Full disclosure: Until I saw this video, I considered myself to be a fairly anti-pageant sort of person. Even before Toddlers & Tiaras, the whole concept of women competing against each other based on how they look in formal wear (I know there are other categories, but still) always turned me off -- a feeling which only intensified after having my daughter.
But "The Pageant of Hope" is a different story entirely.
I'm thoroughly and completely impressed with former Miss Georgia Teen USA winner Jena Sims for creating "The Pageant of Hope," a non-competitive event for boys AND girls facing serious illnesses that has nothing to do with evening gowns or swimsuits.
"My pageant focuses on not what you look like on the outside, but inner beauty," says Sims.
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Sims started "The Pageant of Hope" as a way for "kids of all ages to shine in the spotlight in front of family and friends and be celebrated for who they are." Which, when you think about it, is an experience every child could benefit hugely from -- but none so much as these kids, who are already dealing with some of the toughest challenges life can throw at a person.
In my opinion, Jena Sims is the most "beautiful" Miss Teen USA winner ever.
Does "The Pageant of Hope" make you think differently about "beauty" pageants?