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Miss Lovely Pageant focuses on inclusivity
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A new pageant with a different message is coming ‑ Warren County’s Miss Lovely Pageant. This event is planned for area girls with developmental disabilities between the ages of 7-23. The inaugural pageant is planned for Feb. 8-9 at Hickory Creek Elementary. 

The mission of the pageant is to provide the opportunity to girls and young women with disabilities to raise their self-confidence through the skills learned in pageantry in a supportive environment.  

Five age groups are available for entry for girls residing in Warren County, with categories including: Young Miss Lovely, 7-9; Preteen Miss Lovely, 10-12; Junior Teen Miss Lovely, 13-15; Teen Miss Lovely, 16-19; and Miss Lovely, 20-23.  

The pageant is in alignment with the national Miss Amazing pageant system, and winners will have the opportunity to continue to compete at that level if desired. 

Applications are available at all area schools, and can be turned in to the school’s special education teacher, or be mailed to pageant director Brandie Mansfield, 376 Warrior Drive by Feb. 5.  

Mansfield, her daughter Lauren and numerous teachers serve on various committees.  

“We are really excited to be starting this new and much-needed program in our county,” said Mansfield. “Research shows women with disabilities get a double dose of stereotypes due to having a disability and being female, which can be very harmful to their self-esteem.” 

Lauren is the reigning ANTSO Preteen National Teenager with her pageant platform, “Wear the Crown,” encouraging females of all ages to be confident in themselves and to embrace their strengths. 

A pageant rehearsal will be held Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. for all age groups, followed by a dessert bar and a Queen Meet and Greet session for contestants. 

The pageant will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, following interview sessions with judges. Following contestant introductions, girls will take a beauty walk, and have the opportunity to present a talent. Criteria for judging will be overall personality, 50 percent; interview, 20 percent; introduction, 10 percent; and beauty walk, 20 percent. 

“We want every girl to participate that wishes to, so we are available to assist with dress selection, as well as hair and make-up,” said Mansfield. 

The group is nonprofit, with 100 percent of all donations and sponsorships going into the pageant. Any profits for the event will be donated to the Sparkle Squad. 

“There is no entry fee or admission charge, but donations will be accepted,” said Mansfield. “We will also happily welcome any individual or business that would like to serve as a pageant sponsor. We can use any type of donation, even items for the contestant take-home bags.” 

For more information, contact Mansfield at 931-409-6046 or visit the Facebook event page for updates.