“We enjoy Pageants for a Purpose because it teaches Bella to give back to the community and help those in need and teaches her that there is more than just outer beauty — beauty starts within,” she said.
Bella is the reigning Queen of Hearts with the Miss Hearts of the USA system. She will be competing for the state title in Columbus Sept. 20 and 21.
“Queen of Hearts is the most prestigious title a contestant can receive [in this pageant]. She was awarded this title for
collecting the most canned foods and non-perishable food items out of the other contestants,” Mrs. Smith said.
Bella started pageants when she was a year old. She has competed in about 13 pageants, and has won seven titles and placed six times. Mrs. Smith said pageants help bring out her daughter’s personality and gives her a chance to have social interaction.
Dallas resident and Berry College student Brittany Deaville is the reigning Miss Teen Galaxy 2014. The 18-year-old started competing in pageants when she was 13. In the past she has competed in five to six a year, but pageant rules dictate she can only hold her current title. Once she is able to compete again she plans to go for the Miss Georgia USA crown. Her ultimate goal would be to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, she said. Her mother, Terrie Deaville, said Deaville has been able to learn life skills such as public speaking and community service through pageants.
“It is more than dressing up,” she said.
Deaville’s platform is the nonprofit she founded, Color Me Beautiful, which donates coloring books and crayons to children in need. She said the idea behind it is, “Empowering children through the world of color.”
Through the nonprofit she has donated more than 5,000 coloring books.
In the world of pageantry there is a specific level of competition for married women. Hiram resident Engle Coulter is Mrs. Paulding County and has competed for the Mrs. Georgia America title twice.
“It was my husband’s idea,” she said.
Coulter is a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. When she returned from a six-month tour in Iraq her husband, Roy Coulter, encouraged her to try pageants. The 39-year-old had never competed in one before. She said while in Iraq she learned to live “with no regrets” so she went for it.
The mother of two was second runner-up in the recent 2013 Mrs. Georgia competition and she plans to go for the crown again next year. All of the competitors agreed there is a financial cost to pageants, but how much someone spends depends on the individual.