Junior wins Miss Teen Fort Worth title
Junior Aloria Prince stands backstage, waiting for the Miss Teen Fort Worth 2012 pageant to begin. It is only her second pageant, but her hopes are high. All around her is chaos as the other contestants prepare to go onstage. Girls apply their makeup and organize clothes for the night’s dress competitions of evening and fitness wear. She joins them, carefully arranging her glittering pink dress, her athletic shorts and the matching red top.
The other contestants begin their pre-pageant rituals. Some take deep breaths. Others sing to themselves to loosen nerves and relieve tension. Prince sits. And she prays.
A Christian who regularly attends Westside Baptist in Lewisville, Prince believes that religion is a key part of a person.
“Religion is who you are, not something to hide,” Prince said.
Prince stated that her religion is one of her biggest inspirations to help those who need it and spread hope. In her eyes, victory is spreading a cause for the betterment of others, not simply a plastic crown and a title.
She knows her mother is out in the audience, a huge supporter as always, even more nervous than Prince herself. All throughout, Prince keeps her goal in mind. She thinks of what her purpose is tonight.
“Everyone has to have a platform,” Prince said. “Mine is hope. It’s about getting the community involved.”
The contestants’ platforms vary, including things like spreading education or feeding the hungry. However, Prince says these are not the stereotypical catty contestants who are at each other’s throat during a pageant. There is no overbearing hate between them, no petty fights.
“Sure, there is competition,” said Prince. “But it’s like a sisterhood.”
Prince reflects back on the months leading up to the pageant. She had attended monthly interview training to prepare for an interview with the judges. Prince also exercised and maintained a low-fat diet with the help of a personal trainer. Restaurants like McDonalds were out of the picture.
“We worked out every morning before school,” Prince said. “It’s all about presenting a healthy lifestyle and image, which is good.”
Indeed, this goes hand-in-hand with Prince’s platform, “hope,” which she stated is all about bettering the community and getting people involved. In fact, Prince, who is also a Marquette, hopes to start a free dance camp for girls in LISD, as well as dance classes at CCA.
“Aloria is a very strong, quiet leader,” head Marquette coach Alice Dack said. “She leads by example.”
However, training for the pageant was not the only challenge she had to overcome. She suffered from floating kneecaps, as well as having torn her MCL, a joint behind her knee.
“I had to be careful since my talent in pageants is dance,” said Prince.
Prince soon finds it is time for the talent portion of the competition. She steps onto the stage, prepared to perform her much-practiced dance routine.
Prince’s dancing is only one part in a four part competition. Aside from the fashion contests of evening and fitness wear, she will also have to win a talent portion as well as succeed in a question and answer session.
Even though the interview is worth the most points, the most important part of the pageant to her is using it to get her message across.
“I did this pageant because I saw an opportunity for scholarships and service,” Prince said. “And it was my last year before I aged out, so I thought I might as well try.”
Next year, she will no longer be able to enter the teen competition.
Before she knows it, the pageant is reaching its end. Prince stands on the stage with the other contestants, waiting in anticipation for the name of the winner to be announced. The announcer steps forward.
Overcome with emotion, she steps forward as applause fills the audience.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Prince said.
Prince won the title of Miss Teen Fort Worth 2012. She plans to compete in the next Miss Teen Texas pageant. Prince said this means the training will continue, but so will her message.
“For me, what’s important is spreading a good message to the community,” Prince said. “I feel like I accomplished that.”