Davis debuts at state competition


by Vista Kalipa

While the rest of the world is concerned about the boycott threats over the Miss World Pageant, the Miss Iowa Pageant continued on without worries.

The Miss Iowa Pageant was held last week from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 at the Nextel Center in Cedar Rapids. Simpson’s own freshman Sheena Davis was among the 89 contestants who entered the pageant.

In her first time participating in an event of this nature, Davis relied on wit and charm to handle the judges and the crowd. In doing so, she managed to advance beyond other levels and made it into the top ten final round.

Davis was invited to enter the pageant by the coordinators who saw her through Davis’s portfolio that landed in their hands.

“The organization leaders called me and invited me to participate in the pageant after seeing my modeling portfolio that, somehow, ended up at a meeting for the pageant,” Davis said.

To qualify for the pageant, you must be a single female between the ages of 18-22. This is only the beginning of the criteria.

“You are expected to have a good background record, high morals and good [scholastic] qualities,” Davis said.

Once chosen, participants go through personal preparation.

Davis says that she spent about seven months preparing herself physically and mentally for the pageant.

“We have to eat healthy, maintain a good fitness level, get enough sleep and drink lots of water.”

The contestants are also allowed some time to bond with one another. This is actually the time they spend to teach each other a few things and learn from those who have done it before.

“We also have trunk shows, where some of the contestants get together to bond and learn proper posture and how to walk correctly,” said Davis.

Once crowned, the winner holds the title for a year and in that time she travels around the state, giving speeches and simply representing the women of Iowa.

“It is a big commitment and many of the girls who have won in the past have taken a year off school because there is simply not enough time to travel and keep up with school work as well.

Davis said that pageants have come a long way to fight the worldwide stereotype, which depicts the pageant contestants as beauties without brains. Pageants now require a lot of brainwork.

To enter a pageant of this magnitude requires not only beauty but brains as well. The pageant organizers require the girls to be intelligent ambassadors who are also spontaneous thinkers. In some of the judging that the contestants go through, they are expected to be able to think on their feet.

“I’ve gained more respect for pageants and the work that goes into them. I’ve come to realize that it is more about brains and how much you know about the world around you than it is about beauty,” says Davis.