, a French and Spanish teacher at Hot Springs Intermediate School and the organizer for the pageant, said the pageant is about self esteem, and is not a "beauty contest." The competition will include talent, formal wear and a written essay on "How Would You Promote Anti-Bullying In Your School and Your Community?"
The most points will be awarded for the essay, according to Hughley. The judges will choose the top five essays in each division to be read during the pageant. Those five will get a certificate from the "Bully No More" organization. Hughley said the formal wear can be anything from "Sunday best" to pageant wear to ensure participation is affordable for all contestants.
Hughley, the reigning Mrs. Hot Springs International and former Mrs. West Indies, promoted an anti-bullying platform. She said she first realized the need for more anti-bullying awareness when her own child was a victim of bullying. Hughley was also bullied while she attended school.
"I want to show the kids they have a voice," said Hughley.
The deadline to preregister for the pageant will be the first week of March. Last minute registration will be available at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the pageant. The fee will be $50 for entry. Contestants must submit their essay, a photo and their entry fee.
Proceeds from entry fees and door admission will go to support the winners as they travel around spreading the anti-bullying message, including visiting schools and Arkansas Children's Hospital. Part of the proceeds will go to support a school in Haiti, where Hughley immigrated from in 2000.
All contestants will be awarded a crown. The four winners will each receive a large crown, a sash, a trophy and a gift.
"I want these young girls to get their power back and feel they are beautiful," said Hughley.
Call Hughley at 762-1851 or email her at [email protected] for more information.Local on 02/22/2016