It’s almost Internationals Week!!
Being a former International Title holder I get asked a ton, and I mean A TON, of questions about Intetnaionals week. Is it fun? Are the girls sweet? What should we do? I’m here to answer those questions now with a little help from current and former title holders as well as the staff!
Dress to Impress
Yep all the time. No I’m not saying go out and buy a $300 shirt. Dress like the judges are watching you! That goes for your attitude as well! An IJM girl should always look and act flawless to the people around her. Thats the best kind of queens. And it’s also a great excuse to get that cute dress you’ve been eyeing!
-Tip from 2011 International Title holders
DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE! The most important thing to remember when you are competing this week is to just breathe, relax, and enjoy the moment. Pageantry can be stressful and often times filled with pressures; especially if you are a perfectionist and very critical of yourself (like me). So, the most important thing I have learned is that the judges are looking for a young woman who is genuinely enjoying herself! Pretend like you have already won and you are there to have fun and meet all the girls! Take each competition one at a time. Breathe before each!
Be goofy at the PJ party & Don’t think about Winning
-Tip from Brooke Harris, 2009 International Miss & 2015 IJM International Finals Judge’s Panel
I’ve seen girls stay so serious at the PJ party. Always trying to keep their “winning face” on. The PJ party is meant for you to have fun and let lose! You’ll burn yourself out if you stay focused all week. Have fun at the PJ party, goof off, make friends, and show everyone your fun personality! This part of the week IS NOT JUDGED, so what do you have to lose? Don’t start thinking “who is going to win”? Because judging hasn’t even began yet and you’ll ruin your own fun if you start psyching yourself out now! I love seeing girls let lose and showing me their favorite dance moves.
Orientation is not like another!!
-Tip from Abigail Aleman,2015 IJM International Princess
Orientation is so much fun! It is so exciting to watch the $1,000 per division giveaway. You heard right $1,000 EACH DIVISION! It was truly a pep rally. My tip would be to come ready to have lots of fun and make those signs to represent you and your state or country. Don’t worry about competing right now! Just worry about winning that $1,000!!
Listen in rehearsals
-Tip from Riley Alston, 2014 IJM International Jr. Teen
Every year there are some girls who wants to try and stand out and not do the walking pattern that has been given. I promise you, you will look silly if you do that. Listen to Brittany. She knows whats she doing. She is a sweetheart but she wants IJM to look incredible on NATIONAL TELEVISION. This is not a time to goof off and play. This is a time to focus on the patterns and listen to Britteny! But don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something! The production team is there to make you comfortable!
Follow The Queen:
Don’t stress the little things
-Tip from Taylor Jones, 2014 IJM International Teen
We are all guilty of snapping at our parents when one little thing doesn’t go right. Don’t stress the little things like a hair is out of place, or your makeup isn’t absolutely perfect, or even if you trip on stage (which is what I did my year). Okay that one isn’t a little thing but you get what I mean. This week is meant for so much more than JUST WINNING! Have fun and worry less. What ever happens happens!
Follow the Queen:
Don’t freak out in Interview
-Tip from Alanah Johnson, 2015 IJM International Jr. Princess
Focus on what you are doing and don’t be nervous. It’s okay, the judges are nice. You have to think quickly. Try not to say hmmm for a long time. Sit up, cross your legs, and look at your judges. Interview is fun so have fun and show the judges that you can do this. You are the one who can win this. I know you can! Most important, smile and show them that you are happy to be there!! Good Luck! Meet New People!
-Tip from Rebecca Dey (Fusco), 2013 IJM International Miss
Try to meet and talk to at least 5 people everyday! Get to know each girl in your division as much as possible, whether its just a hello, I love your dress or just a smile and wave. Most of the time those relationships from IJM week will last a lifetime! Some of my closest friends have come from IJM, so I would say get to know as many girls as possible. It’s so easy for us to congregate with the people we know, but the beautiful part of this industry is connecting with people we otherwise would never meet. The great thing about being a part of IJM is that get to meet girls from all over the world. So if you travel throughout the US or to another country, you may even have your own personal tour guide
Follow the Queen:
REST when you can!
-Tip from Julieanna Jackson, 2014 IJM International Pre-Teen
When you have time to rest, DO IT! Internationals week can be a bunch of going, going, going, and then waiting to get direction. So when you have time to rest, TAKE THAT! Take a good 20 minute cat nap or just rest and watch a little Netflix! You’ll thank me later!
Follow the Queen:
It’s your time to SHINE baby girl
-Tip from Victoria Piekut, 2015 IJM International Teen
When you finally get onto that stage, whether it’s for prelims, finals, or for rehearsals remember that, that is YOUR STAGE! Leave everything you have out on it. All the confidence and passion you have! Judges really can tell when you OWN IT GIRL! Do not worry about anyone else! That is your stage beautiful. Make sure everyone knows that!
Follow the Queen:
Have fun & Stay Positive
-Tip from Kaitlyn Robertson, 2014 IJM International Miss
It’s Internationals week!! This is the time for fun, games, hairspray, and laughs with new friends and your sister queens. Always try to keep a positive mind set! Never let anyone or anything get you down or intimidated. 80% of the time the girls are just as nervous and scared as you are. Keeping positive keeps EVERYONE positive! Try and keep a smile on your face sure to take in every second because it will go by so fast!! Just remember… IJM WE LOVE IT!
Follow the Queen:
Be you at all times
Just because a girl from last year wore pants with a parrot on her shoulder and a bright green hat does not mean that it will win again the next year. I cant stress enough how IJM doesn’t have “a look”, they want the best representatives for the system. Victoria, my successor, can sing (I sure can’t), wore cheetah in fun fashion (I wore purple), and has long brown hair (& mine is blonde). We are complete opposites! She didn’t try to be what I was the year before. She was herself and that is how she won. SHE WAS HERSELF.
The SuperWoman behind the screen!
From IJM’s Director of Brand Management, @Jess2saint. All eyes are on you! Ask yourself, if I were a judge would I visit the social media pages of some of my favorite girls? Now ask yourself, if I saw something on their pages that were less than representable of an International Title holder, would this alter my decision of choosing her as a representative of the International Junior Miss Scholarship Program? Your social media pages are an extension of you, and if chosen will be an extension of IJM. Make sure that your page reflects the standards and values of IJM all while staying true to yourself.
The One, The Only, The Boss Lady…..THE NIKKI CLARK!
From the desk of @iamnikkiclark, International Director. You’ve received this advice before, I’m sure, but it is important to BE YOURSELF. After hearing from judges months after the pageant, I’ve learned that they watch the girls that they’ve selected. They tell me if she appears to be who she was in interview or if they’re seeing another person. Young ladies that are true to themselves have better futures after the crowns are placed on their heads and long after their reigns are over.
*DISCLAIMER* Just because you follow these tips does not mean you will win 100%. These tips are questions I’ve received from girls in the past and present competing in IJM! I do NOT know who the judges are nor will I be anywhere close to them. This is for the girls (and stressed mommas) who have been asking
Good luck to all the girls competing in IJM this week! If you have any other questions please come find any of the staff members or queens and we’d be happy to answer it the best we can! We hope these tips and tricks help and we hope that by following this you’ll be part of the sisterhood!