I was studying communications and acting, and I decided over the summer that I wanted to work on my acting skills and perform in a pageant. I didn't have any other way of practicing, so I entered the Miss Rhode Island pageant. I ended up wearing a dress that was a $20 rental. It was too short, and there was a hole in the back of it.
If you're comfortable with yourself, then you'll look beautiful. If you're not feeling comfortable with yourself, than that kind of shows. I think that as cheesy as the pageant industry can be seen at times, it actually does help women - boosting their confidence and growing into their own. I have to give it credit for that.